« ForrigeFortsett »
creation of a debt in excess of the taxes in any | which they incur are the debts of the county, year by consent of the people, the county and the authority they exercise is such as having authority to incur such a liability. In resides in them as the officers and representatives such case it would not be intended to charge of the county.' Tippecanoe County Comrs. such debt to the ordinary county revenue. v. Barnes, 123 Ind. 403. It may be equally Salaries being unquestionably chargeable ordi- as accurate to say that the legislature is the narily to county revenue, and the tax for county, within the sphere of its control, as to county revenue being a limited tax, it would make that application to the commissioners. seem to follow that the restriction upon incur. In all matters of public concern it would seem ring liabilities in excess of current taxes includes appropriate to attach to the legislature the such salaries and other claims against a county character of representatives of the county itself, similarly situated. Had this not been the whenever it assumes control of any of its intention, provision would have surely been interests, either in pursuance of constitutional made for an additional tax, clearly expressed, requirement or otherwise; and that in doing so to pay such an important class of liabilities as it acts for the counties in about the same way salaries of officers, We are of the opinion that that the local board does regarding those matno county board, money being in the general ters committed to the direction of the latter; fund, raised by the tax for general county and thus, if an obligation is imposed upon the revenue, ever hesitated to allow and pay salaries county, it cannot be said to be compulsory to out of that fund. The limitation upon taxa- any greater extent than if imposed by the tion, then, being upon the power to raise a county board. “Municipal corporations” (and fund out of which salaries are payable, must in this designation, so far as concerns this disnot the restriction upon the right to create cussion, we include counties) “are of a twofold debts in excess of the taxes include in the character, -the one public, as regards the state term "debts" all ordinary expense of the at large, in so far as they are its agents in governcounty, inclusive of salaries? We think so. ment; the other private, in so far as they are to The evident object of all these provisions was provide the local necessities and conveniences an economical administration of public affairs, for the citizens.” Davock v. Moore, 105 Mich. which is rendered more emphatic, if possible, 120, 28 L. R. A. 783. In fixing salaries of by the maximum placed upon the salaries of county officers the legislature deals with counthe various county officials. Article 14. ties as one of the agencies of goveroment.
It is assumed that !he board of county com. In respect to its officers and the duties they are missioners constitutes the county, and that a required to perform the county is public in liability imposed by law is not the creation of character. The Supreme Court of the United a debt by the county, pot being within the dis. States in Lake County v. Rollins, supra, indicretion of the board. It is doubtful whether the cated that from an accurate standpoint the board does constitute the county in the strict compulsion arising on account of imposed sense. As an official board it is charged with obligations might not be to incur debt. It is many duties and invested with numerous evident that such compulsion in all cases does powers respecting the management of the ordi- not result in a debt; and rather by way of sug. nary, and particularly the local, affairs of the gestion than argument, it may be said that the county. This authority, however, is not exclu- character of debt in excess of taxes as applied sive in all matters; it is, after all, not bound to unpaid salaries does not necessarily arise less. Some of the important interests of a from the enactment of the law providing their county are not permitted to be delegated to the amount and times of payment, but that it is board, viz., the matter of compensation to be possible the allowance of other claims within paid to its public officials; others are under ibe discretionary control of the board, and the the control of independent officers, such as the use of funds in the general fund, or raised collection of taxes, although the board may by the county revenue tax to satisfy such exercise a qualified supervision over the con- claims, may so deplete the treasury as to create duct of the officers charged with such duties. the inability to pay the salaries or other so. The supreme court of Indiana, in discussing called "imposed” liabilities. Therefore it may the relation of the board to the county, said: not be entirely accurate to say that the debt is “We know that comprehensive powers are con created by the legislature, even if any distincferred upon county commissioners; we know, tion should be thought to exist respecting this too, that they are, ic a sense, the county. I matter within the terms of the constitutional But, after all, the county is no more than a provision. public corporation created by statute, and Before leaving this branch of the case, we deriving its powers from ihe legislature. If a call