OPTIONAL UNIFIED FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Act 139 of 1973

AN ACT to provide forms of county government; to provide for county managers and county executives and to prescribe their powers and duties; to abolish certain departments, boards, commissions, and authorities; to provide for transfer of certain powers and functions; to prescribe powers of a board of county commissioners and elected officials; to provide organization of administrative functions; to transfer property; to retain ordinances and laws not inconsistent with this act; to provide methods for abolition of a unified form of county government; and to prescribe penalties and provide remedies.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1998, Act 201, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

The People of the State of Michigan enact:


45.551 Optional unified form of county government; authorization; effect of adoption.

Sec. 1.

A county which has not adopted a charter, or elected a charter commission which has not been dissolved pursuant to Act No. 293 of the Public Acts of 1966, being sections 45.501 to 45.521 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, may adopt an optional unified form of county government. A unified form of government adopted pursuant to this act shall supersede the existing form of government of the county.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.552 Optional unified form of county government; alternate A; alternate B.

Sec. 2.

(1) An optional unified form of county government shall include either:

(a) An appointed county manager, who shall comply with the qualifications and exercise the responsibilities detailed in sections 7 and 8. This form of county government shall be known as alternate A.

(b) An elected county executive, who shall comply with the qualifications and exercise the responsibilities detailed in sections 8, 9, 10, and 11. This form of county government shall be known as alternate B.

(2) A provision of this act not specifically designated as applicable to alternate A or alternate B is applicable to the unified form of county government adopted.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.553 Optional unified form of county government; procedure for adoption; effective date.

Sec. 3.

(1) An optional unified form of county government shall be adopted and become effective in the following manner:

(a) The county board of commissioners, by a majority vote of the members elected and serving, may adopt an optional unified form of county government with an appointed manager. The adoption shall be submitted to the electors pursuant to subdivisions (d) and (e). A vote of disapproval by the electors shall not limit the power of the county board of commissioners to subsequently adopt an optional unified form of county government with an elected county executive pursuant to subdivision (b). A county board of commissioners shall not adopt an optional unified form of county government with an appointed manager within 2 years after an optional unified form of county government with an appointed manager is disapproved by the electors.

(b) The county board of commissioners, by a majority vote of the members elected and serving, may adopt an optional unified form of county government with an elected county executive. The adoption shall be submitted to the electors pursuant to subdivisions (d) and (e). A vote of disapproval by the electors shall not limit the power of the county board of commissioners to subsequently adopt an optional unified form of county government with an appointed manager pursuant to subdivision (a). A county board of commissioners shall not adopt an optional unified form of county government with an elected executive within 2 years after an optional unified form of county government with an elected executive is disapproved by the electors.

(c) Within 90 days after the adoption of an optional unified form of county government by the county board of commissioners, petitions bearing the signatures of registered electors of the county equal to not less than 5% of the total number of votes cast for governor in the county in the last election at which a governor was elected, requesting adoption of the other optional unified form of county government may be filed with the county clerk. The county clerk shall canvass and certify the sufficiency of the petitions within 14 days after the filing.

(d) The election to be held on the question of an optional unified form of county government pursuant to the action of the county board of commissioners or pursuant to that action and the filing of petitions, shall be held at the next regular primary election occurring not less than 49 days nor more than 180 days following the date of the action of the county board of commissioners or the date of the certification of the petition, whichever is later. If a regular primary election is not scheduled during that period, the board of county commissioners shall call a special election for the purpose of voting on the issue within that period.

(e) If a valid petition is not filed, the question presented to the voters shall be on whether the alternate set forth in the board action shall be adopted. If a majority of the electors voting on the question vote in favor of the question, the optional unified form of county government set forth in the question shall be effective on January 1 following the certification of the election by the board of county canvassers.

(f) If a valid petition is filed, the questions presented to the voters shall be on whether to adopt an optional unified form of county government, and then whether to adopt alternate A or alternate B. If a majority of the electors voting on the question of whether to adopt an optional unified form of county government vote in favor of the question, the alternate receiving the highest number of votes shall prevail and shall be effective on January 1 following the certification of the election by the board of county canvassers. A county board of commissioners, by majority vote, may place both alternate A and alternate B on the ballot at the same time. The alternate receiving the highest number of votes by the electors shall prevail.

