You are hereAnnual Conference / 102nd Annual MACo Conference Minutes

102nd Annual MACo Conference Minutes


Opening General Session - Monday, September 26, 2011

Bozeman, Montana

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, MACo President

102nd Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties opened at 8:30 am. President John Ostlund introduced the head table:

  • John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, President
  • Connie Eissinger, McCone County, 1st Vice President
  • Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, 2nd Vice President
  • Carl Seilstad, Fergus County, Past President
  • Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, Fiscal Officer
  • Paddy Trusler, Lake County, Parliamentarian

The Gallatin County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard presented the Colors for the Pledge of Allegiance.  The National Anthem was sung by Kristie Ostlund, and Chaplain Warren Hiebert conducted the Invocation.  The MACo Members were then welcomed to the 102nd Annual Conference in Bozeman, Montana:

  1. Jeff Krausse, Mayor of Bozeman, welcomed everyone.
  2. Connie Eissinger, McCone County, MACo 1st Vice President, responded with thanks for welcoming MACo to Bozeman.

 

Roll Call

Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, MACo Fiscal Officer

After Roll call was taken, Cynthia Johnson announced a quorum was present to conduct business.

 

Approval of the 2010 Minutes - 101st Annual Conference

Motion/Vote:  Ken Ronish, Fergus County, made a motion to approve the 2010 Annual Conference minutes. The motion was seconded by Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, and passed unanimously.

 

Resolution in Memoriam

Steve White, Gallatin County

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 Conference of our Association; and

Whereas, each of those 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 Bozeman, Montana, this 26th day of September, 2011, that the Association does hereby pay tribute to the memory of Commissioners:

  • Milo Huber, Custer County
  • Raymond "Skip" Henry Patrick, Hill County
  • David Matovich, Stillwater County
  • Marlene Erickson, Valley County
  • Roy P. Brewington, Wheatland County
  • Isidor Sackman, Prairie County
  • Alan Ryan, Toole County

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

Motion/Vote:  Jim Reno, Yellowstone County, made a motion to adopt the Memorial Resolution. The motion was seconded by Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, and passed unanimously.

 

Announcements

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, MACo President

  • Turn in your Commissioner Bio sheet for committee appointments.
  • Exhibitor/Sponsor Meeting Tuesday from 3:30p.m. to  4:00 p.m. in the Aspen Room.
  • Special Presentation from Gary MacDonald, Roosevelt County, to Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County:  Commissioner MacDonald presented a Red Dog sign as a gift to Commissioner Kennedy.

 

Nominations Committee Report

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, MACo President

The Board of Directors, acting as the Nominations Committee, brings forth the candidates for the 2012 year as follows:

  • Office of Past President:   John Ostlund, Yellowstone County
  • Office of President:  Connie Eissinger, McCone County
  • Office of 1st Vice President:  Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County
  • Office of 2nd Vice President:  Joe Briggs, Cascade County
  • Office of Fiscal Officer:  Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County

President Ostlund asked for any other nominations and noted that nominations would remain open until the Wednesday General Session.  Joe Briggs, Cascade County, came forward to introduce himself:

  • Thank you for your support at District Meetings.
  • I look forward to serving MACo and also serving as a committee chair and legislatively.
  • Cascade County is the host for the 2012 Annual Conference, which will be held at the Heritage Inn.  It is a great facility, and we look forward to having you there.

 

2013 Conference Bids

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, MACo President

Two bids were presented for the 2013 Annual Conference:

  • Andy Hunthausen and Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County Commissioners, came forward to give a description of what Lewis & Clark County has to offer to the MACo 2013 Annual Conference:
    • Met with Red Lion, and they are willing to host; and
    • Same hospitality as every other February during the Midwinter Conference.
  • Jean Curtiss, Missoula County Commissioner, came forward to give a description of what Missoula County has to offer to the MACo 2013 Annual Conference:
    • We have some great golf courses;
    • Three hotels to bid:  Double Tree, Hilton Garden Inn, and Holiday Inn; and
    • Lots to do, including concerts, great trails, carousel, farmer's market, surfing, and more.

 

Presentation of Proposed Resolutions

Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, Resolutions & Legislative Committee Chair

Two resolutions were presented to the membership:

  • 2011-02, Encourage Congressional Delegation to Analyze Impacts of Land Transfer for Fort Belknap Indian Community Water Settlement
    • Lesley Robinson, Phillips County, explained the resolution to the membership:
      • The draft Fort Belknap Indian Community Water Settlement bill is calling for the transfer of several thousand acres (64k) of State (27k), Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (21k), and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) (16k) land--which is big for recreation--to Tribal land.
      • Impacts economics of two communities, which are primarily recreational--the fees would be vastly different if Tribal as opposed to BLM.
      • Read the "Be it Resolved:” MACo strongly encourages the Congressional delegation to analyze the impacts of a land transfer for the Fort Belknap Indian Community Water Settlement before supporting a bill with such a transfer.

Motion/Vote:  Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, made a motion to suspend the rules. The motion was seconded by Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, and passed unanimously.

Motion/Vote:  Greg Chilcott, made a motion to consider Resolution 2011-02. The motion was seconded by Cele Pohle, Powell County, and passed unanimously.  The resolution was referred to the Public Lands Committee.

  • Resolution Calling for the Issuance of the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline
    • Richard Dunbar, Phillips County, explained the resolution to the membership:
      • The Oil Gas & Coal Counties (OGCC) are taking up this resolution at their meeting Tuesday night.
      • Hoping the MACo Membership would mirror the resolution.
      • The hearing is Tuesday; however, final public comment is October 7, so we can send it in as a comment.

