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93rd Annual MACo Conference Minutes


General Session - September 22, 2002

Big Sky, Montana

Dean Harmon, MACo President, Roosevelt County

The 93rd Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties convened at 9:00 am.  Ennis, Montana, Boy Scout Troop #1601 presented the colors and led the delegates in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County, provided Invocation. 

President Harmon introduced the head table:

  • Past President Gary Fjelstad
  • Parliamentarian John Prinkki
  • Fiscal Officer Dan Watson
  • 2nd Vice President Carol Brooker
  • 1st Vice President Victor Miller
  • Urban Representative Mike Murray
  • MACo Executive Director Gordon Morris

MEMORIAL RESOLUTION

C. Ted Coffman, Madison County

After reading of the Resolution and accepting additional names, the seconded motion to adopt the Memorial Resolution passed by unanimous consent and is hereby inserted in this record.

RESOLUTION IN MEMORIAM

WHEREAS, the members of the Montana Association of Counties, with great sorrow and a deep sense of loss, wish to remember and honor those members who have been taken by death since the last annual convention of our Association; and

WHEREAS, each of these county commissioners has rendered innumerable public services to his or her respective county, to the State of Montana and to the people thereof; and

WHEREAS, the absence of these persons is keenly felt as a great personal loss to their families, friends and colleagues;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Montana Association of Counties in conference duly assembled in Big Sky, Montana, this 23rd day of September, 2002, that the Association does hereby pay tribute to the memory of Commissioners:

  • Delane Beach, Fallon County
  • Don Corrigan, Lake County
  • Dallas “Pete” Hagfeldt, Daniels County
  • Burt Hurwitz, Meagher County
  • Art Koenig, Fallon County

And, on behalf of its members and the citizens of the State of Montana, does hereby express gratitude for their achievements and contributions to the public good of their counties and to Montana.

WELCOME

Dick Wiggins, Director, Big Sky Owners’ Association

Welcome to Big Sky, both the community and the resort!

Big Sky Owners Association formed in 1972 to function as quasi-government for the area.  The Association is unique because it oversees an area which straddles both Madison and Gallatin Counties.  We have experienced great growth, particularly in this upper area around the ski mountain.  In spite of economics elsewhere in Montana, Big Sky is growing.  We had our biggest number of skiers last year.

We are exploring the feasibility of forming a local government by holding town meetings and many committee meetings.  Our thanks go to Ted Coffman and the other commissioners for their support on this project.

It is an important part which county commissioners play in the everyday life of Montanans.  The current financial climate and the “big bill” have made it difficult and take your energy to do things well for the people.  I encourage you to keep up this good work.

Welcome and we hope you will have time to enjoy the big outdoors—golf, hiking and fishing--which we have here.

RESPONSE

Victor Miller, MACo First Vice President, Blaine County

Growing up on the High Line in Montana, I read about Chet Huntley.  He was from the small Montana town of Saco and had dreams beyond Montana.  I re-read some of his memoirs for this morning. He had a vision of what was the best Montana had to offer.  He scouted and found Big Sky, which had all ingredients to showcase our great State. 

In terms of what we all represent, as county officials who are doing the work of the people, we are also the best Montana has to offer.  We get it done, even though paths are sometimes laid out by State and Federal levels.

We are blessed to be here.  We now will work hard and play hard.  We will do this because we are all in this together.

ROLL CALL

Dan Watson, MACo Fiscal Officer, Rosebud County

At the call of the roll, 52 of the 55 member counties responded and Watson announced quorum present to conduct business. 

ANNOUNCEMENT

President Harmon announced that the E911 special revenue account is at risk.  Last session a senate bill threatened to sunset the funding.  Becky Berger is here to assist counties who are not yet in the E911 system.  Please stop by the 911 table in the exhibits to see her.

RESOLUTIONS

Mike Murray, Chair, Lewis and Clark County

Murray read the following Delegate Assembly Rules:

“Rule 1  Any resolution or bylaw change from a member district or county not submitted at the District meeting must be submitted to the Resolutions Committee no later than the Sunday before the Annual Convention in order to be presented to the Board of Directors for their approval.

Rule 2  Any resolution or bylaw change not submitted through Rule 1 will not be considered by the Delegate Assembly unless two-thirds of the delegates present and voting elect to suspend the rules to consider late proposals.  Late proposals shall be accompanied by copies for all delegates and shall be available prior to the Introduction and Consideration of Bylaw Changes or Resolutions.”

Murray announced all the “High Priority” Resolutions and added

  • 2002-39A  County Government’s Role in Relationship with State and Federal   Agencies
  • 2002-40B  Crediting Interest to Individual Funds
  • 2002-42 Allowing Payment of Fees and Taxes by Credit Card
  • For “Medium Priority”, he read the list and added
  • 2002-32   Annexation of Land Contiguous to Zoning Districts  (had been
  • tabled by Committee until re-drafted)
  • 2002-41 Increased Funding for New Cooperative Extension Service Positions
  • 2002-43 Counties with Less than 15,000 Population Allowed to Create an Office of County Auditor

He announced that 2002-44  Evacuation Refusal Authority had been tabled at the Board of Directors Meeting.   It was to be referred to Montana Sheriff and Peace Officers Association.

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, moved that the Resolutions as listed be accepted for action at General Session on Wednesday.  The motion was seconded and passed.

Murray announced that on Wednesday, the session to segregate resolutions for discussion will occur.  He called for further resolution introductions. 

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County, moved that Resolution 2002-45 Alter Fire District or Fire Service Area Boundaries upon Municipal Annexation be considered with the high priority resolutions.  The motion was seconded and passed. 

Ed Arnott, Judith Basin County, asked that a resolution on endangered species be allowed for introduction on Wednesday.  Chair Murray explained that there will need to be a motion to suspend rules at that time in order to have introduction of the resolution.

BYLAWS AMENDMENTS

Gary Fjelstad, MACo Past President, Rosebud County

Most of the proposed amendments were brought forth during the Glendive conference

as a result of the process there.  They were presented at district meetings.

AMENDMENT ONE

Article III  OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section IV DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

c)  The Executive Committee shall serve as an Evaluation Committee for purposes of annually evaluating the performance of the Executive Director by surveying the member Boards of County Commissioners.  Such evaluation shall be reported to the Board of Directors.

This will allow every county’s board to have input on the executive director evaluation.

AMENDMENT TWO

Article V EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Section 1  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

(add paragraph to existing text)

The hiring of an Assistant Director by the Executive Director requires the concurrence of the Executive Committee and confirmation by the Board of Directors.

This will allow the Executive Board to participate in the hiring of the Assistant Director.

AMENDMENT THREE

Article VI  BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 3  DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

j)  function as the nominating committee and select at least two candidates each for the offices of Second Vice President and Fiscal Officer.  No candidate can be nominated and run for two offices simultaneously.  Nominations may be made at district meetings of county commissioners and submitted to the Board.

AMENDMENT FOUR

Article IX  ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND PROCEDURES

Section 4  NOMINATIONS

c)  All nominations will be remain open until the time of the election during the closing closed at the conclusion of the opening general session.

This will allow nominations to remain open until election, to always have an opportunity to nominate a candidate.

The first four amendments will become effective upon adjournment of this Annual Conference and will not affect this year’s meeting.

AMENDMENT FIVE

Article III  OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1  OFFICERS

The officers are the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Class 1-A  County Representative, Fiscal Officer and the Past President, all of whom must be qualified and acting commissioners of member counties.  The officers shall serve as the Executive Committee.  These officers, excluding the Class 1A County Representative, will be elected at the annual conference by the membership.  No two of these officers shall be from the same county.  They shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified, so long as they shall remain in county office as county commissioners. 

William Duffield, Fallon County

The issue was not that there were two candidates from same county, but that the Bylaws required two candidates for each election.

Gayle Morris, Cascade County

How will these amendments affect the Urban Counties representative?

Fjelstad responded that the Urban Counties Representative is determined by urban counties, not by the conference delegates as a whole.

Todd Devlin, Prairie County

I brought this concern up at the last conference.  You may have thought I was picking on big counties, but rather I was pointing out the possibility that three of six people on our Executive Committee could be from same urban county. 

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

Urban counties are meeting twice during this conference to discuss this. 

Janet Kelly, Custer County

What is the effective date on this proposal?  If we delay until our next annual conference, then this next year’s session will allow nominations as we do now--with the possibilities of double/triple representation.  It is unwise and unfair.

Chair Fjelstad responded that the amendments would not affect currently serving officers but  we are facing a shuffle as a result of Vic Miller’s situation. 

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

The Urban County Representative is the only position excluded.  What if the rural counties later want to put on a representative?

Bill Tande, Daniels County

What is the process to appoint a second vice president and why not change the amendments to become effective in 2002?

Chair Fjelstad responded that the Bylaws allow the President to appoint a new second vice president, if there is a vacancy.   A change in an effective date can be made by amendment on Wednesday.

Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County

I need a flow chart to show the possible shuffling that will need to be done. 

ANNOUNCEMENT

President Harmon suggested minimizing reports and reminded the delegates to fill out workshop evaluation forms.  The evaluations are used to determine future workshops.