(g) If the question of adopting an optional unified form of county government is not approved, approval of either alternate is void and the subsequent adoption of an optional unified form of county government shall be pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b).

(h) If the county board of commissioners does not adopt an optional unified form of county government, petitions bearing the signatures of registered electors of the county equal to not less than 10% of the total number of votes cast for governor in the county in the last previous election at which a governor was elected, may be filed with the county clerk requesting adoption of alternate A or alternate B. Two separate petitions or sets of petitions may be filed if each petition or set of petitions requests the adoption of a different alternate. Upon the clerk certifying to the county board of commissioners that a proper petition is filed, the question of adopting an optional unified form of county government with the alternate specified in the petition, or both alternates if 2 separate petitions or sets of petitions are filed and certified and each petition or set of petitions requests the adoption of a different alternate, shall be submitted by the board to the electorate of the county for approval or disapproval at the next regular primary election occurring not less than 90 days nor more than 180 days after the date the clerk certifies the petitions to the county board of commissioners. If a primary election is not scheduled during this period, the question shall be submitted at a special election called by the county board of commissioners for that purpose within this period. If a majority of the votes cast on the proposal approve the adoption, the optional unified form of county government containing the alternate specified in the original petition shall become effective in the county on January 1 after the date of the election. If both alternates are on the ballot and a majority of the votes cast on the proposal approve the adoption of an optional unified form of county government, the alternate receiving the highest number of votes shall prevail and shall become effective in the county on January 1 after the date of the election. If the question of adopting an optional unified form of county government is not approved, approval of either alternate is void and the subsequent adoption of an optional unified form of county government shall be pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b).

(2) An election held pursuant to this section shall be subject to and in accordance with the general election laws.

(3) Except as otherwise provided by law, an election which is requested by a county board of commissioners or pursuant to petitions filed by the electors for purposes of implementing this act shall be paid by the county.

(4) This section shall not apply to a petition requesting adoption of an optional unified form of county government which received signatures before May 23, 1974, and the adoption of an optional unified form of county government by a county board of commissioners before May 23, 1974 shall not be construed as being invalid or to require further action.

(5) A petition requesting adoption of an optional unified form of county government which received signatures before the effective date of this subsection or the adoption of an optional unified form of county government by a county board of commissioners before the effective date of this subsection shall not be construed as being invalid or to require any further action as a result of this act, and the optional unified form of county government requested by the petition or adopted by a county board of commissioners or both shall be placed on the ballot as provided in this act.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1974, Act 120, Imd. Eff. May 23, 1974 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980
Compiler's Notes: Section 2 of Act 100 of 1980 provides: “Act No. 599 of the Local Acts of 1907, as amended, is repealed.”


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.553a Violation of MCL 168.1 to 168.992 applicable to petitions; penalties.

Sec. 3a.

A petition under section 3 or 23, including the circulation and signing of the petition, is subject to section 488 of the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.488. A person who violates a provision of the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.1 to 168.992, applicable to a petition described in this section is subject to the penalties prescribed for that violation in the Michigan election law, 1954 PA 116, MCL 168.1 to 168.992.


History: Add. 1998, Act 201, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.554 Abolition of certain offices, boards, commissions, authorities, or departments; termination of tenure; former powers as general county government powers; powers and duties of excepted boards or commissions; certain powers neither minimized nor divested; method of appointing veterans; powers vested in county department of veterans' affairs administrative committee or soldiers' relief commission.

Sec. 4.

(1) On the date the optional unified form of county government becomes effective, all appointed boards, commissions, and authorities except the apportionment commission, airport zoning board of appeals, board of county canvassers, board of determination for a drainage district, civil service commission, county drainage board, county department of veterans' affairs administrative committee or soldiers' relief commission, concealed weapons licensing board, election commission, jury commission, library commission, parks and recreation commission, social services board, tax allocation board, a board established to oversee retirement programs, a plat board, a mental health board, a hospital board, an intercounty drainage board, and a building authority established by the county individually or in conjunction with another unit of government and the boards of county road commissioners; and all elective county offices except those of county commissioner, prosecuting attorney, clerk, register of deeds, treasurer, sheriff, and drain commissioner are abolished and the tenure of persons holding the office or appointment is terminated. Termination shall take effect whether or not it coincides with the end of a term of office or appointment. All county departments in conflict with the departmental organization established by this act are abolished. As used in this act, “department” or “county department” shall not include boards of county road commissioners.