Motion:  Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, made a motion to suspend the rules to consider the resolution from the OGCC. The motion was seconded by Jim Reno, Yellowstone County.

  • Discussion
    • Point of Order:  Must have the resolution text available.
    • Comment:  Commissioner Dunbar - We'd like to have the OGCC adopt the resolution and allow the membership time to review it.  If adopted, it can be sent in as a comment.

Motion & Second Withdrawn:  Action will be taken on Wednesday.

  • John Prinkki, Carbon County, asked that the Energy Committee be able to consider this resolution in their committee meeting.
  • The resolution was referred to the Energy Committee; Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee; and the Public Lands Committee.
  • Commissioner Murray concluded his Report of Proposed Resolutions.

 

Proposed By-Law Amendments

Harold Blattie, MACo Executive Director

Two amendments and one typo were presented to the membership:

  • Proposed Amendment #1:  Amends Article III, Section 1 and Article IV, Section 1 to change the term "Class 1A" to "Urban."
    • With the passage of HB 212 that eliminated the County Classification system from statute, the term is no longer valid and therefore the term "Urban" is being substituted in the affected locations in the MACo Bylaws.
    • The term "Urban" is being defined as a county having a taxable value over $50 million and a population over 35,000, which is the same as a the statutory requirements for a Class 1A county that was removed from statute.
      • Typo:  This part originally said "$50,000," but is being corrected to say "$50 million."
  • Proposed Amendment #2:  Amends Article IV, Section 1 to allow all MACo Past Presidents to remain as members of the MACo Board of Directors as long as they continue to serve as an elected county official.
    • Models how NACo does it as well as some other state associations.
    • This is not mandating that they show up to Board meetings; it just allows the Past Presidents the opportunity.
    • Beneficial to MACo, given their experience as MACo Officers as well as legislatively.

 

President’s Report

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, MACo President

MACo President, John Ostlund, spoke to the MACo Membership about the past year:

  • The year went by quickly, and much has happened:
    • Tornado, worst winter in 20 years, flooding, fire, oil spill, and tax protest.
    • 62nd Legislative Session, where we made lots of good changes.  Harold, Sheryl, and Shantil carried the load.  Thank you to all Commissioners who helped us out, as well.
  • It's been an honor and a privilege to be elected and allowed to serve as MACo's President, as well as be involved in the Trust Management.  I'm grateful for the support of the members.
  • MACo takes a lot of time, so thank you to my commissioners at home, Bill Kennedy and Jim Reno, for carrying the load when I was away.
  • I want to thank the board and membership for letting me serve, and thank you to Karen Houston and the MACo Staff, as well as Vicki and Paulette back home.
  • And, of course, thanks goes out to my wife, Krsiti.

 

Fiscal Officer's Report

Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, MACo Fiscal Officer

MACo Fiscal Officer, Cynthia Johnson, updated the membership on the financial status of MACo:

 

  1. MACo ended the year in excellent shape; we're approximately $53,000 ahead—revenue versus expenses.
  2. As of August 31, all but one county has paid their MACo and NACo dues.
  3. We will have an audited version of the financials for review at the Midwinter Conference (the audit occurs in December).

 

Executive Director's Report

Harold Blattie, MACo Executive Director

MACo Executive Director, Harold Blattie, gave his annual report to the membership:

  • First off, if any county needs to leave before the Business Meeting on Wednesday, and there is no representative from your county here, please fill out a proxy form.
  • It was a legislative year.  Last year at Annual Conference, we asked you to be gentle on the resolution load, because we need to focus on the money.  You were merciful in the number of bills, and we thank you for that.
    • All of the money bills would have taken $35 million from counties.
    • The Entitlement Share didn't lose any money.  The growth was frozen for two years and the equation was adjusted, so it will grow faster over 20 years.
    • It was the direct, personal contact with you that made the biggest difference:  cards, letters, phone calls, and conversations.
  • It was a good session, but difficult and hard.  It consumed our lives from Annual Conference through April.  Then the budgeting process and Spring District Meetings consumed us through spring.  Now we're attending Interim Committee Meetings and trying hard to be interactive with the legislature while they do their interim work.  We'll be getting you reports during this time.
  • In addition to the Fiscal Officer's Report, we continue to be conservative and strengthen our cash reserves.  The Board of Directors approved $10,000 for the HB 351 Litigation.
  • It's an honor and a privilege to serve the finest that Montana has to offer.  Thank you.

 

Attorney General Steve Bullock

Montana Attorney General, Steve Bullock, spoke to the membership on various topics:

  • Corporations making unlimited contributions to elections would affect all of us.  In 1912 there was a Citizens' Initiative to ban this on the state level.  Montana's campaign laws are based on experience.
  • We are working on several things with you on a daily basis, including training your Peace Officers; investigating your fires; and trying to breakup drug rings and investigate more complex cases.
  • My priorities include:
    • Prescription drug issues:  This is an invisible epidemic and now includes pharmacy robberies.  We are third per capita for our youngsters abusing these drugs.  We have more fatalities from prescription drug abuse than we do traffic fatalities, meth, etc.  We are stepping up and informing people and police, as well as getting drugs out of the cabinets.  We are setting up statewide "take-back days" and permanent prescription drop-off boxes--if you are interested, talk to your Sheriff or local Police Chief.  We are also working on a directory that gives pharmacists a tool to see if a person has a legitimate need or is abusing the drugs; 43 other states have this tool.  We received a federal grant for this project and hope to have it up and running by January 1.
    • Lower the drunk driving fatalities across the state:  24/7 pilot project where the offender is tested twice a day for alcohol, and if they test positive, they go to a judge and the judge decides how long the person goes to jail (usually one day).  We are also getting SCRAM bracelets-- Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring--which attach to a person's ankle and look for the presence of alcohol in sweat.  These pay for themselves, as a person must pay $2 for the morning test and $2 for the evening test.  South Dakota has seen amazing results with these, and they used to be a leading state in drunk-driving fatalities.  We are taking a phased approach in implementing this, which is set to start October 1.
    • Justice for Children:  We are participating in a three-day conference, October 25-17.  Partnerships within the state are important.  As parents and leaders, we need to educate our kids about appropriate internet use and internet crime.  The Sexual Offender Registry is a new technology where one can find where offenders are living. 