attention to some very pertinent remarks county is not given power to fix the fees of contained in the address of the people prepublic officers by statute, it can possess no pared by a committee of the constitutional such power. It adds nothing, therefore, to convention, submitted to that body prior to its the strength of the appellee's position to affirm adjournment, and embraced in the record as a that the board of cominissioners is the county. part of its proceedings. We quote: "The But it is not strictly true that the board is tõe extravagance in the management of county county. It can bỹ no possibility be irue that affairs that has prevailed in the past has been the board is the county, for in a just sense the circumscribed and rendered impossible. The inbabitants of the organized locality constitute restrictions upon taxation and the creation of the county. In strict accuracy the commis public debts are such as lo necessitate economy siopers are public officers representing the in public affairs, and insure to the people the county, with powers and duties defined and highest excellence in government for the least prescribed by statute. The money which they money.” This is strong language, and indicontrol is the money of the county, the debis I cates that the purpose had been to place an
additional restriction upon public indebted.clear aod imperative commands. As has been ness and taxation. Considering the limitations already suggested, tbe remedy, if any is deemed theretofore in force, the restraipt upon taxa. to be necessary, resides elsewhere. tion under existing territorial laws, and the We come now to a consideration of the judg. construction given to the antecedent limita. ments. Assuming that the claims upon which tions, it is readily observed that, if the con the judgments were rendered were in excess of struction given to the Constitution by counsel the limit, it is contended that they cannot be atfor defendants is correct, the statements quoted tacked collaterally by the plaintiff taxpayer in from the address were but delusions, and that, this case: that they are conclusive as to the instead of having further circumscribed county validity of the debt, and therefore constitute extravagance, the limitations were practically a part of the public debt of the county, for removed. We are aware that the address is which a tax may be flevied irrespective of the not to be entirely controlling of the construc- limit as to taxation for county revenue. Tbe tion; but, in connection with past conditions question, so far as this case is concered, reand events, in the light of which constitutional solves itself into this: Do judgments, assumprovisions must be interpreted, such an address ing them to bave been rendered by a court of may very properly be resorted to as indicating competent and general jurisdiction, having somewbat the intent and object which caused likewise jurisdiction of the parties, form a part the incorporation of disputed clauses into the of that public debt of the county for which a fundamental law. Whether the constitutional levy may be made to provide funds for their limitations include all obligations, of whatever payment, although, in fact, the warrauts upon character, we cannot, in this case, properly which they are founded were issued for curdetermine, and do not do so. It bas been held rent expenses in excess of the taxes for the curby some eminent authorities that similar limita- rent year, and in excess of the absolute constitions do not cover a debt established against a tutional limit upon county indebtedness? Is municipality for a tort. Bloomington v. Per any inquiry into the indebtedness back of and due, 99 Ill. 329; Chicago v. Sexton, 115 III. 230; bebiod the judgments precluded by them? It Bartle v. Des Moines, 38 Iowa, 414. It will be is apparent that several questions are involved time enough, however, to decide that question in such an inquiry. Not only are we to deterwhen it is clearly presented in a proper case. mine the meaning and scope of the words
We are constrained to express as our opinion public debt” as used in the section of the that the limitations upon county indebtedness Constitution providing for county taxatiou, include salaries of county officials, and as well but the effect of the judgments as to their consuch obligations as are legal and valid and law- clusiveness or otherwise, and in respect to what fully imposed under the legislation of 1893, matters they are conclusive, if any, becomes a respecting the payment of bounties for the matter for investigation. Upon this branch of destruction of certain predatory wild animals: the case we are aided materially by the au. as the same reasoning in the main applies with thorities. After judgment upon a claim preequal force to those liabilities. In this con- ferred against a county or municipality, it bas nection we expressly refrain from deciding been frequently, and where that question alone or indicating any opinion whatever regarding was involved, uniformly, held, ip mandamus the constitutionality of that legislation, or the proceedings to compel the levy of a tax to pay validity of any claims arising thereunder, irre- the judgment. that an allegation that the debt spective of questions touching the debt and tax upon which the judgment was rendered had limitations. We are convinced that any differ- been created in excess of the constitutional limit ent construction would be destructive of the upon such indebtedness, and was illegal and plain import and object of the Constitution, and void, constitutes no defense; that such defense would invite the most reckless and improvident by the county is absolutely precluded by the administration of public affairs; and, notwith-judgment, as it could have been interposed in standing that the burdens of taxation are now ibe suit wherein the judgment was obtained. conceived to be oppressive, temperate language Howard v. Huron. 