(2) On the date the optional unified form of county government becomes effective, powers vested in an abolished office, board, commission, authority, or department shall become general county government powers, and functions performed by the abolished office, board, commission, authority, or department shall be administered by the county executive or county manager in the manner determined by the county board of commissioners.

(3) A board or commission which is excepted from this act pursuant to subsection (1) shall exercise the powers and duties as provided by law.

(4) The power vested in the office of county prosecuting attorney, county sheriff, county register of deeds, county clerk, county treasurer, county drain commissioner, or the board of county road commissioners, shall not be minimized or divested by this act.

(5) The method of appointing veterans to and the power vested in a county department of veterans' affairs administrative committee pursuant to Act No. 192 of the Public Acts of 1953, as amended, being sections 35.621 to 35.624 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, or a soldiers' relief commission pursuant to Act No. 214 of the Public Acts of 1899, as amended, being sections 35.21 to 35.27 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, shall not be affected, minimized, or divested, except as follows:

(a) Budgeting, procurement, office facilities and equipment, employment, and related management functions shall be performed under the direction and supervision of the county manager or executive.

(b) The employment of veterans' service officer shall be subject to approval of the department of veterans' affairs administrative committee or soldiers' relief commission.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1978, Act 9, Imd. Eff. Feb. 7, 1978 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.554a Annual certification that certain employee-related conditions met; failure to make certification; withholding distributions to county road agency; website; definitions.

Sec. 4a.

(1) Beginning September 30, 2014, each county road agency shall annually certify to the department that it satisfies 1 of the following conditions with respect to transportation employees:

(a) The county road agency has developed and publicized a transportation employee compensation plan that the county road agency intends to implement with any new, modified, or extended contract or employment agreements for transportation employees not covered under contract or employment agreement. The transportation employee compensation plan that each county road agency plans to achieve shall be posted on a publicly accessible internet site and shall be submitted to the department. At a minimum, the transportation employee compensation plan shall include all of the following:

(i) New transportation employee hires who are eligible for retirement plans are placed on retirement plans that cap annual employer contributions at 10% of base salary for transportation employees who are eligible for social security benefits. For transportation employees who are not eligible for social security benefits, the annual employer contribution is capped at 16.2% of base salary.

(ii) For defined benefit pension plans, a maximum multiplier of 1.5% for all transportation employees who are eligible for social security benefits, except, if postemployment health care is not provided, the maximum multiplier shall be 2.25%. For all transportation employees who are not eligible for social security benefits, a maximum multiplier of 2.25%, except, if postemployment health care is not provided, the maximum multiplier shall be 3.0%. This subparagraph does not apply to years of service accrued prior to September 30, 2013, or to contracts entered into prior to September 30, 2013.

(iii) For defined benefit pension plans, final average compensation for all transportation employees is calculated using a minimum of 3 years of compensation and shall not include more than a total of 240 hours of paid leave. Overtime hours shall not be used in computing the final average compensation for a transportation employee. This subparagraph does not apply to years of service accrued prior to September 30, 2013, or to contracts entered into prior to September 30, 2013.

(iv) Health care premium costs for new transportation employee hires shall include a minimum transportation employee share of 20%; or, an employer's share of the local health care plan costs shall be cost competitive with the new state preferred provider organization health plan, on a per-transportation-employee basis.

(b) The county road agency complies with 1 of the following:

(i) A county road agency that offers medical benefits to its transportation employees or elected public officials shall certify to the department by September 30, 2014 that it is in compliance with the publicly funded health insurance contribution act, 2011 PA 152, MCL 15.561 to 15.569. For purposes of this subparagraph, dental and vision coverages are not considered medical benefits. The department shall develop a certification process and method for county road agencies to follow.

(ii) A county road agency that does not offer medical benefits to its transportation employees or elected public officials shall certify to the department by September 30, 2014 that it does not offer medical benefits to its transportation employees or elected public officials. For purposes of this subparagraph, dental and vision coverages are not considered medical benefits. The department shall develop a certification process and method for county road agencies to follow.

(2) If a county road agency does not make the certification required under subsection (1), the department may withhold all or a part of the distributions to the county road agency from the Michigan transportation fund under 1951 PA 51, MCL 247.651 to 247.675. A withholding under this subsection shall continue for the period of noncompliance with subsection (1) by the county road agency.

