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47.. Duties of the Treasurer.1 1. The treasurer re-" ceives all money collected by the tax collector, and places it in different funds according to the purposes for which it was collected. He receives all other money belonging to the county, such as fees, fines, the proceeds from the sale of county property, debts due from private individuals, and so on. All money received by him, from whatever source, must be accompanied by certificates issued by the auditor, and his receipts for money must be returned to the auditor.
2. He collects for the state the inheritance tax, imposed by the state, due from persons who inherit property located in the county.
3. He pays money out of the treasury only on warrants issued by the auditor; however, he pays money which he holds for the state to the state treasurer on warrants issued by the state controller. The auditor reports to the controller the amount held by the county for the state. The treasurer settles with the state in May and December each year, and at any other time if required.
4. On the first Monday of each month he must make a detailed report to the auditor showing all money received and paid out by him since his last monthly report; and he must make a similar report to the board of supervisors at every regular meeting of the board. His report to the supervisors must also show the debts due to and from the county.
5. He and the auditor must make a joint report to the supervisors on the first Monday in February, May, August, and November, showing receipts, expenditures, debts, and credits.
1 Political Code, $ 4101 seq.
48. Duties of the Auditor.1 The auditor is the most important financial officer of the county.
I. He draws warrants on the treasurer for all lawful debts, claims, or demands against the county; or against any public corporation in the county whose funds are held by the treasurer. He must draw no warrants except on proper authority. Claims against the county must be allowed by the board of supervisors; claims against any school district must be allowed by the school board and approved by the county superintendent; claims against any other public corporation must be allowed by its board of trustees or directors. But even after a claim has been allowed, the auditor must make certain that the expenditure is authorized by the state law before he draws his warrant on the treasurer. To audit means to examine carefully. If the county supervisors or the trustees of any district, through mistake or otherwise, allow a claim or order an expenditure that is not authorized by the law, the auditor must refuse to pay it. It may be added that the treasurer may refuse to pay a bill after it has been audited, if he thinks that the state law does not clearly authorize the expenditure. In such a case, the district attorney, or possibly the courts, would have to settle the matter.
2. He must examine and settle the accounts of all persons who are in debt to the county, and must certify the amount in each case to the treasurer.
3. He must present to the board of supervisors at each regular meeting a detailed statement showing the exact condition of the finances of the county. This is in addition to the joint report made by him and the treasurer every three months.
1 Political Code, $ 3727 seq., § 4091 seq.
4. He must examine the books of the treasurer once a month and see that they have been correctly kept.
5. He must, together with the district attorney, and the president of the board of supervisors, count the money in the county treasury once a month; and he must each time file with the county clerk a statement showing the amount of money that ought to be in the treasury, and the amount and kind of money actually found to be there.
6. From the assessment roll and tax rate, he must compute the amount of tax to be collected on each item of taxable property in the county, and must turn the tax bills over to the tax collector. He thus knows in advance what the tax is to be, and charges the tax collector with the amount.
. Y 49. Duties of the Recorder. 1. The recorder keeps an official record, or copy, of all papers that in any way affect the title to any real estate in the county; such as deeds, mortgages, wills, contracts, decisions of court, etc.
Personal property may be bought and sold by verbal agreement; but land can be bought and sold only by written agreement. The agreement, or deed, must be drawn up in proper form, and must be sworn to and recorded exactly according to law. If A sells land to B, the transaction is not complete and the land does not belong to B, even though he may have paid the money and received the deed, until the deed has been filed for record in the office of the recorder. The recorder's books are open to the public in order that any one may investigate the title to any piece of land in the county. To do this is no simple matter, however, and abstract companies are organized for the purpose of searching the records to determine land titles for interested persons.
2. He records mortgages placed on personal property.
1 Political Code, $ 4130 seq.
of all births and deaths in the county, except in so far as this is done by city health officers.
4. He records the official bonds of county officers.
5. He must receive and keep on file in his office, building contracts, plans, and specifications. When one lets a contract for building a house, the law does not require that a copy of the contract shall be filed in the office of the recorder; but if this should not be done, and a dispute should later arise between the owner and the contractor, the injured party would find it difficult to obtain satisfaction.
6. He issues burial permits as stated in the following paragraph. 2. 50. Duties of the Coroner.1-1. The coroner must hold
an inquest over the body of every person in the county who has been killed, or has died in some unusual manner, or from some unknown cause, or under suspicious circumstances. An inquest is an inquiry conducted in the
presence of a jury of six or more men, who must take notice of all the circumstances in the case, listen to the testimony of witnesses, and render a verdict if possible as to the cause of death. The coroner may employ a chemist or a physician to assist at any inquest.
No human body can lawfully be buried, or moved from the locality where the death occurred, without a burial permit. Burial permits are usually issued on the presentation of physicians' certificates giving the cause of death; but in every case where no physician has been in charge the permit is issued after an inquest has been held. Burial permits are issued in our larger cities by health officers; in smaller towns by the town clerks; and in country districts by county recorders, or deputies called subregistrars, appointed by them for that purpose.
1 Political Code, $ 4143.
2. If, after an inquest has been held, the jury charges some one with murder, the coroner has power to issue a warrant for his arrest.
3. After every inquest he must deliver to the county treasurer, or to the legal representatives of the deceased, any money or other property found on the body.
4. He must keep an accurate record of every inquest, giving the name of the deceased, if possible; the cause of death, when known; the property found on the body; and any information that might be of service in identifying the deceased if unknown.
5. He must give a decent burial to any human body that is not claimed for burial by some friend or relative.
6. Any justice of the peace in the county may perform the duties of the coroner in any case when the coroner is unable to act. The coroner may perform the duties of sheriff when the latter cannot act.
51. Duties of the Surveyor. - I. The surveyor must do all surveying work that may be required by the board of supervisors or by the superior court. The supervisors need his services when laying out new roads, or in locating the boundaries of subdivisions of the county, such as judicial townships, road districts, school districts, etc. The superior court may require him to locate the boundaries of any piece of land that may be in dispute before the court.
2. He must make surveys for private individuals who request him to do so and pay the fees required by law.
3. He must make correct maps of the various subdivisions of the county, and keep them in his office, as the property of the county.
1 Political Code, $ 4214 seq.