6° s. D. 180, 26 L. R. A. would utterly fail to depict the condition which 493; State, Ledger Pub. Co., v. Gloyd, 14 Wash. might result if the contention of counsel on 5; United States v. Ottawa Auditors, 28 Fed. behalf of the counties is sound. We do not Rep. 407: United States v. New Orleans, 98 U. desire to be understood as impugping in the S. 381, 25 L. ed. 225; People, Rollins, v. Rio least the motives or the bonesty or patriotism Grande County Comrs. 7 Colo. App. 229: Ælna of those at this time or heretofore in charge of L. Ins. Co. v. Lyon County, 44 Fed. Rep. 329. county governments. We appreciate the many and the citizen and taxpayer cannot attack difficulties of their position, and are aware that such a judgment any more than the county. in no public office is a higher degree of care, Clark v. Wolf, 29 Iowa, 197; Freem. Judgm. sagacity, and withal of integrity, required. | $ 178; 2 Black, Judgm. $ 584; Ashton v. Rochand often displayed, than that through which ester, 133 N. Y. 187. In the case of Clark v. the affairs of these local agencies of the state Wolf, supra, the court said: “It must be, in the are administered. If inconveniences or con- / absence of fraud or collusion or the like on the sequences are to receive consideration, the hard part of the municipal officers, that the legal ships wbich may accompany an attempt to con- liability of the county, being once fixed by a fine county indebtedness and taxation within valid judgment, the citizen, no more than the constitutional boundaries cappot approach in county, can afterward resist the collection of all that would be disastrous the effects which said judgment upon the wapt of power to conmight follow if the construction otherwise tract the debt. That stage in the controversy insisted upon was to prevail. Nevertheless, is past.” Ard in the same case those matters. the courts are powerless to alter the Constitu- which may be contested by the taxpayer, even tion, and should not attempt to evade its in case of a valid judgment, are also stated as. follows: "If the officers shall attempt to make county, no execution shall issue thereon, but a levy not warranted by law (for instance, a the same shall be paid by a tax levied and col. greater per cent than the law allows), or to collected for that purpose, as in the case of other lect the same in an illegal manner, or the like, county charges; and when so collected shall be these are questions between the citizen and the paid by the county treasurer to the person to corporation, and do not touch either the va whom the same shall be adjudged upon tbe delidity of the debt or the correctness of the livery of a proper voucher therefor. The arjudgment which is intended to be satisfied." gument is that, as the judgments must be paid The distinction thus mentioned we regard as by a tax, and they are part of the public debt, clearly existing. The validity of the debt as to wbich no limitation applies, the tax comwas, or could have been, fully litigated in the plained of is legal, without regard to the nature suit in which the judgment was secured. That of the claims merged in the judgments. On question is therefore absolutely concluded as the other hand, it is earnestly insisted that the against a collateral attack, both as concerns the judgments do not form a part of the public county and a citizen or taxpayer thereof; but it debt to pay which unlimited taxation is perdoes not necessarily follow that the county may mitted. Counsel for plaintiff contend, first, levy, or the judgment creditor may insist that that bonded indebtedness alone is what is in. it shall levy, a tax to pay the same not author- tended by the term “public debt" in the secized by law. The cases holding that a power tion of the Constitution referring to county taxto contract a debt includes authority to pay it, ation, and it seems also to have been urged that and, where a tax is essential for such purpose, po indebtedness wbich did not exist at the time the authority and duty to tax do not contra of the adoption of the Constitution is included. vene this view. None of those cases, as I un. We cannot entirely agree with the position taken derstand them, announce a contrary doctrine. by either counsel. It is obvious that debts in