(3) A county road agency shall maintain a searchable website accessible by the public at no cost that includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Current fiscal year budget.

(b) The number of active transportation employees of the county road agency by job classification and wage rate.

(c) A financial performance dashboard that contains information on revenues, expenditures, and unfunded liabilities. The county road agency may link to financial information provided by the Michigan transportation asset management council.

(d) The names and contact information for the governing body of the county road agency.

(e) A copy of the certification required by subsection (1).

(4) A county road agency may develop and operate its own website to provide the information required under subsection (3), or the county road agency may reference this state's central transparency website as the source for the information required under subsection (3). If a county road agency does not have a website, the county road agency may post the information required under subsection (3) on the website for the county within which the county road agency is located or on the website of a statewide road association of which the county road agency is a member.

(5) As used in this section:

(a) "County road agency" means a county road commission in a county that adopts an optional unified form of county government under this act. In addition, if a board of county road commissioners of a county is dissolved as provided in section 6 of chapter IV of 1909 PA 283, MCL 224.6, county road commission includes the county board of commissioners of that county.

(b) "Department" means the state transportation department.

(c) "Transportation employee" means an employee paid in whole or in part through revenues distributed under sections 12 to 13 of 1951 PA 51, MCL 247.662 to 247.663, or an employee who is engaged primarily in work funded through revenues distributed under sections 12 to 13 of 1951 PA 51, MCL 247.662 to 247.663.


History: Add. 2012, Act 507, Imd. Eff. Dec. 28, 2012


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.555 Board of county commissioners as governing body of county; election, organization, and procedures.

Sec. 5.

Upon the date an optional unified form of county government becomes effective, the board of county commissioners shall be the governing body of the county. The board shall be elected in the manner and number and for terms as provided by law. Its organization and procedures shall be as provided by law, except as modified by this act.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.556 Board of county commissioners; powers.

Sec. 6.

The board may:

(a) Establish policies to be followed by the government of the county in the conduct of its affairs and exercise all powers and duties vested in boards of county commissioners not inconsistent with this act.

(b) Adopt ordinances and rules necessary for the conduct of county business and exercise all other powers in the area of legislation authorized by this act or by law.

(c) Establish committees of the board necessary for the efficient conduct of business.

(d) Adopt the annual county budget and work program, and adopt, revise, and update a long range capital improvement program and capital budget.

(e) Make appropriations, levy taxes, and incur indebtedness in the manner authorized by law for the carrying out of functions, powers, and duties granted or imposed upon the county or upon an office or department of the county as provided by law.

(f) Establish salaries of elected officials and heads of boards, commissions, and departments unless otherwise fixed by law. Adopt a classification and pay plan for positions in the county service, which shall provide uniform compensation for like service.

(g) Adopt, following a public hearing, personnel rules governing county employment and operation of a merit system if adopted as provided by law.

(h) Appoint members of a board, commission, or authority.

(i) Appoint, when alternate A of this act is applicable, a county manager to serve as chief administrative officer of the county.

(j) Inquire into and investigate the official conduct and audit the accounts of a county office. For the purpose of an investigation under this act, the board may authorize the chairperson to administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of records or other documents which the board deems relevant or material to the inquiry. Before any subpoena is issued, the board shall obtain an order of the circuit court by a showing that there is good cause.

(k) Appoint a staff to assist the board in postaudit and investigative functions.

(l) Appoint necessary personnel to assist the board.

(m) Adopt and revise a comprehensive plan for county development as provided by law.

(n) Adopt and enforce rules establishing and defining the authority, duties, and responsibilities of county departments and offices.

(o) Consolidate county departments or transfer functions from 1 department to another pursuant to section 14.

(p) Enter into agreements with other governmental or quasi-governmental entities for the performance of services jointly.

(q) Accept gifts and grants-in-aid from a government or private source.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.556a Ordinance; designation of violation as certain civil infraction; civil fine; act or omission constituting crime.

Sec. 6a.

(1) Consistent with Act No. 58 of the Public Acts of 1945, being section 46.201 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, the county board of commissioners may adopt an ordinance that designates a violation of the ordinance as a civil infraction and provides a civil fine for that violation.