He also reminded everyone that the biographical forms need to be completed to assist the next president in appointing MACo committees.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Dean Harmon, Roosevelt County

Your involvement in upcoming legislative session is needed.  The most important thing is to make your county felt.  For example during the recent session, there was a proposal to limit the requirement for the State to pay detention centers for state held prisoners.  When it came up in committee, we counties lined up.   The sponsor admitted that she wrote it and that she made a mistake.  We made a difference. 

I urge all of you to get in for this session and help protect all of us.

FISCAL OFFICER’S REPORT Dan Watson, Rosebud County

You have a copy of 2002 final report and proposed 2003 budget.  To summarize, 2002 report shows a one-time expense and revenue for the WIR convention.  Revenue from the Billings WIR convention exceeded expenses by $8,000.  This money will be held for bids on future conferences.

Overall, revenue exceeded expenditures by about $200,000.  About $15,000 was shifted to capital items.  This is not reflected on the expenditure report.

The Committee members were Frank Nelson, Madison County; Alan Underdal, Toole County; William Duffield, Fallon County; Mike Hutchin, Lake County; Gayle Morris, Cascade County; and Sandra Boardman, Clerk and Recorder from Blaine County.

Gayle Morris, Cascade County

On the 2003 projection for revenues, does it reflect a general increase in dues or is it reflecting the increase for the proposed IT position?

Watson responded that the increase was primarily due to changes in the classification of some counties.   The IT position would be in a separate line item.

NACo  INTERNET UNIVERSITY (NIU)

Lois Kampinsky

It is very difficult for NACo to do workshops at every conference.  At some big conferences there are up to 50 workshops, so it is hard to reach everyone.  So, NACo partnered with US Department of Transportation to develop training to be accessed over the Internet.  This allowed the size of the libraries to be big enough to offer at low cost. 

The slogan for the sessions is “e-learning for county problem solving”.  There are 500 courses in each of the libraries.  The libraries are Information Technology Library and the Professional Skill Development Library.  A county can purchase access to the full library for use by individuals or by groups.  The fee is $195 per person per year for access.  No individual courses are sold. The courses are in text format, with some visuals.  There are two free courses, one in Risk Management and one in Retirement Planning. 

NACo is hoping to work with state associations to promote the use of NIU.  More information on NIU can be found at www.nacoiu.org

STATE ASSUMPTION OF DISTRICT COURTS

Chief Justice Karla Gray, Montana Supreme Court

The district court assumption was MACo’s bill.  Implementation was handed to us after the end of the legislative session.  On July 1, 2001, we started assumption with one year to implement.  Employees, programs and policies were ready on time-July 1, 2002!  No one had a clue what they were asking us to accomplish in one year.  The District Court Council consists of five voting members (myself and four district court judges) and four non-voting members.  Mike Hutchin of Lake County is your representative. 

The employee part is where counties did well and the judicial branch will have real problems in future.  We assumed 275 employees from counties.  With them, we assumed 44,000 hours of annual leave, 91,000 hours of sick leave and 4,000 hours of excess annual leave.  Legislators were aghast to learn of these benefit obligations.  This item alone results in about $1 million of unfunded liability.  Excess annual leave must be used by March first of 2003.  Many of our employees will be away from jobs.  We grew from a branch of 61 employees to 330 employees in one swoop.

Appropriation is $18.3 million for this year; those numbers were based on county reports to DOR.  Even though $25 million was the original amount, we were significantly under-funded.  There was no funding for IT and connecting to state system, which by itself is quarter million a year.  The District Court Council approved, at MACo’s suggestion, an initial reimbursable cost rate of 65% during the first year, with the understanding that the rate might be reduced as the year goes on.  It is up for reconsideration in October.  This percentage will not go up.  Funding for the new judgeships in Cascade and Ravalli Counties was obtained during the special session; it had been missed during last regular session.

The future?  We must work together on budget and funding areas.  We are far behind schedule; our budget is just now going over to the Budget Office.  For indigent defense (estimated at $12+ million), for IT, for the employee pay plan, it is critical that  we get the needed budget.  A future test is the reallocation of resources among the district courts.  The bottom line is that someone has to pay    I don’t care if it‘s the state or the counties, although during the last session, the state said it would do it.  For me to run this, anything we don’t get from the legislature to run and fund the courts adequately, WILL BE PUSHED BACK ON YOU.  The judicial branch will not be under-funded, so we need your help on the budgeting side to keep this from falling back on you.  When we get the budget to the Budget Office, we will have a clearer picture.

For IT, we are proposing increasing the surcharge fee from $5 to $10.  We need an increase of around $2 million out of general fund in next session for IT.  It's not very likely we can get it given the state's fiscal straits, so we are trying to backfill the IT funding through the surcharge.  We must have your support on this fee.  We cannot operate our branch without adequate IT funding and coverage.  Whatever our squabbles may be about the surcharge, we need your support for this bill.

Another legislative proposal is to clean up the state assumption bill, such as to provide an exemption from workers comp. for independent contractor court reporters, etc.  We're not proposing any substantive changes to state assumption, just trying to get the money we need to run the state courts.  This is still your bill and any changes the legislature might want to make are legislative issues.

One area reviewed by the Judiciary is the mandate enumerating involuntary and youth court proceedings to determine what are district court costs and what are not.  Indigent defense should be state, not county, expense.  We identified which functions and portions of the process are judicial branch costs and we followed current law in doing that.  We did identify some costs that are executive functions, but did not try to say whether a state executive agency or the counties should be paying. 

QUESTIONS

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

Reimbursements still aren’t done for ’02.  Will FY ’03 be like this year?

Because of staffing levels, the need to get state assumption up by July 1, the special session and the upcoming regular session, we are tardy with this and with other things.  Right now we are a full month behind in getting the budget to the Budget Office.  I apologize for being late.  We will get caught up as soon as we can and stay current after.

Jim Deckert, Dawson County

Whose responsibility is it to keep law libraries current?

Law libraries were for the county, the public and the courts.  The county part and the public part are not coming under assumption.  We are paying for basic resources for judges and staffs only.

What is the definition of legal resources for staff and for the district?   The expectation is that the law library will be kept current.  In a multi-county district, is that the responsibility of our county alone?  Other counties have not helped.  We are confused about how to handle it.

I don’t know how this will shake out in multi-county districts.  If what you have is a public, county employee AND judicial law library, we are not funding library materials for a public and county law library.  We are funding only minimally adequate resources for judges and staff. 

Harold Blattie, MACo Assistant Director

In no place in statute does it state that a county is responsibility to maintain county law library.  How the District Court Council chooses to distribute money is yet to be known. 

Judges themselves have just this week begin noticing that their resources are inadequate and this will be taken up at the next meeting. 

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

If the moneys we sent for the law library have gone to district courts, and we have our own library open to public, will the court use it?

We will fund research resources as we said, but funding is so low.  Judiciary will not fund public access library, only minimal legal resources

Mary Sexton, Teton County

ACLU sued on indigent defense; we hope to have counties out and shifted to state.  Won’t public defenders have access to the law library?

I cannot comment as this relates to lawsuits.  Will public defender costs come back to counties during the next session?  It depends.  I think the bottom line is that what I cannot get to cover our costs, the fall-back to the counties will not end July 2003, but will continue so that counties will stay on the hook.  We need to work together on big ticket items.

Art Kleinjan, Blaine County

I don’t feel comfortable contracting for public defenders.  When we negotiate a contract, we are spending your money, which you may not have.  It was amazing that the lawyers made sizeable increases in bids to us.

The Judiciary is not the employer of public defenders, so we have no contractual authority to hire them.  Frankly I am not interesting in having them.  Part of these questions may be answered at the end of ACLU lawsuits.  There is a proposal out there to create a public defender commission to take on statewide management/contracting.  Your Resolution 2002-35 is to consider this.  Senator Walter McNutt of Sidney will carry this. 

Jim Reno, Yellowstone County

What is your position on justice of the peace courts as a court of record?

We have no position.  We have no position on the "Larry Herman" bill. 

(Justice of Peace Larry Herman, Yellowstone County)

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County

Sizeable increases in support staff salaries were given by district court judges.   Is there consideration for consolidating support staff as a cost saving measure?

Are we looking consolidating judicial districts?  No, and I don’t anticipate doing that.  

Raises given just before transition made the Governor’s Budget Office unhappy.  However, nothing can be done about it now.  We had to take employees over at their existing rates of pay on July 1.  I wrote to district judges who ran up budgets via sizeable salary increases, stating that they harmed other districts by doing that.

Cutting staff?  Certainly not.  Some districts are understaffed; most are probably at adequate staffing levels.  I don’t know about any over-staffing. 

Elaine Mann, Broadwater County

County funding is hard to find.  We don’t mind helping as we can.  How can we help support you to get funding from the legislature?

That is part of your MACo legislative strategy.  You’ll be hearing from Gordon and Harold when we need help from you.  I don’t want costs back in your laps, but I can’t do this by myself.

We had this bill because judges could order us to do things.  Can they order you?