Having determined this much, the inquiry curred since the adoption of the Constitution, arises, How far may a county go in its an. if lawfully existing, are not excluded. To exnual tax levy? For county revenue for all clude them would have the probable effect of purposes the annual levy must be confined preventing subsequently organized couuties within 12 mills, and this is inclusive of school from paying their legitimate public debts, altax. For the payment of its public debt and though ihe same could not have existed at the the interest thereon there is no limit. The time the Constitution was adopted. There are legislature of the state, in amending the terri- other reasons, however, which suggest the untorial statutes requiring the annual levy, con soundness of that contention. We are furformed them to the Constitution, authorizing ther of the opinion that the public debt which an annual levy of not to exceed 3 mills for gen- is excepted from the general tax limitation is eral school purposes, and prescribing that an not confined to bonded indebtedness. The annual tax should be levied for county revenue same words “public debt,” are used in § 3 of for all purposes; but providing that the aggre. article 16, permitting the bonding of the pubgale tax for county revenue, including general lic debt of the county existing at the time the school tax, should not exceed 12 mills on the Constitution was adopted; and it is clear that dollar (exclusive of state revenue), excepting in the latter section the words were not exclu. from such limitation the payment of the public sive of indebtedness other than bonded, but debt and interest thereon. Laws 1895, p. 237, that they comprehended all manner of lawful chap: 102. Prior to the enactment just al. debts, not exceeding the congressional limitaluded to, the laws in force anterior to state- tion of 4 per centum; and such has been hood remained unaffected by any later legisla. the legislative and public construction placed tion, but were, of course, modified by the con- upon that section. We are unable to attribute stitutional clauses referred to. Those earlier any parrower meaning to those words as used statutes prescribed certain rates of taxation for in § 5 of art. 15, relating to taxation. It is not various purposes connected with county rev. confined to bonds, but may involve ordinary enue, and placed a maximum limitation of 16 warrants, and other evidences of indebtedness, mills upon county taxation, which was held if properly and lawfully issued; and may also by this court to be exclusive of the general include judgments, but not necessarily so. To school tax. When the Constitution took effect, illustrate: If a county's indebtedness is within it immediately reduced the maximum limit to the constitutional limitation, and in pursuance 12 mills, and included therein the general of law it creates a debt in excess of the cur. school tax. It is now urged that the judg- rent taxes by the consent and approval of the ments in question constitute a part of the pub- people, which, together with existing indebtlic debt of the county, to pay wbich the county edness, does not exceed the amount within may levy a tax irrespective of the taxation for wbich it may lawfully become indebted, such county revenue; and our attention is directed debt will not only be legal, but, although it to $ 1798 of the Revised Statutes of 1887. may be evidenced alone by warrants, will conThat section is found in the chapter devoted stitute a part of the public debt, and to pay to the powers and duties of county commis- the same a tax is permissible, the same as in sioners, and was enacted prior to the admis. the case of bonded indebtedness. If judg. sion of the state, and continued in force, un- ments are rendered upon such warrants, or less in conflict with the Constitution. It pro- upon bonds, the debts ihemselves being lawful vides, in substance, that when a judgment public debts of the county, the judgments will shall be rendered against the board of county partake of the same character. On the concommissioners of any county, or against any trary, in case warrants or other evidences of county officer, in an action prosecuted by or indebtedness are issued for ordinary current against him or them in his or their name of expenses in excess of the taxes for the current office, where the same shall be payable by the year, without the consent or approval of the
people, or in case the maximum limit has been | The application of the converse of this proporeached, then, with or without such approval, sition has not been infrequent. In the case of such indebtedness is clearly not a part of the Ralls County Ct. v. United States, 105 U. S. public debt, but the same has been incurred 735, 26 L. ed. 1221, the court said: “While the for current expenses, which in the case of such coupons are merged in the judgment, they cara county cannot in any event exceed the rev. ried with them into the judgment all the remenue for such year. There is no method by edies which in law formed a part of their conwhich such liabilities can have imparted to tract obligations, and these remedies may still them voluntarily the character of public debts. be enforced in all appropriate ways, notwithIf a judgment is obtained upon any such claim, standing the change in the form of the debt.” the fact must yet remain that it represents a This language was used in a cause wherein it liability incurred for current expenses which was sought by mandamus to compel the levy should have been confined within the limits of of a tax to pay a judgment. The opinion in the current taxes, to provide for the payment that case also recognizes that courts are powerof which the Constitution has afforded only a less to require a tax to be levied, even to pay a limited power of taxation.