(2) The county board of commissioners may adopt an ordinance that designates a violation of the ordinance as a municipal civil infraction and provides a civil fine for that violation. An ordinance may not designate a violation as a municipal civil infraction if that violation may be designated as a civil infraction under subsection (1). A statute may provide that a violation of a specific type of ordinance is a municipal civil infraction whether or not the ordinance designates the violation as a municipal civil infraction.

(3) An ordinance shall not make an act or omission a municipal civil infraction if that act or omission constitutes a crime under any of the following:

(a) Article 7 or section 17766a of the public health code, Act No. 368 of the Public Acts of 1978, being sections 333.7101 to 333.7545 and 333.17766a of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(b) The Michigan penal code, Act No. 328 of the Public Acts of 1931, being sections 750.1 to 750.568 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(c) The Michigan vehicle code, Act No. 300 of the Public Acts of 1949, being sections 257.1 to 257.923 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(d) The Michigan liquor control act, Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 to 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(e) Part 801 (marine safety) of the natural resources and environmental protection act, Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.80101 to 324.80199 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(f) The aeronautics code of the state of Michigan, Act No. 327 of the Public Acts of 1945, being sections 259.1 to 259.208 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(g) Part 821 (snowmobiles) of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.82101 to 324.82159 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(h) Part 811 (off-road recreation vehicles) of Act No. 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.81101 to 324.81150 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(i) Sections 351 to 365 of the railroad code of 1993, Act No. 354 of the Public Acts of 1993, being sections 462.351 to 462.365 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(j) Any law of this state under which the act or omission is punishable by imprisonment for more than 90 days.


History: Add. 1994, Act 21, Eff. May 1, 1994 ;-- Am. 1996, Act 38, Imd. Eff. Feb. 26, 1996


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.556b Minimum staffing requirement; adoption of ordinance prohibited.

Sec. 6b.

Beginning on the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section, a county board of commissioners shall not adopt an ordinance that includes any minimum staffing requirement for county employees. Except as otherwise provided in this section, any provision in an ordinance adopted by a county board of commissioners on or after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section that contains a minimum staffing requirement for county employees is void and unenforceable.


History: Add. 2011, Act 136, Imd. Eff. Sept. 13, 2011


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.557 County manager; appointment, qualifications, compensation, term, and removal.

Sec. 7.

Within 60 days after an optional unified form of county government containing alternate A becomes effective, the board of county commissioners by a majority vote of all members elected and serving shall appoint a county manager. The manager shall be the administrative head of the county government and shall be responsible for the overall supervision of all county departments not headed by elected officers. He shall be appointed on the basis of merit only. He need not be a resident of the county at the time of his appointment but shall assume and maintain residence in the county following appointment except in counties of 1,000,000 or more he shall also be a resident at the time of his appointment. He shall be paid a compensation as the board determines. A member of the board during his term of office and for 1 year thereafter is not eligible for appointment as county manager. The county manager shall hold office at the pleasure of the board and may be removed by a majority vote of all members elected and serving.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.558 County manager or county executive; powers and duties.

Sec. 8.

(1) A county manager or county executive shall:

(a) Supervise, direct, and control the functions of the departments of the county except those headed by elected officials.

(b) Coordinate the various activities of the county and unify the management of its affairs.

(c) Enforce all orders, rules, and ordinances of the board and laws of this state required to be enforced by his or her office.

(d) Not less than 90 days before the next succeeding fiscal year, prepare and submit to the board a recommended annual county budget and work program, and administer the expenditure of funds in accordance with appropriations. An elected officer or county road commissioner may appear before the board as to his or her own budget. Not less than once each year the appointed manager or county executive shall submit to the board a proposed long-range capital improvement program and capital budget.

(e) Appoint, supervise, and, at pleasure, remove heads of departments other than elected officials. The appointment of heads of departments shall require the concurrence of a majority of the county board of commissioners.

(f) Submit recommendations to the board for the efficient conduct of county business.

(g) Report to the board on the affairs of the county and its needs, and advise the board not less than every 3 months on the financial condition of the county.

(h) Perform other duties and activities as the board directs.

(i) Audit all claims which are chargeable against the county. A warrant shall not be drawn for a claim, nor shall the claim be paid, until the claim has been audited by the county executive, the county manager, or a designated representative of the county executive or county manager.

(2) The county executive or county manager may attend meetings of the board of commissioners, and may participate in accordance with the rules of the board, which shall allow for his or her participation.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.559 County executive; nomination, election, and term; vacancy; salary.

