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County of Madera

California

Madera County – MC Alert Home

Madera County Emergency Warning System

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Madera County 311

At Your Service...

The Madera County 311 call center is now open to service you.  You can dial 311 anywhere within Madera County…

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STAGE 3 WATER CONSERVATION NOTICE

STAGE 3 WATER CONSERVATION NOTICE

On January 17, 2014, the Governor of California proclaimed a state of emergency due to the current drought conditions. On…

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Notice: Property Taxes Due 12/11/17

Notice: Property Taxes Due 12/11/17

To see or pay your property tax bill online go to: www.madera-county/treasurer Reminder: E-Checks are free

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Madera County Child Support Services in coordination with Madera Superior Courts

Madera County Child Support Services in coordination with Madera Superior Courts

Start the Year off right! Thursday January 4, 2018 9:00am to 3:00pm Child Support Warrant Release Event No Risk of…

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Live and Archived Board Meetings

Board Meetings

Access live and archived Board of Supervisors meetings as well as past and present meeting agendas and minutes.

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County Calendar

County Calendar

Click here to access the County Calendar of Events...  

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Permits Online

Available 24-hours a day...

Click here to access the County's Online Permitting system- available 24 hours a day

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About Madera County

Assessor

The Assessor is charged by State law with the responsibility of assessing all real and personal property in the County, except for public utility property, which is assessed by the State Board of Equalization. The Assessor appraises all property subject to general property taxation according to its value pursuant to Article XIII-A of the California Constitution. An assessment roll is produced each year listing the property, owner, location, description, and assessed value of the property.

Auditor-Controller

The Auditor-Controller is the chief accounting and disbursing officer of the County. The Auditor maintains the accounts of County government, School Districts, and most Special Districts. Taxation functions of this department include tabulating the assessed valuation of property, compiling tax rates of local government, preparing the tax roll, and controlling accounts for current and delinquent taxes. Additionally, this department apportions taxes to various local governments, ledgers, accounts, and County departments; allows or rejects claims against the County treasury; issues checks; maintains property inventory records; gives financial advice to County departments; compiles County and Special District budgets; and estimates revenue relative to the County budget.

Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors is the legislative and executive governing body of Madera County government. One Supervisor is elected from each of the five supervisorial districts of the County.

Within the limits prescribed by State law, the Board enacts ordinances and rules, determines County policy, supervises the activities of County departments, adopts an annual budget, and fixes salaries.

The Board meets regularly the first four Tuesdays of each month and occasionally on Mondays in the Board Chambers of the County Government Center in Madera. The public is invited to attend and participate. Any member of the public wishing to bring a matter to the attention of the Board may contact the Clerk of the Board so the item can be placed on the agenda.

Constables -- Madera, Borden, Chowchilla, and Sierra Judicial Districts

The Constables are responsible for performing civil duties within their respective judicial districts and serving as bailiffs when court is in session. Additionally, they are assigned the duty of serving civil processings.

District Attorney

The District Attorney is responsible for criminal prosecution of all violations of State and County law and also acts as legal counsel to the Grand Jury. The Department conducts investigations to supplement the work of other law enforcement agencies.

Under the auspices of the District Attorney's Office, the Family Support Office locates and obtains financial support from parents of children receiving public assistance who fail to provide said support. Additionally, this office is charged with the responsibility of initiating steps to enforce court orders regarding child support for civil cases and the establishment of paternity. The program reduces Welfare grants to AFDC cases by requiring absent parents to contribute to the support of their children.

County Clerk-Recorder

The County Clerk-Recorder is elected to office every four years, and is responsible for three distinct divisions: County Clerk, County Recorder, and Elections.

County Clerk division is charged with issuing public and confidential marriage licenses, performing civil marriage ceremonies, filing fictitious business name statements, accepting passport applications for the U.S. Department of State, and other miscellaneous ministerial duties.

County Recorder is charged with recording, indexing and permanently archiving all records of land transactions in Madera County. Records of all births, deaths and marriage events are on record with the Recorder division.

The Elections division of the department maintains records of registered voters in the county, and conducts local, state and federal elections in the county.

Sheriff-Coroner

The Sheriff is responsible for enforcement of State and County laws, the prevention of crime, and apprehension of criminals in the unincorporated areas of the County as well as the County-wide enforcement of court orders and processing of civil writs. The Sheriff provides service for the entire County, except for the cities of Madera and Chowchilla, which have their own police departments. The Sheriff's Department also provides criminal investigation, identification, records, and criminal warrant services for the entire County. Seasonal patrol services are also provided at Bass Lake.

As Coroner, the Sheriff investigates and determines the cause of death in the absence of a physician, or as the result of an accident or the criminal action or negligence of another person.

