2014-2016 Montana Local Government Review
Mandated by Article XI, Section 9 of the Montana Constitution
Voter review of local government.......... (2) The legislature shall require an election in each local government to determine whether a local government will undertake a review procedure once every ten years after the first election. Approval by a majority of those voting in the decennial general election on the question of undertaking a local government review is necessary to mandate the election of a local government study commission. Study commission members shall be elected during any regularly scheduled election in local governments mandating their election Article XI, section 9, Montana Constitution.
An election on the question of conducting a local government review and establishing a study commission must be held whenever 10 years have elapsed since the electors have voted on the question of conducting a local government review and establishing a study commission.
The governing body shall call for an election, to be held on the primary election date, on the question of conducting a local government review and establishing a study commission, as required by Article XI, section 9(2), of the Montana constitution 7-3-173(c) Montana Code Annotated.
All local governments must adopt a resolution to place the question of conducting a local government review on the ballot at the primary election, June 3, 2014. The resolution calling for the election must specify the number of members to be elected and must include the dollar amount OR number of mills that will be permissively levied to fund the activities of the Study Commission. Read more .....
|2.24.14 - Local Government Review Webinar|
|Montana's Local Government Review (Revised Edition 2008)|
Kenneth L. Weaver and Judith A. Mathre
This work documents the recommendations and electoral outcomes of every county and municipal Voter Review study commission for all four cycles of Montana's local government review. Also included is an analysis and comparison of local government forms, functions and powers as well as sample charters for each type of local government. Cost $25.00 + $3.00 shipping/handling. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 406-994-6694 to place your order.
|March 10, 2014||Deadline for counties and municipalities to pass and submit to the County Elections Administrator a resolution to conduct a local government review and establish a study commission.
|June 3, 2014||Primary Election - vote for or against the local government review.|
|August 11, 2014||Last day for local government review commission candidates to file for office.|
|November 4, 2014||General Election - if the local government review process is approved, vote for study commissioners.|
|December 8-9, 2014||Study Commissioners Workshop hosted by the MSU Local Government Center in Bozeman, MT.|
According to 7-3-173, MCA, ALL county and municipal governments must pass a resolution every ten years that calls for an election on the question of conducting a local government review and establishing a study commission. This resolution must be passed and submitted to the County Elections Administrator by March 10, 2014, and the question will subsequently appear on the ballot at the primary election held on June 3, 2014. The ballot language is mandated by 7-3-175, MCA . Please click here to download a sample resolution for municipalities or to download a sample resolution for counties.
If the voters decide in favor of conducting a local government review, the study commissioners will be elected during the general election on November 4, 2014 pursuant to 7-3-176, MCA. After the study commission completes its work, their proposed changes will be placed on the ballot for the voters to decide in the general election of November 2016.
Your Resolution calling for the election must specify the number of members to be elected and must include the dollar amount or number of mills that will be permissively levied to fund the activities of the Study Commission. Statute used to specify that 2-mills would be levied but that provision was amended in 1999 to make the levy "Subject to 15-10-420" which meant that the study commission had to be funded out of existing sources. That provision was repealed in 2007 and language was added to say: "the local government may levy mills in excess of all other mill levies authorized by law to fund the appropriation for the support of the study commission" so the amount you include in the Resolution and Ballot language may be locally determined and is outside of your 15-10-420 levy limit. Any money remaining in the Study Commission Fund at the end of the two year cycle reverts to the municipality's general fund.
To assist you in developing a budget, here are some anticipated costs associated with the process:
- Local Government Review Study Commission Training sponsored by the MSU Local Government Center, Dec. 8-9, 2014, (noon-noon) in Bozeman. This training will teach the commissioners the role and scope of their position. Registration Fee - $250 for each commissioner which includes a study commission handbook and resource material, lunch and a reception on Day 1 and breakfast and a boxed lunch on Day 2. The cost of travel, lodging and per diem is the responsibility of each local government.
- Printing costs for reports, clerical support, community open houses, community surveys, etc.
- Additional training/consultants - the LGC will be available to provide local training during the review process at a ½ day rate of $450 + travel expenses.
More information regarding the Voter Review process will be presented at the MMIA/LGC Regional trainings in the upcoming months and also at the Executive Academy for mayors and city managers in March. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Local Government Center.