Sec. 9.

(1) A county executive who is a qualified elector in the county shall be elected on a partisan basis for a term of 4 years concurrent with the term of the county prosecuting attorney, county clerk, county register of deeds, county treasurer, county sheriff, elected county auditors, and county drain commissioner. If a county executive is elected at an election different than the election for county officers, his or her first term shall extend only until the January following the election for county officers.

(2) The first county executive may be nominated in the same or next primary or general election held after the election in which alternate B is approved. The county executive shall then be elected in the next regular primary or general election occurring not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days after the date of the election in which alternate B is approved or in which he or she was nominated. If a primary or general election is not scheduled during that period, the board of county commissioners shall call a special election to elect a county executive. The county executive shall be nominated and elected pursuant to the laws applicable to the nomination and election of other county officials.

(3) If the first election of a county executive is a special election for that purpose only, and only 1 candidate for each political party qualifies to have his or her name appear on the primary ballot, a primary election shall not be held, and the candidate qualifying shall be certified as the nominee of the political party for which he or she filed.

(4) Except as provided under section 9a, if the office of elected county executive becomes vacant due to resignation or death, the vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the board of county commissioners until the next general election. A new county executive shall be elected at the next general election after the resignation or death of a county executive and in the manner provided in this section for the election of county executives. The newly elected county executive shall serve a term equal to the balance of the term for which the county executive who resigned or died was elected.

(5) The salary of the county executive for the initial term shall be established by the board of county commissioners at least 6 months before the effective date of the optional unified form of county government, containing alternate B. The salary shall be established by the board consistent with the procedures established for other elected officials. The county executive's salary shall be commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the office. The salary of a county executive shall not be reduced during his or her term of office except as part of a general salary reduction.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1976, Act 85, Imd. Eff. Apr. 17, 1976 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980 ;-- Am. 2003, Act 281, Imd. Eff. Jan. 8, 2004


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.559a Death or resignation of elected county executive; successor.

Sec. 9a.

(1) For counties with a population of more than 1,000,000, if a vacancy occurs in the office of the elected county executive due to death or resignation of the elected county executive, the chief deputy shall take the constitutional oath of office and serve as the county executive until the county board of commissioners appoints a successor to the elected county executive or until a special election is held as provided by law.

(2) If the county board of commissioners elects to appoint a successor, the appointment shall be made no later than 30 days from the date of the death or resignation. A county executive appointed by the county board of commissioners shall serve until the next general election. If the county board of commissioners does not make an appointment within the required 30 days under this subsection, a special election shall be held at the earliest possible date allowed by law.

(3) If the chief deputy is unable to serve as the county executive due to death or resignation of the chief deputy, the next highest ranking deputy shall take the constitutional oath of office and serve as the county executive until the county board of commissioners appoints a successor as provided under subsection (1) or until a special election is held as provided by law.

(4) A new county executive shall be elected at the next general election after the death or resignation of a county executive as provided in section 9 for the election of county executives. The newly elected county executive shall serve a term equal to the balance of the term for which the county executive who died or resigned was elected.

(5) Within 10 days after being sworn in, the county executive shall appoint a chief deputy. The county executive may also appoint additional deputies whom he or she considers necessary to perform the functions and duties of the office of elected county executive.

(6) The county executive shall file a statement with the county clerk identifying the individual appointed as chief deputy and all other individuals appointed as a deputy or assistant deputy. The statement shall also identify the ranking order of the deputies.

(7) If the county executive is absent or unable to perform the duties of his or her office, the chief deputy shall perform the duties of the county executive until such time that the elected county executive can resume the duties of his or her office.

(8) The county executive may revoke his or her appointments at any time.


History: Add. 2003, Act 281, Imd. Eff. Jan. 8, 2004


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.560 County executive; responsibility.

Sec. 10.

The county executive shall be responsible for the overall supervision of all county departments not headed by other elected officials.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.561 County executive; veto of ordinance or resolution; certification; overriding veto; certain resolutions or motions not to be approved or disapproved; effective date of ordinance or resolution.

Sec. 11.