judgment in excess of the constitutional or The statutory provision with reference to the legislative limitation upon the laxing power. payment of a judgment by tax does pot con. The same learned court in another case of like template a tax in excess of the limitation, and character, in speaking upon this question, said: did not permit a tax for that purpose in excess “So, too, if the municipality bas n o power, of the statutory limit anterior to the adoption either by express grant or by implication, to of the Constitution. Much less could the legis. raise money by taxation to pay the bond, the lature contravene the positive restrictions of the holder cannot require the municipal authorities Constitution. If the judgments are rendered to levy a tax for that purpose. upon claims which should bave been paid out have no power by mandamus to compel a muof the revenue raised by the tax which is con- picipal corporation to levy a tax which the fined to 12 mills, they must be paid, if at all, law does not authorize.” United States v. by a tax levied for such purpose; the aggre. Macon County Ct. 99 U. S. 591, 25 L. ed. 333. gate tax for county revenue not to exceed the “But mandamus will not lie to compel the maximum limit. 'The judgments being valid, levy of a tax in excess of the legal limitation." the legality of the debt is settled until such Cooley, Taxn. 2d ed. p. 738. The following judgments are set aside in some direct pro- authorities are also in point: Brownsville Tarceeding, and therefore, within the limitation ing Dist. Comrs. v. Loague, 129 U. S. 493, 32 for county revenue, a tax may be levied to L. ed. 780; Arnold v. Hawkins, 95 Mo. 569; pay the same. This we apprehend to be the Black v. McGonigle, 103 Mo. 192; Trull v. plain intent of the Constitution. Any other Madison County Comrs. 72 N. C. 388; French course would amount to an evasion of its v. New Hanover County Comrs. 74 N. C. 692; terms. A different construction would au- Carroll County Supers. v. United States, 85 U. thorize such a management of county affairs S. 18 Wall. 71, 21 L. ed. 771; Re House Roll as to exhaust the county revenue each year, to 284, 31 Neb. 505; Clark y. Davenport, 14 incur additional obligations ordinarily payable Iowa, 494; Iowa Railroad Land Co. v. Sac out of such revenue, permit prosecution of such County, 39 Iowa, 137; Sterling School Furniclaims to judgment, and the levy of a special ture Co. v. Harvey, 45 Iowa, 466; State, Shackeltax to pay them; and this could be repeated ton, v. Guttenberg, 39 N. J. L. 660; Union P. annually, thus completely evading, if not op- | R. Co. v. Buffalo County Comrs. 9 Neb. 449; erating to effectually nullify, the constitutional Osborne County Comrs. v. Blake, 25 Kan. 357; limitation. The effect would be, as all must State, Reed, v. Marion County Comrs. 21 Kan. concede, to provide a greater revenue each 419; Grand County Comrs. v. Ring, 14 C. C. year for current expenses than the Constitu- A. 421, 67 Fed. Rep. 202, 32 U. S. App. 1; iion intended to authorize when it confined the Desty, Taxn. § 41. The case of Osborne County same to 12 mills on the dollar. This would Comrs. v. Blake, supra, closely approaches accomplish by indirection that wbich cannot the one at bar. The question there presented be done directly, which, generally at least, is was whether a county board, after baving levnot allowable. The views thus expressed we ied the full amount of taxes for current exbelieve to be in accord with the authorities. penses which it had by law any power to levy As it is apparent that under the law requiring for that and previous years, could in a certain a judgment to be paid by tax the latter must, year levy an additional tax to pay a judgment if levied, be confined with otber taxes within rendered upon county warrants which had existing constitutional limitations, it necessar- been previously issued to pay county current ily follows that to determine the limitations the expenses for the same years. An express statuclaims placed in judgments must be inquired tory provision required a judgment to be colinto. The statute authorizes a tax to pay such lected by tax as in case of other county charges, judgments "as in the case of other county and the general limitations upon taxation were charges.” The funds to pay other county statutory, instead of constitutional. The right charges for ordinary expenses are raised by a to levy such a lax was denied, the Kansas sulimited tax. As the statute with respect to a preme court saying: "The judgment shall be judgment does not fix its class, and does not collected by means of a tax, in ihe same manauthorize a special tax irrespective of statutory per as other county charges are collected; and or constitutional limitation, it is obvious that other county charges, when collected by means we must have recourse to the claims them- of a tax, can be collected only by means of a selves to determine to what class the judgment limited tax.
A judgment rendered belongs, and whether any limit is imposed upon a claim against a county is simply one of upon taxation, by which they may be enforced. I the items which the county board takes into consideration in levying a tax for county, the district court tax for the maintenance of the charges, or for county expenses, or for current court, in addition to the levy of 12 mills for expenses.