 

Desperately Seeking Balance

Dr. Thomas Tursich, Motivational Speaker

Motivational Speaker, Dr. Thomas Tursich, spoke to the membership about time as a precious commodity and managing it accordingly:

  • Careers provide a sense of accomplishment. The problem arises when we focus mainly on our career, because then there is no time for friends and family.  It becomes more than an occupation; it becomes a pre-occupation.  True success must be balanced. 
  • We are living in an era that is more material and consumer-driven than in years-passed.  Technology has become another thing that we have to deal with.  We are sleep deprived, because of our hectic society. 
  • What is balance?  Balance is the ability to create a life and not just make a living--equilibrium in integrating different areas of our lives:  education, recreation, financially, spiritually.
  • No balance equals burnout, emotional exhaustion, separation from people, no personal accomplishment, no energy, irritable, negative, and cynical, no hope, etc., loss of passion for life, and constantly putting out fires.
  • Three areas to help you establish balance:  1. Put first things first; 2. Prioritize; and 3. Eliminate low-priority items.
  • Four guiding principles for time management:  1. Put a little time over a long time into important things (do those small things every day); 2. Neglect has a cumulative effect; 3. Personal activities have a cumulative effect; and 4. Less is more.
  • Crystal balls & rubber balls: Don't drop the crystal ball priorities; let the rubber ball priories bounce.

 

How the Changes in the Workers' Compensation Law Affect You

Keith Stapley, MACo JPA/JPIA Claims Administrator

MACo JPA/JPIA Claims Administrator, Keith Stapley, spoke to the membership about the changes in the workers' compensation law:

  • There have been significant changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act pursuant to HB 334.  The major impact for employers and the best effort at overall savings will be the Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work program. The goal of this portion of the act is to minimize avoidable disruption by assisting the injured employee in a return to the same position with the same employer or to a modified position with the same employer as soon as possible after the injury.
  • Stay at Work/Return to Work: Provides SAW/RTW assistance on accepted claims by utilizing in house programs (preferably) or a rehabilitation provider. The request can also be made through the Department of Labor, but we will be charged a fee for their services. This is attached to our assessment by the Department of Labor. Injured workers and medical provider may ask for assistance. If the county does not have a program in place, there are many resources available. WorkSafeMT offers several good ideas on the creation of such programs.
  • Course & Scope: HB334 Limits liability for injuries occurring away from the employer’s premises while the employee is performing personal business on a break (paid or un-paid) or while engaged in a social or recreational activity paid by the employer.
  • Waiting Period: Compensation is not paid for the first 32 hours or 4 days of wage loss, whichever is first. However, if worker is totally disabled and unable to work in any capacity for 21 days or more, compensation must be paid retroactively to the first day of total wage loss unless the worker waives the payment. Each county will need to determine how the sick bank for the first 48 hours will need to be reimbursed should the disability exceed 21 days.
  • Payment of medical services: Changes the language that medical services must be direct result of the compensable injury or occupational disease.
  • Impairment Ratings and Permanent Partial Disability Awards: 1. Doctors are required to use 6th edition of the AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. The ratable condition must be a direct result of the compensable injury or occupational disease and not based exclusively on pain, established by objective medical findings and is more than 0%; 2. PPD term now changed from 375 to 400 weeks; 3. Awards PPD only to workers who suffer a whole person impairment rating greater than zero and a wage loss OR to workers with a Class 2(moderate) or greater rating converted to a whole person and no wage loss. (Class 2 ratings vary from 6 to 25% depending on the body part.)
  • Medical Benefits & Termination/Reopening : 1. Benefits terminate 60 months from the date of injury or diagnosis of an Occupational Disease. The worker may request reopening of medical benefits through a request and recommendation from the Department of Labor Medical Director and two other physicians chosen by the department to review the request; 2. Payments for medical services are based on the fee schedule in effect on the date of service, regardless of the date of injury. Medical fee schedules are frozen at rates effective 12/31/2010 through 6/30/2013; 3. Utilization & Treatment guidelines apply for all injuries and OD claims after 7/1/2011; 4. The Department of Labor may hire a medical director and may establish by rule an independent review of treatments denied by insurers.
  • Settlement of Medical Benefits: Provides for mutual agreement to settle all or a portion of future medical benefits on accepted claims (for all dates of injury ). Will require rationale for the settlement and statement of best interest of the parties and signature and acknowledgement by the worker.
  • Choice of Treating Physician:  1. A worker has the choice of physician to provide the initial treatment. For further treatment, the physician must agree to provide services in accordance with the fee schedule.  2. The insurer may either approve the worker’s choice or designate a different treating physician to manage & coordinate care.  3. The designated treating physician must be paid at 110% of the fee schedule and non-treating providers are to be paid at 90%. The provider that treats prior to the designation is paid at 100%.
  • At this point in time, it is difficult to determine how all of these changes will impact the pool. We anticipate it may be several years before the true impact will be known.