No

In the area of public defense, judges often don’t ask if there are other means for reimbursement.  They seem afraid of lawsuits for inadequate defense, so they just allow reimbursement from the county without asking each case if there are other sources.

Statutes require judges to ask about other sources available to pay for defense.  If there is a problem out there, I have not been aware of it or of their not asking.  If the judges are not requiring legal showing for appointment of public defense, then they are not operating right and I need to know.  If you can document any examples, I will be happy to look into it.

Pat Conway, Hill County

When the legislature funds at certain levels, and the counties are to pick up the tab for the leftovers costs, who will watch the expansion?

Judges are aware they have lost control over their funding.  I keep trying to get them to understand that the legislature now has control of FTEs.  The judges will not run wild, because neither I nor the District Court Council nor the legislature will stand for it.

Harold Blattie, MACo Assistant Director

Please elaborate on the efforts of the Council on the analysis for workload and staffing.

Resource reallocation by the District Court Council has just begun.  State assumption has been an enormous workload, but we are through the first year. We are behind in the budgeting process, but now we are beginning to look at workloads, staffing, costs, etc. in the various district courts to come up with what costs are minimally adequate.  We want to move the have-not judges up without separately increasing the size of the pie.  We hope to find the cheapest quickest way to get to equalization of the district courts, so that all will have at least minimal resources.  It is going to be a painful process

The notion of the five of us refereeing disputes regarding needs and funding among district courts is not an attractive prospect, but we will do it as well as we can.   State assumption is and will continue to be a work in progress and I hope we can work together.

Earl Martin, Granite County

In past we have had District Court command us to raise their budget.

You must call us the instant that happens.  444-2623 is my direct number.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT CENTER, MSU

Jane Jelinski, Director

You will be receiving a letter from the Local Government Center.  Recently the Montana Department of Health and Human Services has received funds for homeland bio-terrorism training.  They have contracted with us to convene a summit for public health officers.  We have had a difficult time identifying the part-time and shared health officers.  We ask you to encourage all health officers to attend the meeting in November.  Travel expenses will be paid by the grant.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT

Dean Harmon, President

The slate of candidates is:

  • President:  Victor Miller, Blaine County
  • First Vice President:  Carol Brooker, Sanders County
  • Second Vice President:  Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County
  • John Prinkki, Carbon County

President Harmon called for further nominations.  Seeing none, the motion to close nominations was seconded and passed.

2003 CONFERENCE SITE

Joe Spika, Fergus County

MACo 2003 Conference will be in Lewistown, hosted by Fergus County.  We invite and welcome you all.  All facilities are ready, including our two golf courses.

2004 CONFERENCE SITE

Dean Harmon, President

Cascade, Missoula and Yellowstone Counties have indicated their bids.  Voting will be on Wednesday morning.

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

We invite you to choose Missoula County, where Lewis and Clark visited, named the Clarks Fork River and had the first Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi near Missoula.  Convention hotel will be the Holiday Inn.  Missoula is a walkable community with ten acres of parks and trails along the river and a free trolley.  We promise great food.  The packets before you have brochures.

Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County

In Great Falls, the Best Western Heritage Inn will host us with no meeting room charges.  The center has had extensive remodeling.   Lewis and Clark spent 23 days in the area; we are asking you to spend three in 2004.

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

Yellowstone County withdraws its bid in order to bid on WIR next year.

LUNCHEON SPEAKER WAS KAREN MILLER, boone county Missouri, NACo VICE PRESIDENT AND INCOMING NACo PRESIDENT.  TEXT OF HER PRESENTATION IS ATTACHED TO THE MINUTES.  (Attachment One)

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2002

COMMITTEE REPORTS

TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE

Vern Petersen, Fergus County

Our last two meetings dealt with resolutions, so my report is on that.

2002-9  County Use of State Waters

We endorsed this and we have a sponsor.

2002-12  Surveying Contracts

This is for the request for proposal (rfp) process.  We’ll be working with professionals and their lobbying organizations so that we will not be blindsided.

2002-16  Revising Competitive Bidding Requirements

Currently, over $5,000 we have to contract.  We will attempt to get that out.  We have both Senate and House sponsors.  We have been working with Contractors Association.  This is not an easy bill.

For all of these, please go to legislators before they go to Helena to make them aware of what we are trying to do.

2002-27  Municipal Annexations to Include Streets and Roads

We would like to see them take the entire rights of way, rather than only to the center of the road.  The City Manager in Lewistown, points out that if they annex entire right of way then they have adjoining strip of land, but they cannot asses it for maintenance funds.  So we will need a little more work to solve this problem

2002-28  County Ability to Set Lower Speed Limits

The Committee doesn’t support this resolution.  We will talk about it tomorrow during the Resolution discussions.

2002-29  City Funding and Maintenance of Bridges

We recommended that this Resolution be tabled.

2000 10  Prevailing Wage Rate Requirements

2000-11  Bidding Requirements for Local Governments

2000-32  Limitation on County Road and Bridge Depreciation Reserve Funds

These are all repeats.  There should not be any problems.

Purchase of easements across state school sections was heavily discussed in the Committee.  This is a Constitutional issue at both the state and federal levels.  We are not sure how we are going to solve this, if we have to change constitutions. However, we can make good arguments that we are providing county roads with no one else participating.  We need prescriptive easements for these roads.

TAXATION, FINANCE AND BUDGET COMMITTEE

Dan Watson, Rosebud County

1998-26  Ownership of Records

We recommend not reaffirming this resolution because SB 176 addresses it.

1998-18  Safeguarding County Interest Income

We OK’d this.

1999-8  Revisions to County Capital Improvement Program Laws

Reaffirm

1999-7  County Treasurer Duties and Responsibilities--Reaffirm

2002-6  Continue Entitlement Growth Rate of at Least 3%

We agree with the “table” because of HB 18 and the formula from HB 124.

2002-26  Interlocal Agreements to Create Regional Jails

The “do pass” recommendation came from Public Safety Committee.  Our committee recommended “do not pass” because we questioned why MACo should be paying for only those counties that are interested in regional jails.  This is not an obligation of the Association.

2002-34  Prevent State Deductions from County Monies

We recommend “do pass” as proposed.  We discussed clarifying code language.

2002-35  State Public Defender System

Do Pass

2002-40B  Crediting Interest to Individual Funds

We concur because this gives commissions the authority to decide distribution.

2002-42  Allowing Payment of Fees and Taxes by Credit Card

We concur and we want to find the State Code section, which may authorize state government but just mentions local government.  We want to specify counties.

RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

We have two new resolutions.

2002-10A Payment of Local Registrar Fees. 

This will be segregated as a new or changed resolution.  It is being printed and will be available tomorrow.  It adds a proposed language change.

2002-45 To Alter Fire District or Fire Service Area Boundaries upon Municipal Annexation has been given a “do pass with high priority” recommendation and was referred to Public Lands Committee.

PUBLIC LANDS COMMITTEE

Connie Eissinger, McCone County

Wally Congdon, Missoula, an attorney working with Beaverhead County as an advisor on cooperating agency statute, informed the Committee on how important it is to have a resource plan in place as part of your growth plan.  We would like to have  MACo’s assistance in getting us together in a workshop on growth plans. 

2002-39  Establishing County Role with State and Federal Agencies

The Committee made a minor change this morning in the second “Be It Resolved” section by adding Section “F”.

Elaine Allestad, who is serving on a committee on endangered species, requests copies of land use plans which have language on endangered species to use in her committee work.  

LAND USE PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE

Howard Gipe, Flathead County

2002-30  Charging Fees for Process Exemption Applications

2002-32S  Annexation of Land Contiguous to Zoning Districts

2002-45  Alter Fire District or Fire Service Area Boundaries upon Municipal Annexation

There will be a Growth Planning meeting at 9:00 am on October 24th.  We invite any counties with growth problems to the MACo office.  Growth policies have major problems, along with district courts and the Big Bill.

JUSTICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE

Dan Gutebier, Park County

2002-26  Interlocal Agreements to Create Regional Jails

We recommend passing, although the recommendation was not that MACo would pay for a study.  Regardless of how it turns out, please contact the Committee because we will be moving ahead.

2002-35  State Public Defender System

This is a resolution for administration. 

2000-25  Detention Costs for Department of Corrections Inmates

The State should pay for incarceration costs.  The last legislature didn’t pass this proposal.  It has been given a “Do Pass with Low Priority” recommendation.  We think it should be changed to “High Priority” because it affects every county.  Even though this will be hard to pass, we need to keep on this.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

Chair Kennedy introduced Gail Gray, Director of Department of Public Health and Human Services, and John Chappuis, Deputy Director.

2002-8  Administration of Indigent Defense and Youth in Need of Care

The Committee supports state assumption and supports the high priority.

2002-19  Communities as Focal Points for Mental Health Services

We are working with county attorneys and peace officers on regional services

2002-20  Increase Assessment on Medicaid Provider Rate

All of us serve on boards and know rates haven’t changed in years.

2002-21  Retain Control of Substance Abuse Dollars

This is about the money that was switched from substance abuse funds and other money shifted in.  We would like to go back to original SB 264, providing a cap with dollars coming back to counties.  The sunset provision from the special session is supported.

