The County Commissioners (BOCC, Board or simply Commissioners) is the governing body of Kootenai County. Consisting of three elected officials,
the Board serves as the taxing authority, the contracting body and the chief administrators of public funds. Among other duties, the Board enacts
laws, ensure compliance of laws and secures professional services for the county.
The Commissioners are constitutional officers whose authority encompasses all three traditional types of government powers: legislative,
executive and quasi-judicial. As the county's legislative authority, the Board has the power to enact ordinances, resolutions and proclamations.
Ordinances are laws enacted by a local legislative authority. They may govern matters not already covered by state or federal law or may
supplement (but cannot supersede) existing state or federal law. They are intended to affect the general public and are typically permanent in
nature. Ordinances enacted by the Board are effective only in the unincorporated area of Kootenai County unless specifically provided for in
state law. For example, businesses serving alcoholic beverages are required to obtain the appropriate County license(s) regardless of whether or
not they are located within a city.
A resolution is a formal expression of the opinion or will of an official body adopted by vote in a legislative action. Resolutions are less
formal than an ordinance, are administrative in nature, and typically concern internal government operations. Resolutions are usually considered
to be temporary in nature, but often have a long-term effect.
While both ordinances and resolutions are legally binding, proclamations are non-binding formal public declarations.
As part of the executive branch of government, the Board is charged with taking actions and providing resources to ensure compliance with its
legally mandated duties and to ensure that the ordinances it enacts are carried out. Such duties include enforcement of land use ordinances and
building codes, setting of precinct boundaries and canvassing of elections, among others. The Board is also charged with the oversight of the
official conduct of all county officers, though this authority is very limited under Idaho law. The Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney have the
primary authority to enforce state laws and county ordinances.
In its quasi-judicial capacity, the Board is required to investigate facts, weigh evidence and draw conclusions when taking official action.
The Board exercises discretion of a judicial nature in land use hearings, indigent appeal hearings and Board of Equalization Hearings among
others. In this quasi-judicial role the Board cannot partake in Ex Parte' (i.e., communications made outside the context of the hearing on the
matter before the Board).
The Board has additional duties as the Board of Canvassers of Election, certifying true and complete abstracts of all votes case in all elections.
The Board sits as the Board of Equalization (BOE) to hear property assessment appeals and assure that the market value for assessment purposes
has been established by the Assessor as provided for in Idaho Code. The BOE also hears appeals of applications for property tax exemptions.
The Board of County Commissioners, in its capacity of the governing board of the Kootenai County Ambulance District, is ultimately, responsible
for county-wide emergency medical services (EMS). These services are provided through a joint governed organization known as the Kootenai County
Emergency Medical Services System (KCEMSS). As the Ambulance Board, the Board of County Commissioners approves the annual KCEMSS operating budget
and levies the balance necessary to fund the approved budget under the Emergency Medical Services Levy. Additionally, the County Commission
appoints a member to the KCEMSS Joint Powers Board, the joint governing body.
KCEMSS is a fire-based ambulance service providing 9-1-1 emergency care and facility to facility transfers throughout Kootenai County. KCEMSS
operates through a network of agencies, including all the fire departments within Kootenai County and two non-profit EMS organizations. KCEMSS
provides EMS services up to and including paramedic services. It also provides Critical Care Transport services to the hospitals within Kootenai
County as well as hospitals in the surrounding counties of North Idaho. For more information, please visit the KCEMSS Website at: www.kcemss.org
The Board of County Commissioners appoint all members of the North Idaho Fair Board, which operates the fairgrounds and the annual North Idaho
Fair and Rodeo. The Commissioners maintain financial accountability over the operations of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Furthermore, the
Board has the authority to modify or approve the Fair Board's annual budget and has assumed secondary responsibility for any debt of the North
Idaho Fair & Rodeo. For more information, please visit the North Idaho Fair Website at: www.northidahofair.com
The commissioners hold a weekly business meeting on Tuesday's to oversee the county's responsibilities as provided by Idaho State law. Links of
meetings and agendas can be found at:
*There was a public meeting held to discuss the Kootenai County Facility Master Plan in October of 2012. Additional information
may be found in the press release listed press release here.
To preview the plan please click here.
The Facilities Master Plan commissioned by Kootenai County conveys many of the problems and issues faced by the Board of Commissioners as they
anticipate future growth and needs. The current state of County facilities is a serious hindrance to the proactive, positive, responsive, fiscally
responsible and transparent government expected by Elected Officials, staff, and the public.