 

Legislative Redistricting

Joe Kolman, Legislative Research Analyst

Legislative Research Analyst, Joe Kolman, explained the basics of redistricting and how the members can be part of the process:

  • Legislative redistricting is different than commissioner redistricting.  They are interrelated, but different.
  • What is redistricting?  Drawing new political boundaries on the map.  Why do you care?  The law says you care:  MCA 13-3-102.
    • (1) The county governing body may change the boundaries of precincts, but not within 100 days before any primary or between a general election and the primary for that election. When the changes are required to make precinct boundaries conform to legislative district boundaries following the adoption of a districting and apportionment plan under Article V, section 14, of the Montana constitution or other district boundaries changed by the districting and apportionment plan, the changing of precinct boundaries must be accomplished within 45 days of the filing of the final plan.
    • All changes must be certified to the election administrator 3 days or less after the change is made.
    • The officials responsible for preparing a districting and apportionment plan shall consider the problems of conforming present precinct boundaries to the new districts as well as existing boundaries of wards, school districts, and other districts. The election administrator of counties involved in the plan must be consulted before adoption of the final plan.
  • Why do we have to redistrict?  Federal and state constitutions, U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 1960s (“one person, one vote”)
  • Who’s in charge of redistricting in Montana?   Five-member Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission. Legislature reviews plan and suggests changes. Commission has discretion to make amendments.
  • When will redistricting occur?  Now - Commissioners appointed 2009; Present legislative plan to 2013 Legislature; New districts in effect for 2014 election.
  • The puzzle and its special rules:  Mandatory Rules
    • Population Equality – Legislative Districts should be nearly equal in population as practicable
    • Ideal Population – 9,894 per House District
    • Commission Decision – Plus or minus 3% from ideal
      • 297 people on either side of 9,894
    • Compact and Contiguous Districts
      • Looks Matter – You know it when you see it
        • Commission compactness considerations include:
          • General appearance;
          • Functional Compactness:
            • Travel and Transportation
            • Communication
            • Geography
    • Protect minority voting rights
      • No district, plan, or proposal for a plan is acceptable if it affords members of a racial or language minority group “less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.”
      • Race cannot be the predominant factor to which the traditional discretionary criteria are subordinated.
    • The puzzle and its special rules:  Discretionary Rule.
      • Following existing political boundaries:  Counties, cities, school districts, reservations, neighborhoods
      • Use geographic boundaries from Census:  Blocks, block groups, tracts
      • Keep communities of interest intact:  Reservations, urban/suburban/rural, occupations, trade areas
    • Local officials can help; you can provide direction:
      • Send comments/Reference criteria
      • Send a map: Label maps clearly, and Include relevant boundaries such as mountains, rivers, county lines, and roads.
    • Find out more:  www.leg.mt.gov/districting, districting@mt.gov, Rachel Weiss at 444-5367, Joe Kolman at 444-9280

 

What we are Learning from the Floods of 2011

Mary Sexton, Director, Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC)

DNRC Director, Mary Sexton, presented various facts about the floods of 2011caused by the historic snowpack and rains during the spring of 2011.  Director Sexton also discussed how the DRNC staff can help counties and cities to improve floodplain management and how they can assist irrigators with permitting for water diversions as well as provide funding for mitigation and planning:

  • 51 out of 56 Counties have declared flood damage.
  • Damage caused by runoff, extreme rain events, and groundwater.
  • Presidential Disaster Declarations for both public assistance and individual assistance.
  • Damage Estimates:
    • Public Works - Between $35-40 million; Individual - Housing Assistance, $4,442,194; Small Business Assistance,  $1,634,100; Other Needs Assistance, $326,412
  • Recovery Options:
    • Federal Assistance - FEMA mitigation grants, disaster funds, NRCS funds
    • State Assistance - Match for  FEMA grant programs, RRGL/RDG grants, environmental contingency
  • Opportunities for Growth:
    • Need for increased community support and enforcement of floodplain management regulations and associated staff.  130 communities have already done the hard work of designating floodplains and adopting floodplain regulations in order to protect lives and property from harm and insure that Montana has access to disaster assistance this year--over $40 million in 2011.
    • Need for additional resources to complete high priority floodplain mapping:
      • Focus on 1,000+ miles of Montana streams and rivers that have been identified by local governments;
      • At current funding levels, it will take 15-20 years to complete;
      • DNRC receives about $1M annually from FEMA.
  • Aerial Imagery & Floodplain Mapping
    • Imagery: DNRC collaborated with Federal, State, Local, and non-profit entities to obtain aerial flood imagery for outreach and planning purposes.
    • Mapping: DNRC is awarded grant funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to perform  a limited number of new floodplain mapping studies each year.  DNRC is working with communities in to address existing floodplain mapping needs.
    • There are approximately 1000+ miles o Montana streams* that have been identified by local communities as needing new floodplain mapping studies.
      • *data was taken from unmet floodplain mapping needs 2010 survey responses
  • Risk Reduction Cycle:  planning, coordination, land use, implementation, floods
  • Lessons Learned:
    • Need for increased coordination, cooperation, and outreach by state, federal, and local agencies before, during, and after a flood.
    • Need to develop incident management or response teams that can help to create a single point of contact in each flooded community to provide access to the wide range of government assistance during a flood – similar to wildfire incident command teams.
    • Continue long-term investments in infrastructure including state dams and canals, private irrigation systems, county roads and bridges which help to keep people safe during floods. 
    • Create new ways to ensure that funding resources are available for dam, levee, and canal owners to maintain and rehabilitate public and private projects over time.
  • Conduct more trainings with local governments throughout Montana including:  pre-disaster mitigation, flood disaster response, and disaster recovery.
  • Increase health and safety outreach before and during a flood to address hazards associated with:  flood waters such as floating debris, contaminated water, structural mold and mildew risks, propane tanks, well water treatment, driving or walking through flood water, and recreating or operating machinery near or in flood water.
  • Need for more tools and outreach to help irrigators change points of diversion (POD) that were lost or where the movement of the river channel isolated the POD during the floods:  Governor’s Executive Order through December 31, 2011; replacement POD exemption using DNRC form 644 if the POD is completely defunct; and a permanent POD change that cannot use the 644 process would use DNRC’s normal water right change process.
  • Funding sources:
    • RDG/RRGL June through September - $545, 000 to communities affected by floods 
    • Other grant assistance – Planning grants $1.2M in place 85 projects;
    • Conservation District grants – assistance with 310 permitting, technical and legal;
    • Environmental contingency fund available

