Organization and Authority of the Court
The legislative body of county government in Arkansas is the quorum court. Each court is composed of 9, 11, 13 or 15 members depending on the population of the county. Boone County has 11 members that are called justices of the peace. They are elected for 2-year terms from districts within the county. The Court meets each month, more often if necessary, to conduct county business and review ordinances and resolutions for passage. The Boone County Quorum Court's regular meeting time is 7:00 P.M. on the Second Tuesday of each month at the OEM Building. The county judge, the presiding officer of the quorum court has no vote, but has the power of veto. A veto can be overridden with a 3/5ths vote of the total membership of the quorum court (A.C.A. 14-14-801).
Powers of the Court
As provided by Amendment No. 55 of the Arkansas Constitution, county government acting through its quorum court may exercise local legislative authority, not expressly prohibited by the constitution or by law, for the affairs of the county. (A.C.A. 14-14-801).
The quorum court may exercise the following powers, but not limited to:
- Levy taxes in a manner prescribed by law;
- Appropriate public funds for the expenses of the county in a manner prescribed by ordinance;
- Preserve the peace and order and secure freedom from dangerous or noxious activities; provided, however, that no act may be declared a felony;
- Contract or join, for any public purpose, with another county or any political subdivision or the United States;
- Create, consolidate, separate, revise, or abandon any elected office or offices except during the term thereof; provided, however, that a majority of those voting on the question at a general election have approved said action;
- Fix the number and compensation of deputies and county employees;
- Fix the compensation of each county officer with a minimum and maximum to be determined by law;
- Fill vacancies in elected county offices;
- Provide for any service or performance of any function relating to county affairs;
- Exercise other powers, not inconsistent with law, necessary for effective administration of authorized services and function (A.C.A. 14-14-801).
Limitations of the Court
- The quorum court cannot declare any act a felony (felonies are covered by the State Criminal Code)
- The quorum court may exercise no authority unrelated to county affairs (A.C.A. 14-14-806).