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AGLO 1971 No. 121 - October 13, 1971
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Slade Gorton | 1969-1980 | Attorney General of Washington
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                                                                October 13, 1971
 
 
 
Honorable Robert K. Leick
Prosecuting Attorney
Skamania County
Skamania County Court House
Stevenson, Washington 98648                                                       Cite as:  AGLO 1971 No. 121 (not official)
 
 
Dear Sir:
 
            By letter, you have requested an opinion of this office upon a question which, by subsequent telephone conversations, has been refined and clarified as follows:
 
            In view of the enactment of § 2, chapter 182, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., amending RCW 36.32.210, are county commissioners still required to file with their county auditor an inventory of all tools, machinery, equipment and appliances belonging to the road district which each commissioner represents which will include such county road equipment as is covered by the separate inventory which is required to be maintained by the county road engineer under RCW 36.80.060, as amended by § 10, chapter 182, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.?
 
                                                                     ANALYSIS
 
            We believe that a negative answer to your question follows most readily from a consideration of the relationship between the amendments contained in §§ 3 and 10, respectively, of chapter 182, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.  Section 2 of that act amended RCW 36.32.210 to read as follows:
 
            "(1)  Each county commissioner of the several counties of the state of Washington shall, on the first Monday of March of each year beginning with the year 1964, file with the auditor of the county wherein such commissioner resides a statement verified by oath of such county commissioner showing for the twelve months period ending December 31st of the preceding year, the following:
 
            "(((1)) (a)  A full and complete inventory of all tools, machinery, equipment and appliances belonging to the district of such commissioner used or intended to be used in any public work, except the repair ((or)), construction or maintenance of any ((highway,)) road ((or any work)),  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] within said county for which public funds are to be expended in whole or in part and which said inventory shall be segregated to show the following subheads:
 
            ". . .
 
            "(2) No county commissioner shall maintain official records which duplicate the records of the county road engineer or any part thereof."  (Amendatory language added is underscored; amendatory deletions are stricken.)
 
            Section 10 of this same 1969 act amended RCW 36.80.060, relating to the duties of the county road engineer to read (in material part) as follows:
 
            "The county road engineer shall maintain in his office complete and accurate records of all expenditures for (1) ((overhead and operations)) administration, (2) bond and warrant retirement, (3) maintenance, (4) construction, ((and)) (5) purchase and operation of road equipment, and (6) purchase or manufacture of materials and supplies, and shall maintain a true and complete inventory of all road equipment.  ((He shall also maintain accurate and current records of the amounts expended for or properly chargeable to each commissioner's district for construction, special maintenance, maintenance, and equipment rental.  . . .))"  (Amendatory language added is underscored; amendatory deletions are stricken.)
 
            It is true that these two statutes deal with the responsibilities of different county officials (the county commissioners on the one hand, the county road engineer on the other).  However, they are both part of the same legislative enactment,1/ and both relate to the inventory requirements as to county road equipment and are, therefore, in pari materia.2/   Accordingly, their respective provisions must be  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] considered together and their relationship to one another ascertained.  We think that this relationship is easily understood by direct reference to the language added to and stricken from these two statutes by the legislature.
 
            In amending subsection (1) (a) of RCW 36.32.210, the legislature deleted the requirement that the county commissioners submit an inventory of county road equipment to their county auditor by the addition of the word "except" as it precedes the phrase "the repair, construction or maintenance of any road within said county."3/   However, at the same time, while amending RCW 36.80.060, to remove the requirement that the engineer maintain detailed records of county road expenditures in each commissioner's district, the legislature retained the earlier language requiring the engineer to maintain "a true and complete inventory of all road equipment . . .  ."  Accordingly, by this action the legislature has expressly placed upon the engineer the sole responsibility of maintaining this inventory.
 
            This conclusion, that the engineer, and not the commissioners, is responsible for the maintenance of the county road equipment inventory, is reinforced by reference to that portion of § 2, chapter 182, supra, which added a new subsection (2) to RCW 36.32.210.  This new subsection reads as follows:


 
            "(2) No county commissioner shall maintain official records which duplicate the records of the county road engineer or any part thereof."
 
             [[Orig. Op. Page 4]]
            To summarize our conclusions:  Each of the county commissioners is still required by RCW 36.32.210, as amended, to submit annually to his county auditor an inventory of all tools, machinery, equipment and supplies belonging to that commissioner's road district except that which is used in the repair, construction or maintenance of any county road.  The details to be covered in this inventory are spelled out in subparagraphs (i), (ii) and (iii) to subsection (a), and in subsection (b) of RCW 36.32.210, as amended.  The inventory of road equipment, however, formerly the responsibility of the commissioners is now required by RCW 36.80.060, as amended, to be maintained exclusively by the county road engineer.
 
            We trust that this information will be helpful to you.
 
Very truly yours,
 
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
 
 
Donald Foss, Jr.
Assistant Attorney General
 
 
                                                         ***   FOOTNOTES   ***
 
1/See, In re St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co., 7 Wn.2d 580, 110 P.2d 877 (1941).
 
2/See, State v. Houck, 32 Wn.2d 681, 203 P.2d 693 (1949).
 
3/However, by also adding the phrase "any public work" in the amendment to RCW 36.32.210, the legislature has required the submission of an inventory of all tools, machinery, equipment and appliances used or intended to be used on any such public work, except those attributable to county road projects.  You have furnished this office with a copy of the inventory maintained in the office of the county auditor, entitled "Recap of E[quipment] R[ental] and County Road [Equipment]."  To the extent that this inventory does not reflect tools, machinery, equipment and appliances used on county public words projects other than road projects, it obviously does not comply with RCW 36.32.210, as amended.
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