 

General Session - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MACo Committee Reports

Agriculture Committee

Co-Chairs, Kathy Bessette, Hill County & Maureen Davey, Stillwater County

Commissioners Kathy Bessette, Hill County, and Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, reported on the MACo Agriculture Committee meeting:

  • The Agriculture and Public Lands committees met briefly for a joint meeting/presentation on grazing districts.
  • Resolutions were reviewed, and the committee supports all of the resolutions from the previous year:
    • 2010-07, Historic Road Right of Way - Policy on adequate road valuation
    • 2010-10, Limit Use of County Road/Right of Way - Develop Policy Statement
    • 2010-15, Municipal Incorporation - Let it go away
  • HB 318 required County Commissioner approval prior to relocating Yellowstone Park bison into counties.  Troy will work on an update for the policy statement draft for the next meeting.
  • Harold briefly discussed the policy development process and the importance of policy relativity to county government.
  • Discussion on State purchases of private land, including taxation concerns, weed control issues:
    • Two laws passed regarding weed districts:  One identifies who actually employs weed staff and the other regarding non-compliance of weed control.  Local governments have the ability to enforce compliance of weed control, even on state-owned lands.
    • Newly-purchased land by the State doesn't HAVE to be removed from the tax rolls; however, that decision remains with the state agency doing the purchase.  There are some instances where FWP has purchased large tracts but agreed to continue paying property taxes to limit negative impacts to local governments.
  • Maureen Dave gave an update on the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee (grizzly bears):
    • The goal remains to de-list the grizzly.  One of the issues, which remain unresolved, is the accuracy of grizzly bear counts.  Maureen would like to see more Montana Commissioners consider attending the meetings and she will email information about the same to interested counties.
  • Updates:  Department of Livestock has confirmed cases of brucellosis in cattle in Park County.
  • Amy Adler, Rosebud County Weed Coordinator, reported on the need for weed control policies and management plans, as well as resolutions needing updates as a result of the weed laws passed. She also shared the changes in weed departments and weed district management that are anticipated to occur as counties seek new and innovative ways to control costs and still provide for weed control programs. 
  • The Montana Department of Ag shared the Department's desire to work with counties to maintain good quality weed departments.
  • G.C. "Tucker" Hughes, Judith Basin Commissioner, made the motion to have MACo's Ag Committee work with MACo's Public Lands Committee and the Department of Livestock in the scripting of a letter regarding the Bison Relocation Project.  Tom Rice, Beaverhead County Commissioner, seconded, and the motion carried.
  • Tom Rice brought up the proposed doubling of the state lease.  He urged Montana counties to take some individual action as commissioners--perhaps in the form of a letter to the land board regarding the economic impact to counties and, eventually, schools which can't pass local levies. 
  • Herb Townsend, Meagher County Commissioner, moved to have the MACo Ag Committee write a letter to the Montana Land Board in opposition of the doubling of the grazing fees on State Lands.  The motion was seconded and carried.
  • Kathy Bessette briefly updated the committee on the particulate and clean water issues from NACo.

Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee

Chair, Joe Briggs, Cascade County & Vice Chair Vic Miller, Blaine County

Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County, reported on the MACo Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee meeting:

  • Resolutions were reviewed for priority and pertinence.  The committee, by consensus, determined to continue to support, move to policy statement, or delete the following resolutions:
    • 2008-07, Clarify 76-3-511 MCA:  Support
    • 2008-37, Subsequent Hearing:  Support
    • 2010-01, Amending the IBMP:  Support
    • 2010-02, County Tax Appeal Boards:  Develop policy statement
    • 2010-07, Historic Road Right of Way Deed Purchase Extension:  Develop a road valuation policy statement
    • 2010-09, Interim Zoning:  Keep and tweak
    • 2010-10, Limit Use of Co. Road/Right of Way:  Support
    • 2010-11, Mail Ballot Option:  Support
    • 2010-12, Military Affected Area:  Develop policy statement based on new law
    • 2010-13, Mobile Home Disposal:  Support and pursue a bill
    • 2010-14, Movement of Bison:  Develop a policy statement using new law
    • 2010-15, Municipal Incorporation:  Delete and watch how the new law functions
    • 2010-17, Food Safety Compliance:  Support and find a bill sponsor
    • 2010-19, Statutory Cont. & Imp. of TIF:  Support and pursue the bill again without Urban Renewal 
    • 2010-21, Zoning Definition & Clarity:  Support and work to find consensus with attorneys
    • 2010-22, Technology Districts:  Support and pursue the bill again
  • The Committee also considered the XL pipeline resolution sponsored by the Montana Association of Oil, Gas, and Coal Counties.  There was consensus to support the resolution.
  • Policy Review:  While no changes were suggested, a brief discussion occurred regarding the benefit of coupling the economic development and labor issues.   The committee intends to begin working on a stronger statement regarding education in Montana.
  • Quinn Ness (Montana Department of Administration ITSD) addressed the committee regarding the Montana Broadband Project.  Regional discussions will occur throughout the state to determine how to best proceed. Quinn will provide Joe with a calendar of the regional meetings which he will in turn distribute to the committee.  All county Commissioners are encouraged to attend these meetings.
  • Diane Smith, an advisor to Mobile Future, and a Technology Consultant headquartered in Whitefish addressed the committee regarding economic development and Montana’s Mobile Future.
    • She shared many communications statistics:  There are more than 160 wireless providers in US; iPhone the most popular digital camera; everybody is involved in the apps market.  8 out of 10 apps are free.  1987 – Brick phone, 2008 iPhone, 2011 iPad.
    • Better access on school buses for kids to read.  Kids use it all the time – wireless.  3039 texts average per month– from kids. 
    • Ms. Smith believes we are about to have a spectrum shortage because of the huge amount of demand high speed data communication and encouraged public-private partnerships to identify and secure new locations for communication towers, new providers, etc.
  • Joe recommended and received consensus from the committee to pursue the development of Broadband as a Committee Project and ultimately, a MACo project.

