Utah has 29 counties. A county makes up several towns or cities and provides citizens with government services that make communities safer, cleaner, healthier, friendlier, and a better place to live.
Counties provide a vast array of services—public protection-related services such as search and rescue, health and human services, and criminal justice to services that preserve quality of life, such as elections, land record management, and parks and recreation.
Counties are governed by an elected oversight body known as a commission or council, depending on what each county decides. These governing bodies are supported in some counties by an elected or appointed administrator. These governing bodies have oversight of the county’s day-to-day functions and also the laws, regulations, and policies that govern the general citizenry.
County administrative offices are usually located in a central town of the county, known as the County Seat. Most times, the County Seat is also the largest population center of the county, but not always.
Citizens also have the right to elect officials to serve in certain offices. These include, Assessor, Attorney, Auditor, Clerk, Recorder, Surveyor, Sheriff and Treasurer. Some offices are combined, Clerk/Auditor for example. And not every county has an elected official serving in each of those offices. Only about half of Utah’s counties have an elected Surveyor, for example.
Each elected office provides a special function in the overall administration of the county government. All of them are supported by staff members who are an extension of that’s office’s provided service.