Once called the County Court, the modern County Commission actually functions as the legislative body of county government, working primarily through the committee system. There are five standing committees and numerous other committees boards and commissions whose vote functions as a recommendation to the full County Commission.
Whether it is payment of bills, approval of expenditures, approval of the budget, zoning changes or new legislation, committee actions do not take on the color of law until approved by a vote of the full commission.
There are 25 commissioners in Washington County, serving in nine commission districts. Each commission district comprises several of the 40 Civil Districts, each of which is a voting precinct.
To see the Commission's adopted rules of procedure, click on the file attachment at the bottom of this page or click here
Originally there were 18 Civil Districts, but population growth has caused urban precincts to be subdivided in order to effect proportional distribution. One vestige of the old County Court days is that County Commissioners can still perform marriages.
County commissioners are elected in the regular August election for a four-year term which begins Sept. 1. County commissioners must reside within and be a qualified voter of the district represented. County employees otherwise qualified to serve may hold office as a legislative body member.
However, no person elected or appointed as county executive, sheriff, trustee, register, county clerk, assessor of property, or any other countywide office filled by popular vote or by the legislative body may be nominated for or elected to the legislative body. If a commission member accepts nomination for any of the above offices, or for the General Assembly when the office is being filled by the legislative body, that member becomes disqualified to continue in office and a vacancy in the commission will automatically exist.
The County commission sets its meeting dates and place, but must meet at least four times a year. Vacancies are filled by the remaining commission members until a successor is elected in the next general election.