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What does a County Supervisor do?

By A. Leverkuhn
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A county supervisor is a member of a local government board that helps to provide local legislation, budgeting and more by voting on issues in public meetings. The supervisor is a rural equivalent to a city council member. In some states, it is common for a county to have a board of supervisors. In other states, there are county commissioners instead.

A county supervisor is elected by the local population to a defined term. While in office, he or she will attend public meetings, listen to issues, and provide a vote. This supervisor is not a job supervisor or manager of any kind, but an elected public official.

County supervisors rule on many kinds of local laws, often called ordinances. This individual might vote on an issue that affects the local residents. This might be anything from noise and pollution from an industrial site, to issues between neighbors such as leaf burning or barking dogs.

Another common item for the supervisor to consider is new building. A board of supervisors will often rule on whether a homeowner can modify his or her property. The board will also rule on whether a business or other party can modify its property.

In looking at property issues, the board of supervisors will generally consider zoning laws that might be set by a separate zoning board. They may look at stormwater issues or other public impact of a project. The board of county supervisors will generally cite some of these items when issuing a formal vote on a project.

A county supervisor may also vote on budget issues. The board will commonly look at the developing budget, set up an annual budgeting overview, and keep track of revenues versus expenditures to help provide the best use of taxpayer money. A county board of supervisors may get input from a local school district or other board to see how projects will affect the local education system.

These officials are expected to represent their communities in a professional way. Local residents often attend public meetings of a board of supervisors to make sure business is being done properly, and with the interests of the community in mind. Good resolution of local county issues frequently relies on good communication and cooperation between supervisors. A county supervisor will generally keep the community in mind while working, either in public meetings or in the interim.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By stoltzfus — On Dec 29, 2010

There are places to go if a local government official is acting in questionable ways - various state offices would handle complaints.

By anon136154 — On Dec 21, 2010

Who regulates the board of supervisors? Is there any oversight to their activity? If they are corrupt, is there any impeachment process? Those are greater concerns.

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