County officials perform a variety of services, including maintaining records, providing court assistance and law enforcement, building roads, assessing property and collecting taxes. Some county official positions that perform these services are the clerk, assessor, coroner and the prosecuting attorney.
The county clerk, also known as the superior court clerk, is responsible for maintaining records of most court activities such as orders, judgments, and decrees issued by the court. The clerk also maintains court exhibits, administers oaths, manages the jury system and provides citizens with access to public court records.
The county assessor position also requires the maintenance of records such as tax assessor's parcel maps and legal descriptions of tax parcels. The assessor is mainly responsible for determining the value of taxable real and personal property of individuals and corporations. The assessor has an important position of power because he determines the tax liabilities of the various taxpayers of a district in an equitable manner.
The coroner or medical examiner is responsible for examining and conducting investigations into the deaths of county citizens. The coroner position in states such as Washington can also be filled by the county prosecuting attorney, if the county has a population that is less than 40,000.
In addition to undertaking the responsibilities of the coroner in certain counties, the county prosecuting attorney is also responsible for being the legal representative of the state in matters of court proceedings.