Energy Committee

Chair, John Prinkki, Carbon County & Vice Chair Allan Underdal, Toole County

Commissioner John Prinkki, Carbon County, reported on the MACo Energy Committee meeting:

  • Discussed current resolutions, but none of them really pertained to the Energy committee. 
  • Discussed & Amended:  2011-03, Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • Introduced:  2011-04, Support MAOGCC Amicus Brief Cause No. DV-11-424.
  • MSTI Line:  Madison & Jefferson Counties with WELC and others
    • Representatives of each group:  Leonard Wortman and Dave Schulz
    • Lawsuit—Lack of Coordination with counties
    • Not Stop—Promote better route
    • http://www.mstireviewproject.org

Health & Human Services Committee

Chair Bill Kennedy, Yellowstone County & Vice Chair, Carl Seilstad, Fergus County

Commissioner Carl Seilstad, Fergus County, reported on the MACo Health & Human Services Committee meeting:  

  • Sheryl Wood, MACo Associate Director, presented HB 365, Revise laws regarding involuntary commitment.
    • This bill was defeated last year, but it's coming back.
    • Counties are advised to get a copy of the bill, have the county attorney review it, and get back to MACo.
  • Two guest speakers present:  Jane Smiley from the Department of Health & Human Services and Bill Hodges, Chairman of the Eastern Service Area Authority.
  • Jane reported that there were cuts this year to the Department from the Legislative session. She reported that they are dealing with the cuts the best they can by shifting things around within the Department. She would like to be more proactive before the next session and would like the H&HS committee to meet with their Department to discuss issues that will affect us all. There was discussion about setting up a meeting to do this before the midwinter meeting.
  • Bill Hodges informed the committee of the work the Eastern Service Area Authority (ESAA) is doing in Eastern Montana. The ESAA is comprised of 28 counties with different Local Advisory Councils in various counties. The Service Area Authorities receive money from the Department to operate on thru the course of the year. The ESAA budgets over half of the money it receives being distributed back to the LAC’s for education and promotion of mental health services. Bill Hodges also reported on the values of the  LAC’s and the 3 SAA’s in getting information from the consumers to the state and the providers as the ESAA board is comprised of consumers, commissioners, and providers. The State also participates in the meeting via teleconferencing. Most of the meetings are conducted using teleconferencing with the exception of the annual congress, which they encourage everyone to attend. The annual conference could be done by teleconferencing if requested. This is a way the ESAA holds their costs down to be able to offer more in support of mental health services.
  • Committee made no changes to the policy statement.
  • Resolutions that the committee felt should be carried forward:  2010-13, Mobile Home Disposal and 2010-17, Food Safety Compliance.

Information Technology/Telecommunications/Interoperability Committee

Co-Chairs, Sandra Broesder, Pondera County & Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

Commissioner Sandra Broesder, Pondera County, reported on the Information Technology Committee meeting:

  • Local IT people trying to form their own working group; anyone who is interested, please contact Art Pembroke or Joe Froelich.
    • Shared services
  • Interoperability Montana Project:  There have been some problems with grounding towers and lightening; they aren't surviving lightening strikes.
  • Erin Geraghty, GIS Programmer/Analyst, BMSC discussed the GIS & NRIS merger under the Montana State Library.  It's a good fit going forward.
  • Amy Palmer, ITSD, discussed the service catalog at http://itsdservicecatalog.mt.gov, which lists services that ITSD would be willing to share with other agencies and local government.
  • Government IT Conference in December
  • State programs that impact Counties: DPHHS (through County Health Department) eligibility selection tool, Insurance verification licensing through MERLIN

Justice & Public Safety Committee

Chair, Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County & Vice Chair Ken Ronish, Fergus County

Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, reported on the Justice & Public Safety Committee meeting:

  • Reviewed and discussed policy statements:  Struck policy statement #3 in its entirety
    • Homework to more thoroughly review the policy statements before midwinter
  • Sheryl Wood provided Law & Justice Interim Committee updates.
  • Becky Berger updated the committee on HB 22, which extend the sunset on wireless 9-1-1 funding for less populated counties (84-16) Rule. The committee will likely have a policy statement to support removing the sunset law and keeping the 84-16 Rule intact.
  • Discussed HB 365, Revise laws regarding involuntary commitment, and will be following up on it for the December meeting.
  • Discussed other legislation, such as jail standards, social host, and DNA storage—need to work with partners during the interim.
  • Talked about POST and their investigations & techniques.
  • Thanks to Sheryl Wood and Laura Obert, Broadwater County Commissioner, for their help and work.

Land Use Planning & Development Committee

Co-Chairs, Paddy Trusler, Lake County & J.R. Iman, Ravalli County

Commissioner J.R. Iman, Ravalli County, reported on the Land Use & Development Committee meeting:

  • Legislative Review: There were many contentious and unresolved issues.
  • Resolution & Policy Statement discussion:
    • Resolution 2010-13, Mobile Home Disposal – There are a lack of rules, so the committee talked about finding ways to get releases from the Dept. of Revenue, finding local releases from county officials depending on what ability they have for disposal, whose responsibility it is, and the disposal of the carcasses of mobile homes.  This is a situation that needs to be handled as a group.  The committee will be working with other committees to get suggestions.
    • Policy Statements – The Legislature failed to come up with solution to Subdivisions for Rent or Lease.  There are different problems in different parts of the state.  There will be an Interim Study Committee at the Legislative level, and the committee will work with those people and other committees to get input from the counties and come up with a statement on which to agree.
  • Discussed certification surveys and subdivision plats by our professional engineers and surveyors—they want to reduce amount of information that is found with a plat in the County Courthouse.
    • Original easements, land use restrictions, floodplain areas (they just want a map with the dimensions).
    • Makes it nice for engineers and surveyors, but doesn’t convey all the information that may be needed on a secondary visit.
  • Talked about how local governments can have a seat at the table at the Legislature to work out coordination and cooperation.
  • Discussed changes to the state weed law that occurred this year:  Counties now have the authority to put in place mitigation measures on private properties and establish process in land use development situations.
  • The committee thanks Harold Blattie and the staff for their work on these issues.

Public Lands Committee

Chair, Lesley Robinson, Phillips County & Vice Chair, Todd Devlin, Prairie County

Commissioner Leslie Robinson, Phillips County, reported on the Public Lands Committee meeting:

  • Joint Meeting with Public Lands and Agriculture:
    • Errol Rice from the Montana Stockgrowers Association spoke to the joint group on issues of concern and interest.
      • El Paso, Ruby pipeline agreement with Western Watershed and Public Lands Council--set bad precedence.
      • Reviewed Draft EPA guidelines for Clean Water Act.  EPA guidelines leaning toward interpretation of Supreme Court position to have guidelines address “all water of the US.”
      • Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks will have meetings on Bison Translocation in Deer Lodge on Oct. 5 at 6:30pm at Community Center; Shelby on Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Marias River Electric; Glasgow on Oct. 17 at 7p.m. at Glasgow Civic Center (we are putting together a letter).
      • Spoke about state lands grazing fee increase.
      • The Equal Access for Justice Act and possible legislation to restrict use
      • Idaho Public Opinion on Grazing Public Lands (University of Idaho)
        • 89% approve
        • 85% think that grazing is an appropriate multiple use.
        • 86% want public grazing
        • 59% feel that public range is in good or very good condition
    • Bill Loehding spoke on State recognized Grazing Districts (Montana is the only state at this point in time that have the government structure to recognize Grazing Districts as public entities and have status of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration with Federal and State Agencies).
  • Main Public Lands Committee Meeting
    • Resolution and Policy Statement Discussion
      • Renewed two resolutions to keep them on the books:
        • 2010-10, Limit Use of Co. Road/Right of Way
        • 2010-21, Zoning Definition & Clarity
      • Went over three new resolutions:
        • 2011-01, Support HR1581 - Passed to support in our committee 6-1
        • 2011-02, Fort Belknap Community Water Settlement - Passed unanimously
        • 2011-03, Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline - Support
      • Policy on land transfers:  Harold Blattie came in to explain that policy must show direct impact to county.
      • Came up with new policy statement:  MACo strongly encourages the congressional delegation and the State Land Board to fully analyze the economic impacts on local governments with the cooperation and coordination of the affected counties before supporting any land transfers.
    • Additional business:  Presentation by Todd Devlin on the history of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).

Transportation Committee

Chair, John Ostlund, Yellowstone County & Vice Chair, Richard Dunbar, Phillips County

Commissioner Joe Christiaens, Pondera County, reported on the Transportation Committee meeting:

  • Resolutions Review
    • 2010-07, Historic Road Right of Way:  Extended to 2015
  • Policy Statement Review
  • Heavy Loads Discussion:  Missoula County came in and talked about why they were objecting to it—breaking down of roads and they didn’t look at alternative routes.  Also there are bridges that are old that cannot handle the loads.
  • Special Fuel Permits: Harold Blattie came and talked to the committee about special fuel permits.
  • Pipeline Safety:  Federal guidelines are still in review.
  • Phone Lines:  Being cut.

Urban Counties Coalition

Chair, Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County

Commissioner Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County, reported on the Urban Counties Coalition meeting:

  • Resolutions Review
    • The committee would like to continue to discuss the following:
      • 2010-10, Limit Use of County Road/Right of Way
      • 2010-11, Mail Ballot Option
      • 2010-13, Mobile Home Disposal
      • 2010-19, Statutory Continuation & Importance of TIF
      • 2010-21, Zoning Definition & Clarity
      • 2010-22, Technology Districts
    • Discussed passage of HB 287—Historic Road Right-of-Way:  Requesting further educational materials on that from staff; seems to be a misunderstanding on what counties have to do and when.
  • Four Discussion Items
    • School speed zones on state highways in rural areas
    • Bear counties and what they do with garbage as well as their programs
    • Local Advisory Councils (LACs) and how commissions can assist them in improving their function and product that comes out of the councils
      • Gallatin County and Lewis & Clark County models
    • Subdivisions for rent or lease with Tara DePuy, MACo JPIA Land Use Attorney
    • Election of Urban County Representative to MACo Board of Directors— Andy Hunthausen
    • Thanks to Sheryl Wood, Kathy McGowan, and Tara DePuy