Consolidated Courts -- Madera, Borden, Chowchilla, and Sierra

The judges of the Courts are elected officials. The jurisdiction of the Municipal Court extends to civil cases involving no more than $15,000, small claims cases not exceeding $1,500, misdemeanor criminal and traffic cases, and felony preliminary examinations.

The Superior Court handles all matters appealed from the Municipal Courts and administrative agencies, small claims appeals, and is the Court of Original Jurisdiction in civil cases involving more than $15,000, all probate matters, felony cases, and Juvenile Court matters.

Court Administration: The Court Executive Officer qualifies jurors for all the Courts through questionnaires and interviews, draws and summons jurors, and maintains records of juror service. Additionally, this position acts as secretary to the presiding Superior Court judge, provides stenographic services to the Grand Jury, administers the Superior Court calendar, and obtains and coordinates the appointments of outside judges from the State Judicial Council to hear cases in which the regular judge is disqualified or for double settings. The Court Executive Officer oversees the processing of all legal filings for the Courts, collects all fees, handles fictitious business name statements, powers of attorney for sureties, completes acknowledgements and affidavits. The office makes monthly reports regarding court activity and processes all documents issuing from the Court.

Treasurer Tax Collector

The Tax Collector-Treasurer receives, safeguards, distributes, and invests County, School District, and Special District funds; collects taxes; opens and inventories safe deposit boxes; sells tax-defaulted land; and issues County business licenses.

There are 58 counties in the State of California and each, like Madera County, is a separate legal and political jurisdiction. Madera County is a general law county and operates in accordance with guidelines set forth by the State.

County government evolved to perform the duties of State and Federal government at the local level. For that reason, County government is often called the "arm of the State." Many State and Federal programs are administered by Madera County, such as: Social Services, Medicare, MediCal, Health, Mental Health, Public Assistance, Community Services, Agricultural Pest Detection, Civil Defense, and Veterans Services.

Madera County performs many additional services and programs. The following description has been simplified in order to explain County functions. No program or function operates exclusively in a vacuum. That is, there is overlap within the actual performance of these functions. 

County government is given the task of enforcing State and Federal law, as well as operating the Justice System. The Justice System is the second-most costly item in the County budget (Welfare programs are number one), and its appetite is growing. Included, within the Madera County Justice System, are the following departments: the District Attorney's Office; the Sheriff's Office, the Probation Department, the Department of Corrections, which operates the Adult Correctional Facility; the Public Defender's Office; the four Justice Courts and three Superior Courts; and the four Constable Offices.

State law requires Madera County to develop a "general plan" which is designed to serve as the basis for development and land use decisions throughout the County. The County updates this plan periodically and must enforce local building and development ordinances. The planning and inspection functions are performed by the Planning, Engineering, Environmental Health, and Road Departments.

Services to local citizens are an important function of Madera County government and are perhaps the most visible to the general population. Many of these services are required by State or Federal statute, but are not funded by the State or Federal government to any significant level. Because funding for many, but not all, of these services comes from the County's General Fund, it is often these direct services which are cut back if the County has money problems. These services include: the County Library System; the Community Action Programs (Action Committee); the Mental Health Department (Madera Counseling Center); the County Animal Control Department and Pound; the Sealer of Weights and Measures; the County Agriculture Department and University of California Agricultural Extension Services; the Public Guardian; the County Health, Road, and Fire Departments; and the Flood Control Agency.

In order to carry out the functions of Madera County government, an operational and administrative branch has been created. The Tax Collector-Treasurer collects the State property tax and other State fees. The Auditor-Controller tracks revenue and expenditures. The County Administrative Officer acts as a manager and submits the budget. Other offices in the government operations branch include the County Clerk-Recorder; the Engineering and General Services, Elections, Personnel, and Purchasing Departments; and the Central Garage.

The Board of Supervisors is the body charged by law to oversee the duties and functions of Madera County government. Supervisors work with the elected department heads and hire other department heads to run the various departments. The Board of Supervisors may set County policy, but works within the constraints of State and Federal law. It is the duty of the Board of Supervisors to submit a balanced budget to the State and "keep the ship afloat."

All County operations cost money, and perhaps the most intricate aspect of County government is the budget. Generally, the County operates on funding from the State and Federal governments, and property tax, sales tax, and fees generated locally. A complete breakdown of revenues and expenditures is given in another section.

The duties and functions of County government are broad and intricate. Madera County operates within the constraints of State and Federal law and maintains a balanced budget by statute. Earl Waters' essay on "Why city dwellers pay County taxes" sums up County government "...Counties are providing citizens with the best buy for their dollars of any level of government."

General County Contact

General County Contact
200 W. 4th Street
Madera, CA 93637
559-675-7703
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Use this number to get general information about the County or County departments.  

For non-emergency information or service, dial 311