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MACo Vision Statement
MACo enhances the public service mission of counties by promoting integrity and providing proactive leadership while acknowledging and respecting Montana’s diversity.
1. to educate and develop relationships with legislators, state officials and local elected officials regarding county structure, budgeting and operation
2. to provide education on self-determination techniques such as charter government and functional consolidation, and facilitating agreements
3. to educate the public using press releases distributed to local media to market county government
4. to promote effective tax reform including consideration of general sales tax.
Suggested Action Steps for MACo Goals
Goal #1: to educate and develop relationships with legislators, state officials and local elected officials regarding county structure, budgeting and operations
During district meetings, prepare a packet or presentation for commissioners and for legislators:
- MACo provides a reception for legislators at which a brief packet of information is provided.
- Provide a hotline to MACo during legislative session that legislators can use to ask questions about pending bills.
- Invite some legislators to attend new county officials orientation.
- More commissioners should be present every day at the legislative sessions.
- Commissioners attending the legislature wear a button stating “Ask me about county government.”
- MACO Policy Statement modified and provided to legislators.
- Provide a follow-up to the session including a report card on how each legislator voted.
- Expand the box lunch.
- Lobbying starts at home, before the session.
- Conference calls with legislators.
Goal #2: to provide education on self-determination techniques such as charter government and functional consolidation, and facilitating agreements
- Provide a major workshop on the voter review process, and the implications of charter government, and functional consolidation and regionalizing services.
- Conduct a survey of existing interlocal agreements and models of alternative arrangements; an article in the MACo newsletter about the resources available.
- Develop a certification and continuing education credit program for commissioners. (An education committee was appointed.)
Goal #3: to better educate the public using press releases distributed to local media to market county government
- Ask NACo for training on how to effectively utilize the media.
- Develop the message with focus on what counties are accomplishing, so people can see what counties are actively doing.
- Pursue opinion/editorial features in newspapers, both issue-oriented and opinion-oriented.
- Provide a workshop to coach participants on what is important to write.
- MACo to send out news releases about meetings and what was done/discussed.
- MACo send news releases to individual counties to release to their local press.
- Create a media committee to advise MACo staff to develop the media concept. (A media committee was appointed.)
Goal #4: to promote effective tax reform including consideration of general sales tax
- MACo prepares and disseminates an opinion/editorial piece about counties’ support of broad-based tax restructuring.
- Educate public about tax bills--pie charts and other demonstrations to indicate property tax distributions.
- MACo to work with legislator Jim Peterson on comprehensive sales tax bill.