(1) Except as provided in this section, the county executive may veto an ordinance or resolution adopted by the board, including items of an ordinance appropriating funds. The veto shall be certified by the county executive to the board of county commissioners within 10 days after date of adoption of the ordinance or resolution and the board may override the veto by a 2/3 vote of all members elected and serving. The county board of commissioners shall override a veto by the second meeting following deliverance to the county board of commissioners of the message of veto. The county executive may not approve or disapprove resolutions or motions pertaining to any of the following:

(a) The organizational structure of the county board of commissioners.

(b) Appointments by the county board of commissioners.

(c) Resolutions concerning the county board of commissioners' policy positions as to pending legislation.

(d) The abolishment of the optional unified form of county government under section 23.

(2) Under the unified form of county government containing alternate B, an ordinance or resolution shall become effective on approval of the county executive, on expiration of 10 days, measured in hours and minutes from the time presented to the county executive, without approval or veto, or on the overriding of a veto in the manner above described.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.562 Officials; powers; functions; manner of election or appointment; term.

Sec. 12.

(1) Upon the date an optional unified form of county government becomes effective, the following officials shall exercise the powers and functions as provided by law, unless other powers or functions are delegated to an official by the board of county commissioners:

(a) The sheriff.

(b) The clerk-register or clerk and the register of deeds.

(c) The treasurer.

(d) The prosecuting attorney. If a county employs an attorney under 1941 PA 15, MCL 49.71 to 49.73, the prosecuting attorney shall not act relative to 1941 PA 15, MCL 49.71 to 49.73.

(e) The drain commissioner.

(f) The boards of county road commissioners. Members of the county road commission shall be appointed as provided under section 6 of 1909 PA 283, MCL 224.6. In a county with a population of 1,000,000 or more, the board of county road commissioners shall not exceed 3 members.

(2) The officials named in subsection (1) shall be elected or appointed in the manner and for a term as provided by law.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 2006, Act 499, Imd. Eff. Dec. 29, 2006


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.563 Departments; establishment; directors; functions.

Sec. 13.

An optional unified form of county government shall have all functions, except when otherwise allocated by this act, performed by 1 or more departments of the county or by the remaining boards, commissions, or authorities. Each department shall be headed by a director. Subject to the authority of the county manager or elected county executive the following departments and their respective directors may be established and designated to be responsible for performance of the functions enumerated:

(a) The department of administrative services shall perform general administrative and service functions for the county government; carry on public relations and information activities and deal with citizen complaints; plan for, assign, manage, and maintain all county building space; and manage a central motor pool.

(b) The department of finance shall supervise the execution of the annual county budget and maintain expenditure control; perform all central accounting functions; collect moneys owing the county not particularly within the jurisdiction of the county treasurer; purchase supplies and equipment required by county departments; and perform all investment, borrowing, and debt management functions except as done by the county treasurer.

(c) The department of planning and development shall prepare comprehensive plans for the overall development of the county; coordinate the preparation of county capital improvement programs; supervise economic development functions; and represent the county in joint planning activities with other jurisdictions.

(d) The department of medical examiners shall coordinate and supervise medical investigative activities.

(e) The department of corporation counsel if adopted shall perform as provided by law all civil law functions and provide property acquisition services for the county as provided by law.

(f) The department of parks and recreation shall develop, maintain, and operate all county park and recreation facilities and supervise all recreation programs except where the same is under a board of county road commissioners, or a parks and recreation commission.

(g) The department of personnel and employee relations shall perform all personnel and labor relations functions for the county.

(h) The department of health and environmental protection shall perform all public health services for the county and carry on environmental upgrading programs.

(i) The department of libraries shall operate a general library program for the county if no library board or commission exists and may operate libraries for other governmental and semi-governmental entities.

(j) The department of public works shall construct, maintain, and operate all county storm and sanitary sewer, sewage disposal, general drainage, and flood control facilities except as the same are performed by the county drain commissioner; may perform general engineering, construction, and maintenance functions for all county departments and, upon approval of the board, for other governmental and semigovernmental entities; may operate the county airport except where the airport is operated by a board of county road commissioners; may construct, maintain, and operate county solid waste systems including resource recovery and distribution; and may construct, maintain, and operate water processing and distribution systems.

(k) The department of institutional and human services shall supervise county human service programs including hospitals and child care institutions.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1982, Act 420, Eff. Mar. 30, 1983


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.564 Departments; consolidation; transfer of functions; creation of additional departments; county manager or county executive as director.

Sec. 14.