All the statutes upon the county revenue. What we have already said subject seem to contemplate that the county disposes of this inquiry. We fail to observe board will not create, nor allow to be created, anything in the Copstitution or statutes which liabilities against the county faster than the auihorizes a levy for court expenses in excess legal and proper taxes will pay them. But and exclusive of the limited lax of 12 mills for suppose the county board should allow liabil- county revenue, ities to be thus created, then may all the cred- With respect to the seventh question, we itors of the county convert their claims into assume the damages to have been recovered in judgments, and then compel the county board a proceeding to determine the compensation to io levy county taxes vastly beyond the limits be paid the landowner by reason of the exerprescribed by $ 181? We think not.” The cise by the public of the right of eminent doSupreme Court of the United States, in main, and the consequent taking of some of Brownsville Taxing Dist. Comrs. v. Loague, the land for public purposes. We regard this supra, beld that, it appearing from the petition as not entirely free from doubt, bui are inthat the bonds upon which the judgments clined to the opinion that the damages thus were rendered were issued under an abrogated assessed are payable out of the ordinary county statute, and were consequently void, and that revenue; and the result would be that, if the no power to tax to pay them was possessed by county is unable to make the compensation, it the taxiug district, because such power was is powerless to complete the location of the given only by the statute wbich bad ceased 10 road, which might result in the taking of pri. exist, mandamus to levy tax to pay the judg- vate property without just compensation. If ments would not be awarded. The Constitu- the damages are recovered as for a tort, antion excepts from the limit for taxation for other inquiry would arise, which, in this case, county revenue purposes, not the payment of we refrain from deciding. judgments, but the payment of the public The final question requiring the opinion of debt. We are unable to class a judgment in this court affects the right of the board of all cases irrespective of the nature of the obli- county commissioners to confess and author. gation merged therein, as a public debt within izea confession of judgmentsagainst the county. the purview of the section of the Constitution A decision upon that question is not free from in question. The Constitution clearly and difficulty. We are practically without preceforcibly distinguishes between those liabilities dent, and resort must be had to our rather which are payable out of tbe general and or- meager statutory provisions covering the subdinary revenue and those for which provision ject of confession of judgments, as well as to must otherwise be made. It was not intended ihose prescribing the duties and powers of the that a county powerless to legally contract debt board of county commissioners. “A person which could not be paid out of the current indebted or against whom a cause of action exrevenue, because of its exhaustion in paying ists, may personally appear in a court of comother expenses, could nevertheless by incurring petent jurisdiction and with the assent of the such debts be permitted to employ unlimited creditor or person having such cause of action, taxation to defray those expenses wbich the confess judgment, whereupon judgment sball Constitution declares must be provided by a be entered accordingly.". Rev. Stat. 1887, limited tax. Our attention bas been called 10 $ 2668. In such case it is required that the the case of Theiss v. Hunter, before the su debt or cause of action be stated in the judg. preme court of Idabo, 45 Pac. 2. Although ment or writing to be filed as pleadings in the text of the decision in that case is not be other actions. 2669. “An aitorney who fore us, extracts therefrom, found in No. 14 confesses judgment in any case shall, at the of volume 1 of Selected Corporation Cases, in- time of making such confession, produce the dicate that it was held that municipal indebt. warrant of attorney for making the same, edness incurred during a given fiscal year
and the original or a copy of the warcannot be paid out of the income or revenue rant shall be filed with the clerk." § 2671. of any future year, unless it be especially in the first case, under $ 2668, the debtor must raised for the payment of such indebtedness, personally appear. The members of the board on the ground that the evident intent of the of county commissioners individually are Constitution of that state was to make the rev- pot authorized to allow claims against the enue or income collected each year pay such county. The board of commissioners, at any year's indebtedness, unless by the assent of meeting, is given authority by statute to iwo thirds of the qualified voters, given as pro- settle and allow all accounts against the vided by law, other indebtedness was author-county, and when so settled and allowed they ized. It follows from what has been said that may issue county orders therefor as provided to raise a fund to pay salaries of county off. by law. Rev. Stat. 1887, $ 1901. County orcers, and valid liabilities under the act with ref. ders are required to be signed by the chairman erence to bounties for the destruction of pred of the board, and attested by the clerk, under the atory wild animals, a tax in excess of 12 mills seal of the county. Section 1807, as amended in any year for county revenue is not allowa by chapter 33, Laws 1893. Tbe meetings of ble, unless the debt therefor bas been created the board are to be held in public. $ 1802. in the manner provided in the Constitution, The authority over county affairs is thus vested and any legislation conformable thereto, by a in a board which is composed of three percounty possessing authority to incur such in sons, although a majority constitute a quorum, debtedness.
and may act. The board can only act at a The tenth certified question inquires if the meeting of the board. Doubtless some detail board of county commissioners cannot levy matters may be attended to by one or more of