2002-22  Reimbursement for Increased Indirect Costs

We have gone back and forth with DPHHS for forgiveness on money owed by counties.  We are asking for reimbursement for those who did pay the bill.

2002-23  Prisoner Medical Expenses Assumed by the State

We may make changes in this from all medical expenses being assumed to

if prisoner has personal insurance or is eligible for Medicaid, then that should be used.  The costs would revert back to county on the third step if nothing was available from insurance or Medicaid.  We want to use other insurance before the cost comes back to counties.

2002-24  Involuntary Commitment Expenses Paid by the State

We want to expand costs assumed by state to include transportation and lodging.  County attorneys and Sheriffs/Peace Officers have been included in discussions. 

2002-25  Mental Health Pre-commitment Costs

We think that other services should be used before coming back to the counties.  We ask that counties be payers of last resort, so that if there is other insurance, it is used before counties pay.

2002-37  Funding of Summer Youth Employment Program

2002-38  Maintain Standard Utility Allowance Through FY 2003

We will continue to work to carry funds through.

2000-3  Funding for Local Boards of Health Inspections

We met with public health officers and will work with them.  Jean Curtis will take lead.

AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE

Kathy Bessette, Hill County

We have three resolutions and a fourth (2002-41) from this morning.

2002-3 Wildlife Management to Prevent Depredation of Crops

Elaine Mann, Broadwater County, brought this to us.  We have a sponsor.

2002-4 Local Drought Advisory Committees

These are both “High Priority.”

2002-5 County Weather Station Project

This is “Medium Priority.”  The State Drought Advisory Committee requested results of the surveys from the new county weather stations because the information has soil conditions.  The National Drought Committee will use this information, too, if the information can get to them.  Ed Diemert, Liberty County, and Tom Gordon, Toole County, are to be commended because they helped establish this.

2002-41  Increased Funding for New Cooperative Extension Service Positions

The concern from the Committee and from visitors to our meeting is that if the new 8½ positions were funded, what would happen to counties which have no positions now because of the hiring freeze.  We made recommendations which will be presented tomorrow.  Dr. Bryant,  MSU Extension, was on hand to help in discussion.  Chair Bessette introduced Dr. Bryant and thanked him for his help.

Weeds and water rights were also discussed.  The Committee will be watching other groups and will be proactive instead of reactive.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

Mary Sexton, Teton County

Main reason for Board Resolution 2002-1 is a matter of fiscal responsibility and efficiency.  Large counties have information technology support, but not others.  There is continued complexity and change in information technology.  MACITA has been dormant recently because of lack of communication, so their assisting counties has been quiet.

How will this position be funded?

It is the intent that this position become self-funded.  For the first two years, the State (Information Technology Services Division) will fund half the costs.  ITSD is an enterprise entity, outside the State general fund.   The other half will come from a 25% dues assessment for a two year period.  The intent is to have the second year be much less, with the assessments ranging from $5 to $1,700 a year.

What will be the benefit for large counties?

Bulk purchasing

Standardization among counties

Communications among counties and between counties and the State

Are other office holders participating?  Will they have ‘outsiders’ telling them what to do?

No, this would have outside information available, which could be of use to other department heads and staffs.

What will be the continued State involvement?

The position will be overseen by MACo IT Committee and housed at MACo.  The position can be used by all counties for communication, technical assistance and coordination.

A SYNOPSIS OF THE PRESENTATION BY DEE LEE, “GROW YOUR OWN NEST EGG,” IS ATTACHED TO THESE MINUTES.  (Attachment Two)

COMMENTS FROM THE HONORABLE JUDY MARTZ, GOVERNOR OF MONTANA ARE ATTACHED TO THESE MINUTES.  (Attachment Three)

The remainder of the day consisted of choices of the following workshops:

  • Rules for Lobbying  Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County, Moderator
  • Joseph Mazurek, Attorney-at-Law and Lobbyist
  • Mona Jamison, Attorney-at-Law and Lobbyist
  • Gordon Morris, MACo Executive Director
  • The Top Ten Ways to Guarantee Employee Lawsuits
  • Jack Holstrom, MACo JPIA Personnel Services
  • Intergovernmental Transfers  Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County, Moderator
  • Mike Hanshew, DPHHS Long Term Care
  • Legislative Lobbying Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County, Moderator
  • Senator Emily Stonington, Bozeman
  • Joseph Mazurek, Attorney-at-Law and Lobbyist
  • Mona Jamison, Attorney-at-Law and Lobbyist
  • Contemporary Issues   Dean Harmon, MACo President, Roosevelt County
  • Gordon Morris, MACo Executive Director
  • Harold Blattie, MACo Assistant Director
  • Welfare Reform Update   Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County, and
  • Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, co-moderators
  • Janet Bush, Missoula Childcare Resources
  • Patty Guiberson, Butte Regional Field Office
  • Joan Brenner, Four County Welfare Director

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

GENERAL SESSION

President Dean Harmon called the session to order. 

Fiscal Officer Dan Watson conducted the roll call and announced that 53 of the 55 member counties were present.

President Harmon read sections of a letter from US Senator Max Baucus which focused on highway funding and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).  (Full text of the Baucus letter is  Attachment Four at the end of these minutes.)

Parliamentarian John Prinkki reviewed the MACo Delegate Assembly Rules and announced that the Chair would use discretion on any debates in order to move the proceedings forward.  The intent of the session is to go through all the resolutions and allow segregation for any to be discussed.

President Harmon encouraged full debate with focus on effective and concise debates.

Each county has one vote.

RESOLUTIONS

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

Although not an agenda item, Murray announced that the Urban Counties Coalition has elected Howard Gipe, Flathead County, as its MACo Board member for the upcoming year.

HIGH PRIORITY RESOLUTIONS

The following “High Priority” resolutions were segregated for debate:

  • 2002-4 2002-28
  • 2002-10A 2002-35
  • 2002-23 2002-39
  • 2002-26 2002-45

A motion by Mark Rehbein, Richland County, to pass all high priority resolutions, except those segregated was seconded by Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County.   Motion passed.

HIGH PRIORITY RESOLUTIONS

  • 2002-1 Wireless Communication Standardized Regulations
  • 2002-2 Internet Motor Vehicle Registration Renewal
  • 2002-3 Wildlife Management to Prevent Depredation of Crops
  • 2002-8 Administration of Indigent Defense ad Youth in Need of Care
  • 2002-9 County Use of State Waters
  • 2002-11 Compensation of Election Judges
  • 2002-12 Architectural, Engineering and Land Surveying Contracts
  • 2002-14 Amending the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act
  • 2002-15 Exempt Levies Pledged Against Indebtedness
  • 2002-16 Revising Competitive Bidding Requirements
  • 2002-17 Clarifying Public Officer Participation in Organizations
  • 2002-18 Expand the Definition of “Elected Official”
  • 2002-19 Communities as Focal Points for Mental Health Services
  • 2002-20 Increase Assessment on Medicaid Provider Rate
  • 2002-21 Retain Control of Substance Abuse Dollars
  • 2002-22 Reimbursement for Increased Indirect Costs
  • 2002-24 Involuntary Commitment Expenses Paid by the State
  • 2002-25 Mental Health Pre-commitment Costs
  • 2002-30 Charging Fees for Processing Exemption Applications
  • 2002-33 Local E-Government Convenience Fees
  • 2002-34 Prevent State Deductions from County Monies
  • 2002-37 Funding of the Summer Youth Employment Program
  • 2002-38 Maintain Standard Utility Allowance Through FY 2003
  • 2002-40 Crediting Interest to Individual Funds
  • 2002-42 Allowing Payment of Fees and Taxes by Credit Card

Resolution 2002-4  Local Drought Advisory Committees

William Duffield, Fallon County

Will this make it mandatory that every county have a drought committee?

Kathy Bessette, Hill County, Agriculture Committee Chair

No. The resolution recommends the creation of drought committees.

Ed Diemert, Liberty County

This resolution came from State Drought Committee.  They want to get information from the local levels so that they can make good decisions.

William Duffield moved that 2002-04 be passed as high priority.  The motion was seconded and passed.

Resolution 2002-10  Payment of Local Registrar Fees

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

Gallatin County does 10,000 certificates a year.  The law is not clear that we can charge for the work.  The fee, when properly allowed, should go to county coffers.  The proposed language in Section 4 should say that the “registrar should be employed by the county.”

Carl Seilstad, Fergus County

It’s not the county but the state which picks the registrar.  If we put in “should”, we would have to pay the state employee directly, which we think is double dipping.  We want to make them legal also.

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

For some things, we pay the State Department of Health.  So in that last paragraph, if it’s met the approval of the clerk and recorder, it makes us legal to pay the department.  In some of the counties, you would pay people who are not county employees.

Vic Miller, Blaine County

Sandy Boardman is here representing the Clerks and Recorders.  I would

like her to tell us what they think.

Sandy Boardman, Clerk and Recorder Association

We have questions.  If registrar is employed by county and is and elected official, is the elected official considered an employee?

Carl Seilstad, Fergus County

If an elected official is paid by county, then that person would be considered an employee.

Sandy Boardman, Clerk and Recorders Association

We have not considered an elected official as an employee.

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

As an elected official, if you are asked who is your employer, you put the county.  We had concerns with first draft and we think amendment will work for us.  I support the change in the proposed language.

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

If you are elected AND you are paid again, it is double dipping.

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County

Sandy, did the clerk and recorders support this at your convention?

Sandy Boardman, Clerk and Recorders Association

The changes allow us to support the resolution.

Carl Seilstad, Fergus County moved to adopt the resolution.  Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County, seconded and the motion carried.

Resolution 2002-23  Prisoner Medical Expenses Assumed by State

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

In the last paragraph, in the “Now, therefore, be it resolved”, we wouldn’t have a prayer if state were to assume all costs.  However, if there is another source  for funds that would pick up the costs, then county could be  last resort.

Parliamentarian Prinkki stated that there was to be a motion to adopt the resolution before it could be amended.

A motion to adopt was presented by Carol Keinenberger, Phillips County, and Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County, seconded the motion.

A motion by Bill Kennedy to amend the resolution in the final paragraph to read …”would require the county to be the payer of last resort for all medical expenses of county prisoners.”  The motion to amend was seconded and passed. 

The motion to adopt the resolution as amended was seconded and passed.

Resolution 2002-26  Interlocal Agreements to Create Regional Jails

A motion by William Duffield, Fallon County, to adopt the resolution with “do not pass” recommendation was seconded.

William Duffield, Fallon County

The Budget Committee recommended “do not pass” for this resolution because a group of counties should be able to come up with their own plan.  The Justice Committee had it as a “high priority”.

Todd Devlin, Prairie County

Why was this resolution considered?

John Prinkki, Carbon County

John Pretty on Top requested the resolution following the meetings with Yellowstone County to house prisoners.  However, the issue in the resolution involves the expansion of any jail.  This question arose, “If a county had the need to expand, could other counties be able to utilize the new facility?”  Counties around Yellowstone County had a facilitated discussion.  We were not able to sponsor discussions in other counties but other commissioners need to know about this issue.  If we have contract with a county to house our prisoners, and a debt is incurred for a new facility, we need a way to work on the new expenses.  Examples from other states may not fit our state, so we thought it would be better that MACo support some entity other than a host county to facilitate discussion.  We need to look at regional jails and we need options to help host counties expand.

William Duffield, Fallon County

This sets a precedence.  We felt this was not appropriate for MACo.  Counties could group together as they need.

Alan Thompson, Ravalli County

Would this resolution include juvenile detention?

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

No

John Prinkki, Carbon County

Those systems do not have juvenile detention facilities, but this is a good example of how this would be helpful for the whole Association to look at this, not just the host county. 

Frank Nelson, Madison County

We had this in the Finance Committee.  All counties can do studies which cost about $2000.  I don’t think this is a big enough deal that MACo should be paying for it. 

John Pretty on Top, Big Horn County

This started because of my request to look at this system.  Liability of jails is big concern.  Original planning was not adequate.  Current requirements are beyond what we can afford.  We thought our counties could go ahead with this, but realized other counties have same problem. 

John Prinkki, Carbon County

In the process there will be options.  We can do this ourselves locally, but we may not pick options that fit other counties.  So we think everyone should be at planning table.

Todd Devlin, Prairie County

If you do it locally and pay for it, will you share the findings?

John Prinkki, Carbon County

Yes, we will share, but it may not fit your situation.

Motion to “do not pass” was defeated on voice vote.  A show of hands was requested and indicated 17 for “do not pass” and 29 against “do not pass”.

Motion to adopt “Do Pass” recommendation was seconded and carried.

2002-28  County Ability to Set Lower Speed Limits

Vern Petersen, Fergus County, moved for a “do not pass” recommendation.  Jamie Doggett, Meagher County, seconded. 

Vern Petersen, Fergus County

There was no support in the Transportation Committee.  He asked Committee members to comment.

  Eric Griffin, Lewis and Clark County Road Supervisor; MACRS

As the state statute reads now, we already have consistency.  According to the manual, a speed study requires that 80% of the traffic flows determine that 15mph is established.  This will be very rare.  This resolution will make it extremely confusing and difficult to do the work.

Kelly Gebhardt, Musselshell County

In rural counties, we don’t have enough law enforcement to enforce speed limits.  Travelers will be more comfortable if speed limits are same from county to county.

(Commissioner not identified.)

Are speed limits grandfathered in or would this require us to increase lower speeds back up to 35?

Kelly Gebhardt, Musselshell County

If it’s already posted, an officer would not write ticket at for the lower speed, only if above 35.

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

In urban district designations, (houses 100 feet apart or closer), you can have an ordinance down to 25.  It is enforceable if you pass an ordinance on speed limit.  This resolution came from our county and had district support.  There were no standards for streets in old subdivisions.  Residents want 15 mph but we can’t pass that and have it be enforced. 

We can’t afford a state study on speed, but we can do local study.  This

resolution is intended to give counties a process to set speed limits.

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County

This is a way to pass an ordinance for an urban district only.

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

Urban districts can set speed by ordinance, but it cannot be lower than 25, unless in a school zone.

The motion for a “do not pass” recommendation passed.

2002-35  State Public Defender System

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, moved for a “do not pass” recommendation.  There was no second to the motion.  So, Curtiss moved for a “do pass” recommendation.  The motion was seconded.

  Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

Our public defender system different from most counties.  It’s our own department; we have no contracts.  We need time to work through district court assumption before we do this.

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

Lewis and Clark County also has public defenders on staff.

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

We also have public defenders on staff.  We think state should be paying for these.

   Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

This is the text from an email from our county attorney, “Handing this off to the State is a guarantee of future lawsuits because the State won’t do it right.  These cases will be filed not only against the State, but in a sense the Counties as well, because all of our prosecutions and convictions will be at risk through an inadequate defender system.”

Gallatin county will  not support this resolution.

Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County

In-house public defenders are best.  This is best left in house.

Art Kleinjan, Blaine County

Blaine County supports this, since we do not have public defenders and we are being sued because we do not have adequate public defense.  Let  the State take this over.  We cannot handle the public defender contracts as they are coming across now.

Elaine Mann, Broadwater County

In our small county, our public defender came to us and doubled his contract this year.  We have only one person running for county attorney because of what we can afford to pay.

Alan Thompson, Ravalli County

Ravalli County is also being sued by ACLU.  There would be continuity in public defense if it were taken over by state.

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

Is there a way to re-word the resolution so that not all counties would have to go to the State?

The motion passed on a hand count with 42 affirmative votes.

2002-39--Establishing a County Role with State and Federal AgenciesA motion to adopt the resolution was seconded.

Connie Eissinger moved to amend the motion by adding language to Section F and correcting the word “conduct” in the first resolution clause.  The motion was seconded. 

“F.  Coordinate, in absence of direct constitutional conflict, with the county to comply with federal and state statutes and regulations, the State and Federal Constitutions, county ordinances, policies, plans and growth policies, in particular with respect to private property and private property rights

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Montana Association of Counties will notify all Federal and State agencies which administer land or conducting programs relating to….

The motion to amend passed.

The motion to adopt as amended passed.

2002-45  Alter Fire District or Fire Service Area Boundaries upon Municipal Annexation

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County, moved for a “do pass” recommendation.  The motion was seconded.

  Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

This problem occurs when the city annexes.  Fire districts which cover the area have to be included in the process.  If not, the area has no coverage. 

  Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

For past 1½ years, cities, counties and fire departments have had intense discussion on this issue.  Cities, by law, cannot contract with volunteer fire departments.  You may have a problem until that law is changed and fire departments may not want that changed.  But it needs to be changed first.

  Ted Coffman, Madison County

We have same situation in our county.  We are all meeting right now in consolidated rural fire district with two stations.  To arbitrarily move one part to the city would be difficult.

  Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

If a city annexes, they must be able to offer services.  We have to change boundaries at county level or we have folks who pay for two fire districts.  People already have a petition method to change boundaries. 

The motion failed on a hand vote—22 supporting; 23 opposing.

Board Resolution 2002-1  Local Government Information Technology Coordinator

A motion by Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, to adopt was seconded.

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

This is important for many of the counties.  Larger counties already have IT departments and won’t need technical assistance.  MACITA supports this because it offers the avenue to attend meetings and communicate with State. 

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

We wrote a letter to MACo opposing this position. 

“We do not have a need, cannot see a benefit or understand the reason why Gallatin County should be charged for supporting a position of this nature. 

Currently Gallatin County has spent approximately $417,000 on a new system with new hardware and training and we have our own ITS department that services all of our technology needs.  The hiring of an IT position under MACo would not benefit us.  Furthermore, Gallatin County is the Beta Site for new tax software that will be used by 30 counties around the State.  We are always happy to share information and provide assistance as requested “at cost” to any inquiring counties. 

An increase in dues, especially at the proposed 25% amount, would significantly impact our budget and taxpayer dollars.  It is our opinion that other counties of similar size to ours will experience the same--a significant payout for little return.”

In spirit of joint cooperation with our fellow MACo counties to work out alternatives and options to resolve IT needs would be Gallatin County’s preferred solution.”

Anita Varone, Lewis and Clark County

Time has come for an IT person in MACo to serve all members.  We are willing to pay the fee to benefit everyone, particularly those that need the help.

Mary Sexton, Teton County, Chair of MACo IT Committee

This proposal came over a number of years of consideration of options, including regionalization.  This was a compromise as the most productive way of improving the level of technology for all counties.

Elaine Mann, Broadwater County

How much added expense will there be, if we ask that new staff person to come help us? 

Mary Sexton, Teton County, Chair of MACo IT Committee

In the first two years, there will be no added expense.  After two years, there may be a fee schedule set up.  Intent is to become an enterprise entity and eliminate the dues assessment.

Rita Windom, Lincoln County

Lincoln County is adamantly opposed.  Most of us have already purchased what we want and we do not want to be forced to accept what we do not want in order to be compatible.  Most of us can afford our own staff.  We are willing to share with those who can’t afford their own.

Judy Stang, Mineral County

After two years, who makes decisions for the position and the technology?  The whole assembly?  The IT Committee?

Mary Sexton, Teton County

The Intent is that there will be an evaluation process to identify if there will be additional assessments, how well the position is working, etc.  This is to come to the membership.

Dale Williams, Flathead County

We are not in support of the position or the dues structure.  Our department head, who is in MACITA, is adamantly opposed.  Coalitions of counties are not topics of essential concern to all counties.  We are willing to help other counties.  To share costs and promotion could be done by  coalitions, rather than by all counties.  IT has considerable investments, but we are willing to share what we have.  Pooled rates are already available through Dell Computers and NACo.  IT will need much more funding on our part to get a county started if it is not already.

Alan Thompson, Ravalli County

Ravalli County agrees with those reasons Dale mentioned.

Is there a signed document in place with the State?

IT Committee Chair Sexton introduced Tony Herbert from Montana Department of Administration, Information Technology Services Division (ITSD), and deferred to him.

Tony Herbert, Deputy Chief Information Officer, ITSD

We are very much in favor of doing this.  We want to work with counties.  You have our commitment.  We have passed documents back and forth but have nothing to sign yet, because nothing has been decided. 

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

Not described in our letter was our work with DOR on the tax system.  We have actually paid for computers and training for DOR people so that we can communicate.  What works in one courthouse doesn’t necessarily work in others.   These things cannot be lumped.

Janet Parkins, Clerk and Recorder, Stillwater County

I have served on MACITA, representing clerks and recorders.  I have noticed that the state agencies were brought together by MACITA.  Now we want to work with the counties.  We can enhance our knowledge and ideas working with the State.  They will be on board but won’t interfere.

Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County

We definitely need to provide for those counties which have not been able to address these issues.  I would like to see more of the attitude that we help each other, not that the State sets up everything.  Let’s do something for ourselves.  Let’s have counties help counties. 

Mary Sexton, Teton County

2004 budget can reflect this.  One of the original purposes was coordination and cooperation among counties and the State.

Earl Martin, Granite County

This is for Department of Administration.  With problems in legislature, are you sure your funding support will continue?

Tony Herbert, ISTD

Our program is a service program inside state government; we are not part of budget.  We are in good shape to do this with you.

William Duffield, Fallon County

I am opposed to this.  As board of director member, I don’t want this to be presented as being supported by Board.  It is our resolution because of dues increase.  This is not supported or pushed by Board.  Also, the State may be getting ready to scrap all their programs.

Tony Herbert, ISTD

The State has 31 counties in the State network.  Other counties and cities are going on to the system.  DOA has program which is being reworked and needs coordination with counties.  We can still offer service.

Vern Petersen, Fergus County

We have been through two re-computerizings.  We have been totally at mercy of vendors.  So I’m in favor of having a staff person to help.  However, are we funding this fairly?  The bigger counties will be funding more of the cost and they will be receiving less of the service.  Perhaps we should reconsider the fairness of the funding.  I support with that consideration.

Anita Varone, Lewis and Clark County

A majority of the counties in the district support this.

The State software was difficult to implement but received awards on the way it was implemented.

Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

We have had plenty of discussion already.  I call for question

John Prinkki, Parliamentarian

We cannot limit debate by a call of question unless there is a 2/3 majority vote to suspend this rule.

Janet Kelly, Custer County

We spent lots of money on our computer system.  This is an opportunity for all of us to expand the Association to serve all of us.  This is a pilot and an attempt to establish an enterprise fund to see if it can work in Montana.  Many other states already have self-sustaining enterprise funds.  We can see if it works for us and we can come back later to judge. We have to give this a chance.

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

We support the proposal, but we question if we need this and how much is it going to cost.  We have a department already.  But this will help everyone so we support it.

On a hand count, the motion had 26 in favor and 25 opposed.  Roll call vote was requested and the tally was 26 in favor and 26 opposed.  The motion failed on the tie vote.

   MEDIUM PRIORITY RESOLUTIONS

The following “Medium Priority” resolutions were segregated for debate:

2002-41 2002-43

Motion to pass all medium priorities resolutions other than those which were segregated was seconded and passed.

MEDIUM PRIORITY RESOLUTIONS

  • 2002-5 County Weather Station Project
  • 2002-27 Municipal Annexation to Include Streets and Roads
  • 2002-31 County Appointment to City Planning Board
  • 2002-32 Annexation of Land Contiguous to Zoning Districts

2002-41  Increased Funding for New Cooperative Extension Service Positions 

Kathy Bessette, Hill County, moved to adopt the resolution as medium priority; the motion was seconded.

Kathy Bessette, Hill County

The MACo Agriculture Committee debated this resolution.  Several counties have requested positions and put in writing that they were willing to pay their fair share.  Since there are already several positions kept empty for vacancy savings, we were afraid that these unfilled positions would be neglected, so we included the funding for those positions which are currently waiting for an agent.

Bessette moved to amend in three places:

1)  correcting the intent by changing

“It is the intent of the Montana Association of Counties to support legislation to fund additional essential cooperative extension service positions.”

2)  by adding

“WHEREAS, the current hiring freeze has left several counties without County Extension Agents; and”

3)  by inserting

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IN RESOLVED that the Montana Association of Counties supports restored funding for the current vacant positions and increased funding by the 2003 legislature for the eight and ½ additional FTE positions.

The motion was seconded.

Jamie Doggett, Meagher County

I am speaking for Wheatland County as well as Meagher.  Wheatland County has ballot measure in November to fund their share of the position.  We have considered sharing with neighboring counties. 

Joan Stahl, Rosebud County

Which counties have never had agents?  Who currently has agents and wants to add positions?

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

Flathead, Lake, Mineral, Missoula, and Deer Lodge Counties have agents

and want to add positions.  Meagher and Wheatland do not have agents.

Paddy Trusler, Lake County

Lake county feels that we should fill empty positions first.

Paul Chirico, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County

We have and agent and we want to fill our vacancy.

Motion to amend passed.

Motion as amended passed.

2002-43  Counties with less than 15,000 Population Be Allowed to Create an Office of County Auditor

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County, moved to adopt the resolution as medium priority; the motion was seconded.

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

Counties are getting rid of their auditor positions and contracting with cpa’s.  We are facing this.  When you could hire a qualified professional, why would counties want another elected official who may not be qualified?

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

This would allow the option to have an elected or an appointed position.

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County

This does give the option.  Clerk and recorders could be helped, if we could appoint.  Population restrictions in current law prevents us from doing that.

The motion carried.

There were no “low priority” resolutions.

TABLED RESOLUTIONS

The motion to table the recommended resolutions was seconded and passed.

TABLED RESOLUTIONS

  • 2002-6 Continue Entitlement Growth Rate of at Least 3%
  • 2002-7 Health and Human Services Funding
  • 2002-13 Permit Burning in Landfills and Transfer Sites
  • 2002-29 City Funding and Maintenance of Bridges
  • 2002-36 Reimbursement for Search and Rescue Operations
  • 2002-44 Evacuation Refusal Authority  (Referred by the Board to Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association)

REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS--HIGH PRIORITY

The motion to reaffirm the resolutions with high priorities, seconded, and was passed.

HIGH PRIORITY--REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS

  • 2000-10 Prevailing Wage Rate Requirements for Local Governments
  • 2000-11 Bidding Requirements for Local Governments
  • 2000-13 Complying with County Personnel Policies and Procedures
  • 2000-29 Funding for Regional Mental Health Centers
  • 2000-32 Limitation on Road and Bridge Depreciation Reserve Funds
  • 1999-7 County Treasurer Duties and Responsibilities
  • 1998-18 Safeguarding County Interest Income

REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS--MEDIUM PRIORITY

The motion to reaffirm the medium priority resolution was seconded and passed.

MEDIUM PRIORITY--REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS

  • 1999-8 Revisions to County Capital Improvement Program Laws

REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS--LOW PRIORITY

The following “Low Priority” resolution was segregated for debate:

  • 2000-25

Motion to pass the low priority resolution was seconded and passed.

LOW PRIORITY RESOLUTION

  • 2000-16 Repeal Appointment of Counsel in Paternity Cases 

2002-25  Detention Costs for Department of Corrections Inmates

Roddy Rost, Fallon County, moved to adopt the resolution.  The motion was seconded.

Roddy Rost, Fallon County

This resolution is in a low priority.  I think it affects all counties and should be high priority, even though it has no chance in the legislature.

Rost moved to amend the priority to “high”.  The motion to amend was seconded and passed.

  Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County

Why is it taking so long to set sentences, to do pre-sentence reports, to do testing,  etc.?  Is it because of not enough resources?  This won’t solve those problems.

Paul Chirico, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County

I just retired from working at the prison.  One of the reason that this process is held up is because our reception unit could not take more than 92 people and we have had 112, with some sleeping on floor.  So, we started busing them back to counties.

Marilyn Hollister, Clerk of District Court, Rosebud County

Pre-sentences are not done efficiently because parole officers are over worked, particularly with new caseloads coming from the recent releases.

The motion to pass as amended carried.

REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS--TABLED

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, moved to assign Resolution 2000-03 Funding for Local Boards of Health Inspections back to the Committee.  The motion was seconded.

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

The reason the Resolution was tabled was to allow local boards to take the lead.  Representatives are coming to speak to the Committee tomorrow.  We want to be able to support them.

The motion carried.

Chair Murray announced that Resolution 2000-03 would be sent back to the Health and Human Services Committee, but will still be considered as a tabled resolution.

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, moved to table the resolutions.  The motion was seconded.

William Duffield, Fallon County

What does this mean?  How long will the resolutions be left on the table?

Dean Harmon, President

Essentially this means the resolutions are dead.

Harold Blattie, Assistant Director

Those resolutions came forward because they still had priority rankings from prior annual conferences and needed to be dealt with.  The recommendation is to table.

The motion to table the resolutions carried.

REAFFIRMED RESOLUTIONS--TABLED

  • 2000-3 Funding for Local Board of Health Inspections
  • 2000-17 Repeal County Classification
  • 2000-18 Funding for Growth Policies
  • 1999-10 Clarifying Open Meeting Requirements
  • 1998-17 Clarification of Deputy Sheriff Salaries
  • 1998-26 Ownership of Records 
  • 1992-16 Local Option Vehicle Tax

BYLAW AMENDMENTS

Gary Fjelstad, MACo Past President, Rosebud County

Article III, Section 4 Duties and Responsibilities of the Executive Committee

c)  The Executive Committee shall serve as an Evaluation Committee for purposes of annually evaluating the performance of the Executive Director by surveying the member Boards of County Commissioners.  Such evaluation shall be reported to the Board of Directors.

The motion by Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County, to adopt the amendment was seconded and carried.

Article V, Section 1  Duties and Responsibilities of the Executive Director

(add) The hiring of an Assistant Director by the Executive Director requires the concurrence of the Executive Committee and confirmation by the Board of Directors.

The motion by Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, to adopt the amendment was seconded and carried.

Article VI , Section 3  Duties and Responsibilities of Board of Directors

j)   function as the nominating committee and select at least two candidates for the offices of Second Vice President and Fiscal Officer.  No candidate can be nominated and run for two offices simultaneously.  Nominations may be made at district meetings of county commissioners and submitted to the Board. 

The motion by William Duffield, Fallon County, to adopt the amendment was seconded and carried.

Article IX, Section 4 Nominations

c)  All nominations will be remain open until the time of the election during the closing closed at the conclusion of the opening general session.

The motion by John Kerr, Carter County, to adopt the amendment was seconded and carried.

Article III, Section 1  Officers

The officers are the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Class 1A County Representative, Fiscal Officer and the Past President, all of whom must be qualified and acting commissioners of member counties.  The officers shall serve as the Executive Committee.  These officers, excluding the Class 1A County Representative, will be elected at the annual conference by the membership.  No two of these officers shall be from the same county.  They shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified, so long as they shall remain in county office as county commissioners. 

Chair Fjelstad explained that the policy for no two officers being from same county would be effective in 2003, not on adjournment of conference.  The proposed amendment doesn’t prevent two people from an urban county because the urban county representative is not elected by entire membership.

The motion to defeat the amendment came from Todd Devlin, Prairie County, and was seconded.

Todd Devlin, Prairie County

I proposed this to Board of Directors, however the intent caused confusion, perhaps to the detriment of some commissioners who might want to run.  The other amendment we just passed will allow for my concerns to be addressed, so we can defeat this proposed amendment.

Jennifer Smith Mitchell, Gallatin County

No county could have two commissioners serving on the Executive Board and have them gone all the time on MACo business. 

Victor Miller, Blaine County

I rise to ask you to please kill this amendment.  Everyone in the room is elected and is a member of MACo.  People put “X” next to candidates’ names knowing the personalities and issues.  I have problem in restriction of my right to make that vote, the restriction of my responsibility to check on candidates and make my choice for myself.

Todd Devlin, Prairie County

Districts 1,2 and 3 discussed that rural counties in eastern Montana may not have had same concerns as western counties, particularly in growth.  So if we could understand and learn from them, we could help them out.  On the Executive Board, the rural county people have had the time to serve; the growth and urban counties don’t seem to have as much time  to serve. 

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County

Western counties and urban counties have run individuals and have other officers on Board.  We are not sniveling.  I rest on the assurance that the growth counties problems will be addressed.

The motion to “do not pass” the amendment carried.

President Harmon introduced Sharon Peterson from Max Baucus’s office and former county commissioner Barbara Skelton.

ELECTION OF SECOND VICE PRESIDENT

Dean Harmon, President

There are no further nominations because of current Bylaws.  Nominations were closed on Monday.  The candidates are John Prinkki, Carbon County, and Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County.  President Harmon invited the candidates to speak.

John Prinkki, Carbon County

Why do I want this job?  The first reason is that if I’m elected, then there is good reason that MACo will have to find a parliamentarian.    

It is hard to tell you that I am more qualified; I’ve been commissioner 14 years but it may not make me more qualified. 

Given the opportunity, I am used to working 80 hours a week and I will make time to do the work.

Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County

I want you to stay as parliamentarian, John. 

Two years ago I was asked if I would run for Second Vice President.  As you know, I serve on many committees. I turned them down last year because I felt I would be a better asset during a legislative session.  So, I supported Carol last year and considered running this year so we would be able to come as a united team into the next session. 

I spent a lot of time around the legislature and battled for a lot of bills.  This last special session was not easy.  When you look for a committee meeting and it had been held the week before the session started, it was hard.  Hopefully we held our heads up during the session.  The next session will be more difficult.  There isn’t money but there is one pot they will look at—the entitlement money and our growth share.  Those dollars seem to be sitting there waiting for the legislature.  We will stand together and tell them, “no.”

I want to go forward and speak for you and lead counties with a new vision into the future. 

I have received support form large and small counties.  I‘ve served on NACo and MACo committees; I’m currently on a BLM Resource Advisory Committee. 

I have enjoyed my time with you and I have the ability to work with each and every one of you. I am asking for your support and vote today.

Ballots were disbursed, collected and counted.

President Harmon announced that Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County, is the new Second Vice President with a vote of 27 for Bill and 26 for John Prinkki.

Gary Fjelstad, Rosebud County

The vote was questioned, since the roll call announced 52 counties present, but there were 53 ballots cast.   One county left early and left a ballot, so they did not answer roll but the ballot was counted.

2004 CONVENTION LOCATION

Jean Curtiss, Missoula County

Missoula County is excited to have opportunity to be the host.

Peggy Beltrone, Cascade County

Cascade County extends an invitation to come to Great Falls.

On a hand vote, Missoula County received 26 votes and Cascade County received 20.  Missoula County is the site for the 2004 Conference.

OTHER BUSINESS

Gary Fjelstad, Rosebud County, recognized the sponsor for Tuesday evening’s entertainment as Brentwood Services Administrators of Brentwood, Tennessee. 

Fjelstad moved to send letters to Brentwood as sponsor, to Big Sky as location and to Damschen and Associates for the DJ.  The motion was seconded and passed.

RESOLUTION OF APPRECIATION

WHEREAS, the 2002 Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties is the 93rd such meeting; and

WHEREAS, attendance of member counties marks its success; and

WHEREAS, the fine facilities at Huntley Lodge in Big Sky made us feel welcome;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 93rd Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties express its sincere appreciation for the sponsorship of this convention to the Madison County Commissioners and the Gallatin County Commissioners, spouses and staffs:

MADISON COUNTY:  

  • Ted Coffman
  • David and Nancy Schultz
  • Frank and Darlene Nelson

GALLATIN COUNTY: 

  • Jennifer Smith and Bill Mitchell
  • Bill and Maggie Murdock
  • John and Peggy Vincent

Sam Samson, Jefferson County, read his “Ode to the End of Commissionerville” as a farewell gesture.  The piece is Attachment Five at the end of the minutes.

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County, asked that commissioners for whom this Conference was to be their last to stand.  Janet Kelly, Custer County, presented a resolution to recognize their service.

A motion by Todd Devlin, Prairie County, to adopt the resolution was seconded and passed.

RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING DEPARTING MEMBERS

WHEREAS, the members of the Montana Association of Counties, with appreciation and gratitude, wish to recognize and honor those members who will be leaving their elective office at the end of this year; and,

WHEREAS, each of these elected officials has rendered public service to the residents of his or her respective county, the state, and to this Association for many years;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of Montana Association of Counties, at its Annual Conference in Big Sky Montana, this 25th day of September 2002, recognize and pay tribute to those retiring commissioners and other elected officials; and express gratitude to our friends for their achievements and contributions to this Association and to their counties.

The list of commissioners was presented at the luncheon and is inserted here.

  • Gayle Morris, Cascade County Dan Connors, Custer County
  • Joe Spika, Fergus CountyAllan Lowry, Glacier County
  • Edgar Lewis, Golden Valley County  Scotty Morrison, Granite County
  • Sam Samson, Jefferson County  Henry Vaskey, Judith Basin County
  • Karolin Loendorf, Lewis and Clark County Loyd Boyer, Liberty County
  • Kelly Gebhardt, Musselshell County  Dan Gutebier, Park County
  • Kay Beck, Powell County Jack Atthowe, Ravalli County
  • Dean Harmon, Roosevelt County Larry Gee, Stillwater County
  • Charlotte Mackley, Treasure County Marlene Erickson, Valley County
  • Sam Scammon, Wibaux County  Ziggy Ziegler, Yellowstone County

JOINT OPENING SESSION

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE POOL (JPA)

AND

PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE POOL (JPIA)

Monday, September 23, 2002

JPA Chair Dean Harmon, Roosevelt County, opened the meeting with introductions:

  • Bob Bennett, CEO, alternative services concepts (asc)
  • Larry Zanto, Regional Manager of asc
  • Keith Stapley, Claims Manager of asc

Secretary Gordon Morris conducted the roll call and announced a quorum present.

John Prinkki, Acting Chair of JPIA, opened the floor for nomination of trustees and asked

Gordon Morris to present the status and process for the elections. 

Morris noted that JPA Trustees consist of the MACo Executive Committees, if each member is from a member county.  Both candidates for Second Vice President are from counties which are members, so there won’t need to be a separate election.

In JPIA,  four members of the Trustees are elected at-large and two are members of the MACo Executive Committee.  The Executive Committee members will be President Victor Miller

First Vice President Carol Brooker.  Brooker currently is an at-large member of the Trustees, so that position, which began in 2001, will be open.  In addition, the at-large seat held by Vern Petersen began in 1999 is up for re-election.  So there are two openings--the three year term of Vern Petersen’s and Carol Brooker’s one remaining year of the term.

Carl Seilstad, Fergus County, nominated Vern Petersen for another three-year term.

For the remaining year of Carol Brooker’s at-large position,

Art Kleinjan, Blaine County, nominated Mary Sexton, Teton County;

Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County, nominated Ted Coffman, Madison County;

William Duffield, Fallon County, nominated Don McDowell, Powder River County.

The motion to close nominations was seconded and passed.

JPA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ANNUAL REPORT

Gordon Morris, on behalf of Ray Barnicoat, Risk Manager

Gordon Morris announced that Ray Barnicoat was currently attending an AGRIP in Phoenix.

Excess insurance rates are going up but we are better off than other programs in Montana and than any other states’ programs.  In the history of our program, our rates are still below the 1994 rates when we started.  We have held the line in frequency and severity in accidents.  We have the staff to thank for their contributions in risk management--Jack in personnel, Emelia in nursing homes and Ray in fire and fire carriers. 

We have had a seamless transition from Willis to asc.  Bob Bennett had predicted this.  General Counsel Norm Grosfield does a good job of monitoring claims against program.

(A full text of Ray Barnicoat’s report is Attachment Six at the end of these minutes.)

JPIA PROPERTY AND CASUALTY ANNUAL REPORT

Greg Jackson, Marketing

Greg Jackson reported that annual renewals were at 100% of all counties and 100% of special districts.  We added Flathead County and welcomed back Ravalli County.  Ravalli County worked over the past two years to lower claims costs.

We added professional liability coverage for social workers and nutritionists, which is  important to larger counties

A few years ago our phrase was “stay the course.”  In 1998 and 99, we were at 38 counties; we are now at 44 counties--a 44% increase.  We had 55 districts; now we have 133 special districts-- a 142% increase.  Cash for claims was $3.6 Million; now it is at $5.7 Million, which is a 58% increase.  Net income was 18%; now it is at 30%.  Loss ratio was 95 to 105 %; currently we are at 80%-- a 16 % reduction in losses.  We are “staying the course.”

Trustees will be looking at ways to make the program better.  We will be making a presentation on a bond option as a way of replacing the liability reinsurance layer.  We are also going to be voting Wednesday on Bylaw changes to eliminate any reference to affiliate members and reference them as eligible insureds.  They are not really members, but they are eligible for insurance. 

Things are looking great financially.  Membership is growing.  We hope this will continue.

Carol Kienenberger, Phillips County

Is loss ratio between counties and special districts done separately?

Yes, it is.  Special districts have about a 30% loss ratio, which is within guidelines.  Right now the special districts are not affecting program, but we are wise to be aware of it.

Chair Prinkki stated that the JPIA Bylaws are fairly fundamental and the amendment will not change the way the program will operate.  He asked for questions regarding the bond proposal. 

Secretary Morris reviewed Resolution 2002-15 To Exclude Levies Pledged for the Repayment of Bonded Indebtedness.  Attached to it is the proposal to amend the law.

Under tax liabilities in Chapter 15-10-412 (MCA), the language was clear but it was eliminated in 420.  We want to put the language back. You will not commit anything but rather allow us to use tax authority for service on a debt.  I hope you will support this on Wednesday.

Prinkki called for questions on proposed bylaw changes.  There were none.

Following a triple call for other business, the motion to adjourn was seconded and passed.

17th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

MACo JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION TRUST

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Big Sky, Montana

JPA Secretary Gordon Morris called the roll, announcing that the roll would also indicate attendance for JPIA.  A quorum was present.

Secretary Morris announced the MACo Executive Committee:

  • President Victor Miller, Blaine County
  • Vice President Carol Brooker, Sanders County
  • Vice President Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County
  • Urban County Representative Howard Gipe, Flathead County
  • Past President Dean Harmon, Roosevelt County
  • Fiscal Officer Dan Watson, Rosebud County.

Since all Executive Committee members are also members of the JPA pool, a motion to approve them as the JPA Board of Trustees was seconded and passed.

The meeting was adjourned.

16th ANNUAL CONFERENCE

MACo JOINT POWERS INSURANCE AUTHORITY

PROPERTY AND CASUALTY TRUST

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Big Sky, Montana

Chair Vern Petersen, Fergus County, presided.

BYLAW AMENDMENT

The amendment, which will correct several sections of wording throughout the Bylaws, is an effort to move special districts/affiliate members because they are not voting members. 

The motion to approve the amendments to the Bylaws was seconded and passed.

BOND OPTION

This proposal has been progressing.  There will be a meeting in Miles City in December to consider the structure.  This is patterned after the MACo Workers’ Compensation program, to cut down on reinsurance costs.

Don McDowell, Powder River County

If we do this and there is a loss against the bond, who is responsible?

Chair Petersen responded that the member counties would be responsible.  The obligation would be in portions to the member counties.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Secretary Morris became Acting Chair and explained that there are two vacancies--the seat held by Vern Petersen, which is ending the three-year of the term, and the at-large seat held by Carol Brooker who is moving to an officer position.

Vern Petersen was nominated for another three-year term.  Joe Spika, Fergus County, moved that a unanimous ballot be cast for his re-election.  The motion was seconded and passed. 

For the at-large position vacated by Carol Brooker who is moving to officer position, there are three nominations.  The nominees were asked to speak.

Don McDowell, Powder River County

Most of you know me.  I would appreciate the chance to represent you.  I have been on the Board one year already.  It seems as if I am getting my three-year term one year at a time.  I have 12 years experience as an agent.

Ted Coffman, Madison County

Madison County has been involved in this program for some time and we have had difficulties which have been cleared.  Because of this, I think I could add something.

Mary Sexton, Teton County

My interest in the board is from two settlement conferences.  One was for ADA compliance.  I came to appreciate the work of the pool and risk management.  I’ve been commissioner for four years, an English teacher and I dealt with insurance issues in business, forestry and non- profits.

Chair Petersen announced that the Bylaws call for a simple majority and that Ted Madison had most votes by one.  (This meant that Ted Coffman, Madison County, was elected.)

The Board of Trustees was announced as follows:

  • John Prinkki, Carbon County, at-large member through 2003
  • Ted Coffman, Madison County, at-large member through 2003
  • Mike Murray, Lewis and Clark County, at-large member through 2004
  • Vern Petersen, Fergus County, at-large member through 2005
  • Victor Miller, Blaine County, MACo President
  • Carol Brooker, Sanders County, MACo Vice President
  • Gordon Morris, MACo Executive Director and Board Secretary

The motion to adjourn was seconded and passed.