Except as to a department headed by elected county officials or the board of county road commissioners, the board of county commissioners may:

(a) Upon a majority vote and the affirmative recommendation of the county manager or elected county executive, and following a public hearing, the board may consolidate departments completely or in part, or may transfer a function from 1 department to another; or the board may, upon the affirmative vote of 2/3 of its members and following a public hearing, consolidate departments completely or in part, or may transfer a function from 1 department to another.

(b) Create additional departments.

(c) Require the county manager or elected county executive to serve as director of a department.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.565 Deputy; appointment; department head and deputy exempt from civil service.

Sec. 15.

(1) Each department head may appoint 1 deputy.

(2) A department head and any deputy appointed thereunder is exempt from civil service.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.566 Civil service commission; appeals; secretarial and clerical assistance; personnel and employee relations.

Sec. 16.

The civil service commission, if existing, shall hear and decide appeals from any disciplinary action, suspension, or removal of county employees who are within the classified service, and shall perform no other function. The commission in exercising its duties shall be authorized to employ such secretarial and clerical assistance as may be approved by the board of county commissioners. All other personnel and employee relations functions of the county shall be performed by the department of personnel and employee relations, the county manager or elected county executive and the board of county commissioners. The civil service commission shall have no authority over the performance of such functions.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.567 Employee retirement and pension programs; retirement board.

Sec. 17.

The board of county commissioners shall continue, without diminution of function or authority, any board previously established to administer employee retirement and pension programs or may create a retirement board if none exists. A retirement board may invest or reinvest the moneys thereof.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.568 Title to property to be held in name of county.

Sec. 18.

Upon the date an optional unified form of county government becomes effective, title to all property, real or personal, formerly held in the name of any office, board, commission, authority or department which is abolished shall be held in the name of the county.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.569 Ordinances previously enacted.

Sec. 19.

When an optional unified form of county government becomes effective all ordinances previously enacted by the board of county commissioners and unrepealed, to the extent not inconsistent with this act, remain in full force and effect.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.570 Provisions of act controlling.

Sec. 20.

When an optional unified form of county government becomes effective, this act is controlling as to all matters to which it relates, and provisions of law not in conflict continue in full force and effect.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.571 Rights under civil service and merit system continued.

Sec. 21.

Under an optional unified form of county government all rights secured employees by existing civil service and merit system legislation are continued in full force and effect, except as specifically modified by this act.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.572 Retirement and pension rights.

Sec. 22.

Under an optional unified form of county government all retirement and pension rights of employees provided by existing law remain in full force and effect.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan


45.573 Procedures for abolishing optional unified form of county government.

Sec. 23.

An optional unified form of county government may be abolished in the following manner:

(a) After a period of 4 years from the date an optional unified form of county government originally becomes effective, the board of county commissioners of the county, by a 2/3 vote of those members elected and serving, may abolish the form and elect to be governed by the provisions of the general county law then in force. The abolition then shall be submitted to the electorate of the county for approval or disapproval at the next regular primary or general election occurring within the county. If a majority of votes cast on the proposal at the election approve the abolition, the optional unified form of county government shall be abolished in the county effective 180 days after the date of the election.

(b) Upon adoption by the voters of the county of a home rule charter.

(c) After a period of 4 years from the date an optional unified form of county government containing alternate A or alternate B originally becomes effective, if the board of county commissioners of the county does not exercise its discretion to abolish the form, a petition, signed by registered electors of the county equal to not less than 10% of the total number of persons voting in the last previous election for which votes were cast for governor, may be filed with the clerk-register or clerk requesting abolition of the form. Upon the clerk-register or clerk certifying to the board that a proper petition has been filed, the board shall submit the question of abolishing the optional unified form of county government to the electorate of the county for approval or disapproval at the next regular primary or general election occurring within the county. If a majority of votes cast on the proposal at the election approve the abolition, the optional unified form of county government shall be abolished in the county effective 180 days after the date of the election.


History: 1973, Act 139, Eff. Mar. 29, 1974 ;-- Am. 1980, Act 100, Imd. Eff. Apr. 19, 1980 ;-- Am. 1998, Act 201, Eff. Mar. 23, 1999


© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

Rendered 4/18/2014 01:58:50 Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 85 and includes 95, 97 & 116 of 2014
© 2014 Legislative Council, State of Michigan Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov