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provided that all elective county and township officers [except as otherwise provided in that act) should be elected at the general election in November, 1894, and every four years thereafter, and that by section 58 of the county government act of 1897, such officers are required to be elected at the general election at which the governor is elected. Other decisions bearing upon the subject will be found under section 58 of the present act. And in the recent case of Hale v. McGettigan, 114 Cal. 122, it is said that neither the act of 1891, nor the act of 1893 has changed the term of office of supervisors as fixed by section 15 of the act of 1883.

The next act of the legislature on the subject was that of March 14, 1883 [Stats. p. 299], and was designed to embrace the whole subject of county and township government as contemplated by the new constitution. This act was held to be constitutional in Longan v. County of Solano, 65 Cal. 122, in respect to its classification of counties for the purpose of regulating the compensation of officers. That act was amended as follows: section 164 by act of March 14, 1885 [Stats. p. 125), and section 163 and various other sections were amended by act of March 18, 1885, [Stats. p. 166 et seq.), and numerous sections of the former act were subdivided and renumbered. Section 162 of the same act classifying counties and fixing compensation of officers, was also amended by act of March 18, 1885. [Stats. p. 195.]

By act of March 17, 1887 [Stats. p. 178], numerous sections of the act of 1883 were amended, and section 110 inserted.

Section 3 of the act of 1883 is amended, and section 4 of the same act is repealed, by act of March 17, 1887. [Stats. p. 168.]

And numerous sertions of the act of 1883, as amended by the foregoing, are amended, and two new sections added, and section 1101 is repealed by the act of March 16, 1889. (Stats. p. 232.]

An entirely new act is again promulgated in 1891 [Stats. p. 295), and all former acts repea led.

In 1893 [March 23, Stats. p. 310], those provisions of the act of 1891 concerning county officers, their appointment, duties and compensation were amended, to wit: Sections 57, 168, 172, 173, 186, 194, 197, 200, 203 and 214. And on the following day [Stats. 1893 p. 346], an entirely new county government act was approved.

The new act of 1893 was amended as to sections 162 and 216, a new section 1703 wag added, and counties of 8} class created, by act of January 25, 1895. [Stats. p. 1.]

An entirely new act is for the fourth time promulgated (since 1880) by the legislature of 1896-7.

Confusion would only result from any attempt to point out in detail the variations that have occurred in the law by reason of the several enactments just referred to. In the treatment of the act of 1897, reference is made

under the several sections to similarities and differences between the present act, the former acts and the Political Code, so that it is believed that that portion of the present work will prove useful and acceptable to the profession as a ready reference in all instances where it is desirable to examine such variations in legislation. Very many of the changes made by the several acts are mere changes of words or phraseology, possessing no value in litigation; but it is attempted to note, by reference to decisions and other references, all matters necessary to a proper comprehension of the provisions of the present law.

Following are some cases where the subject of special legislation has been discussed and clear distinctions drawn between “general” and "special" acts: Longan v. County of Solano, 65 Cal. 125; Miller v. Kister, 68 Cal. 142; Thomason v. Ashworth, 73 Cal. 73; People v. Henshaw, 76 Cal. 444; Cody v. Murphy, 89 Cal. 523.

The act of March 28, 1895 [Stats. 1894-5 p. 338), adding a new article to the Political Code to be designated as article IV of chapter I of title II of part III of that code, in so far as it provides in section 1075 for boards of election commissioners in cities and counties having one hundred and fifty thousand or more inhabitants, is special legislation and in conflict with section 25 of article IV of the constitution. Denman v. Broderick, 111 Cal. 96. And see Marsh v. Supervisors, 111 Cal. 370, citing Dougherty v. Austin, 94 Cal. 620;

Welch v. Bramlett, 98 Cal. 219; Pasadena v. Stimson, 91 Cal. 238; Bloss v. Lewis, 109 Cal. 493; Turner v. Siskiyou, 109 Cal. 332; Darcey v. Mayor of San José, 104 Cal. 642.





To attempt to trace an evolution of our counties from shire or petty kingdom or earldom of Saxons and Normans, would serve no useful purpose. It may be assumed that counties are instrumentalities representing ancient rights of local self-government; or, as to the United States, it may be said that this right of local control over local affairs has never been taken from nor granted away by the people. However that point may be viewed by those disposed to discuss it, it is sufficient to say that the courts of this state have uniformly spoken of counties as quasi corporations, deriving their existence from statute or the constitution, with powers of government circumscribed by a mode prescribed by the statute. The mode prescribed by the said to be the measure of the power, both as to county and municipal government. County of Modoc v. Spencer, 103 Cal. 199.

It is said, however, in Von Schmidt v. Widber, 105 Cal. 157, that this rule “is not to be so considered as to require an authority in express terms for the performance of every municipal act. If an express power to accomplish some result has been conferred, it will carry with it the authority to do such subsidiary acts as are




incidental and necessary to the exercise of that power.

Any fair, reasonable doubt concerning the existence of the power is . resolved by the courts against the corporation, and the power is denied.” Their purpose

is to aid in the proper govo ernment of the state. They are agencies for the exercise of a part of the legislative and administrative power of the state--the commonwealth-the sovereign people. They are said to be involuntary quasi corporations, their rights, powers and duties being thrust upon them by the action of the legislature, or by constitutional provision, while municipalities and other corporations have usually to petition for their creation,

The statute declares a county to be a body politic and corporate. The people of a county are not the county [People v. Meyers, 15 Cal. 34], but it is said the people of a county, in their quasi corporate capacity, may waive compliance, in unessential particulars, with a statute passed for the benefit of the county. County of Calaveras v. Brockway, 30 Cal. 326343.

Counties are not municipal corporations, [People v. Supervisors, 45 Cal. 692), although municipal corporations are also political subdivisions exercising powers of a similar nature -legislative, executive and judicial [Pol. Code, Sec. 4354 et seq.), over a subordinate subdivision of the state. San Francisco v. Canavan, 42 Cal. 557.

One feature by which a city is distinguished

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