The County Commissioners may adopt ordinances regulating behavior. Specifically, they have authority to pass ordinances in the following broad areas:
- To administer elections in conjunction with the county election board
- To incorporate new towns and alter township boundary lines, on petition
- To grant vacation pay, sick leave, paid holidays and other similar benefits to county employees
- Maintain all County property and buildings
- To provide for traffic control
- To establish minimum housing standards
- Maintain all County Roads
In most cases the county may exercise its regulatory powers only in the unincorporated areas of the county. As a general rule, the county does not have jurisdiction to regulate behavior in the incorporated cities and towns of the county.
The commissioners are the custodians of the home rule powers of the county. Within the scope of home rule, commissioners may adopt and vest themselves with additional regulatory powers. (Generally see IC 36-2-2 for duties of the board of county commissioners.)
The Board of Commissions meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 10 A.M. and the third Wednesday at 6 P.M. Special meetings may be called by any commissioner on a 48 hour notice.
Two commissioners comprise a quorum, as well as the necessary majority to pass an ordinance or resolution.
Unanimous consent is required to pass an ordinance on the same day or at the same meeting at which it is introduced, except for amendments to zoning ordinances and ordinances of the county council for additional appropriations.
Otherwise an ordinance requires two readings at two separate meetings. County commissioners may adopt their own rules of procedure that are in addition to those required by statute, such as requiring additional ordinance readings.
Ordinances, orders and resolutions are considered adopted when signed by the president of the county commissioners. Generally, an ordinance need not be published as a legal notice, unless it prescribes a penalty or forfeiture or there is a specific statute requiring publication. In the case of a penalty or forfeiture, prior to the effective date the ordinance must be published once each week for two consecutive weeks.
The county auditor acts as the clerk of the board of county commissioners and is required to attend all meetings of the commission. The Commission secretary keeps the minutes for the Board.