Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued an opinion that a county commission has a statutory duty to sit on the joint board of county commissioners to approve the budget of a health district. A health district formed by combining counties or cities is a separate political subdivision from the member counties or cities, possessing only those powers specifically provided by law. A multicounty health district must submit its budget to the joint board of county commissions for approval. It has been the practice to have the county auditors meet and vote on the health district’s proposed budget as a “proxy” for their board of county commissioners. It is the member county commissions that make up the joint board of county commissioners, not the county auditors.
The attorney general has issued an opinion on transfer or property by a school board. A school board has the statutory authority to sell or donate property at less than fair market value as part of a reorganization. A political subdivision may enter into a Joint Powers Agreement to exercise powers that belong to one of the political subdivisions. If neither political subdivision has statutory or home rule authority to donate or sell real property at less than fair market value, a school board may not sell or donate property at less than fair market value to a city as part of a dissolution of a school district through a joint powers agreement.
The attorney general has issued an opinion that the Billings county commission properly noticed its meetings. The county commission held four meetings between March 14, 2020, and June 12, 2020. Agendas were posted online and sent to the official newspaper. The county did not hold hold executive sessions during the meetings.