Nevada County Officers & Governance

Description of Intent:

The California Constitution establishes certain requirements for a charter with regards to County governance. The charter must specify the powers and duties of the County governing bodies and officers, how they will be selected, how vacancies are to be filled and how their compensation is to be determined. At a minimum, the charter must specify an elected County Sheriff, an elected District Attorney and an elected Assessor in addition to the governing body (Board of Supervisors).

This section of the charter addresses those requirements.

The principal intent is to provide for the most democratic, nonpartisan, professional representation of Nevada County citizens as possible.

For example: Currently, because Nevada County is a general law county rather than a charter county, the California Constitution specifies that the governor fills vacant elected county positions. This proposed charter specifies that elected positions be filled at a local level.

Proposed Charter Text:


The Board of Supervisors is comprised of five full-time members elected by their respective districts. Pursuant to the California Government Code, the Board enacts legislation governing Nevada County and determines overall policies and personnel for County departments and various special districts, adopts the annual budget, and fixes salaries.

If a vacancy occurs,

In the first three years of the term of office, the vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the electors of that district at a special election 50-60 days after the vacancy occurs. If the vacancy occurs within 180 days of a regularly scheduled election held throughout the county, the election to fill the vacancy may be consolidated with that regularly scheduled election. The person receiving the highest number of votes in that election shall fill the vacancy.

Or, if the vacancy occurs within the final year of the term, the Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to appoint a person to fill the vacancy by unanimous decision. If the Board of Supervisors does not make such an appointment within 60 days of the vacancy, the Governor shall fill the vacancy. The appointee shall hold office until the election and qualification of his/her successor.

Supervisors shall serve four-year terms. Every two years, elections will take place for one half of the Board of Supervisors seats, the other seats being elected two years hence.

The Board hears appeals from decisions of the Planning Commission, considers General Plan amendments, and sits as the Board of Equalization to provide tax payers with a system for appealing the valuation placed on their property by the Assessor.

The Board of Supervisors selects and appoints the County Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who serves is responsible for day-to-day administration of County affairs.

The Board of Supervisors, in conjunction with the Nevada County Bank Commission, will determine the use and application of the profits of the Bank of Nevada County.


Except as expressly set forth in this charter, the following officers shall be elected every four years and perform duties as provided by general law.

  • Tax Collector/Treasurer/Chair of Nevada County Bank Commission (consolidated)
  • Sheriff/Coroner (consolidated)
  • District Attorney
  • Superior Court Judges
  • Assessor/Clerk-Recorder (consolidated)
  • Auditor/Controller (consolidated)

If a vacancy occurs in an elective office other than the Board of Supervisors, the Board of Supervisors shall fill such vacancy, and the appointee shall hold office until the next general election.

The Treasurer is responsible for the collection, custody, investment, and disbursements of the funds of the County, School Districts, Special Districts, and Trust Funds. All monies collected by the aforementioned entities shall be deposited in the Bank of Nevada County, which is the County of Nevada doing business as the Bank of Nevada County, or as otherwise established in accordance with constitutional and statutory provisions. The funds shall be pooled and used for investment purposes, while segregating the individual account transactions for interest apportionment purposes. The guiding principles of the investment policy are always in this order: (1) Safety, (2) Liquidity as appropriate to meet projected expenditures, (3) Economic Benefit to Nevada County, (4) Yield, (5) Ethical Investing. Investments shall be placed with the objective of obtaining a respectable rate of return, not attempting to maximize yield at the expense of safety, liquidity, availability, and benefit to the County or ethical investing.

The Treasurer shall be the chair of the Nevada County Bank Commission governing the Bank of Nevada County.

Next Charter Section

Links to all Charter pages:

Nevada County Charter – Introduction
How to establish a Nevada County Charter
Preamble to the Nevada County Charter
Preamble to Charter section establishing a public bank for Nevada County
The mission of the public Bank of Nevada County
The governance of the public Bank of Nevada County
The Citizens Bill of Rights
Nevada County Officers & Governance
Use of Instant Runoff Voting and establishing campaign finance limits
“Buy Local” preference for Nevada County purchases & contracts section

PDF of the full Nevada County Charter

Click here to be taken to the Nevada County Charter online survey page.