 

NACo Committee Reports

Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee

Agriculture Subcommittee Vice Chair, Kathy Bessette, Hill County

Commissioner Kathy Bessette, Hill County, reported on the NACo Agriculture & Rural Affairs Steering Committee meeting:

  • Montana has a voice in Washington, D.C.  People sympathize with Montana’s issues; there are a lot of people concerned with rural affairs.
  • Resolutions:  Captive shipper issue, bison issue, office of rural education; also supported John Prinkki’s resolution on particulate matter
  • Waters of the US is always going to be around—have to be aware of that.
  • White House Rural Council
  • Turned down request to put all rural housing into HUD

Community & Economic Development Steering Committee

Committee Member, Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County

Commissioner Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, reported on the NACo Community & Economic Development Steering Committee meeting:

  • Two Subcommittees:  Housing and economic development
  • Focus at national level is more urban.
  • Housing subcommittee met:  Concerns that Washington is attacking the housing industry because of the threat to the mortgage interest deduction, housing finance systems, and access to credit
  • Federal legislation pending to prevent the appraisals of foreclosed properties from depending on comparable properties that are not in foreclosure
  • Annual Conference in Oregon:  Oregon State Housing & Community Services Director talked about affordable housing solutions used by the state of Oregon; they formed innovative partnerships with different levels of government; they incorporated agencies, developers, housing advocates, and the outcome was new short-term financing, the enhancement of new affordable housing plans, and participation in a new neighborhood stabilization program.
  • Ordinance solutions program:  Mitigation of natural disaster issues. 
  • Served on a Task Force for the Clean Water Act, flew to Washington, and lobbied several Senators and Representatives.

Environment, Energy & Land Use Steering Committee

Committee Member, John Prinkki, Carbon County

Commissioner John Prinkki, Carbon County, reported on the NACo Environment, Energy & Land Use Steering Committee meeting:

  • Lots of overlap with other committees—works well; never know what dynamics are going to be in other committees; cap and trade well as the captive shipper issue was in multiple committees.
  • Clean Air/Particulate Matter: Managing county roads in Montana as well as the agriculture industry and economic development would have been significantly hindered by regulation of particulate matter. NACo urged against this.
  • Clean Water Act: Administration and Congress have been fighting on whether or not to take the word navigable out of the Clean Water Act and Conserve Waters of the US; this would hinder any maintenance of roads—burrow ditches with water would become regulated.  NACo urged against this as well.

Human Services & Education Steering Committee

Committee Member, Carl Seilstad, Fergus County

Commissioner Carl Seilstad, Fergus County, reported on the NACo Human Services & Education Steering Committee meeting:

  • Representation at NACo—would like to thank reservation counties and OGCC for sending people as well as MACo.  States are sending many people to sit on the committees, so representation is important.
  • This was the first year that there were no resolutions asking for more money.
  • Committee is made up of more populous/urban counties.
  • Issues related to immigration:  Impact on health & human services
  • Attended other committees as well:  represent, support committee members, give feedback
  • Resolution from the Environment, Energy & Land Use Committee:  Initiative to teach environmental issues in schools
    • Commissioner Seilstad’s feedback:  Eastern states may have different point of view than Western states—should come from individual states with local support.

Finance & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee

Committee Member, Vic Miller, Blaine County

Commissioner Vic Miller, Blaine County, reported on the NACo Finance & Intergovernmental Affairs Steering Committee meeting:

  • Three major charges at NACo Level
    • Reservation Counties—Government to government relationship:  There were no burning issues this year.
    • Voting Issues:  Healthy debate about mail ballots—by the end of debate both the proponent and the opponent agreed that mail ballots were okay.
    • Taxation:  The big one that comes up often is internet sales and sales tax; how do we tax that?  We continue to talk about this and try to figure it out.

Labor & Employment Steering Committee & State Workforce Investment (SWIB) Board Update

Committee Member, Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, reported on the NACo Labor & Employment Steering Committee meeting:

  • SWIB:  Commitment to keep local government involved
  • President Connie Eissinger, McCone County, and Mike DesRosier, Glacier County, also sit on the SWIB, so there’s lots of county involvement; Mike’s trips are paid for by the Montana Department of Labor.
  • Keep talking about how to get along; cut down the walls that each agency has.  It’s a little different in Montana where community and economic development more deals with labor and employment; whereas, at the national level economic development is on one side and workforce development is on the other.  At that level, they really need to be working together, so we work on these issues.

Western Interstate Regions (WIR) Caucus

Board Past President, Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County

Commissioner Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, reported on the NACo WIR meeting:

  • 15 Western States:  Each state appoints two members—Mike Murray (represents Urban/Forest Counties) and Lesley Robinson (represents BLM/Rural Counties)
  • Priorities:  Funding of Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and PILT
    • Marianne Roose, Lincoln County:  Montana Representative and Secretary Treasurer on the National Forest Counties & Schools Coalition Board, sit on the Executive Board and also actively involved in the Partnership for Rural America campaign that is working on reauthorization process for SRS
      • Reauthorization process consists of an average of three conference calls per week—Montana does have a voice in D.C.
      • Reauthorization came out in the President’s budget and the House budget, although not at the levels we were hoping.
      • We are working with the Senate.
      • Congress understands that they have some obligation to the public lands in the west.
      • Super Committee will have a say.
    • More optimism on PILT level; Super Committee will have a say in this as well.

Public Lands Steering Committee

Management Subcommittee Chair, Lesley Robinson, Phillips County

Commissioner Lesley Robinson, Phillips County, reported on the NACo Public Lands Steering Committee meeting:

  • Three Subcommittees: Payments, Management, and Gateway Communities
  • Active committee and Montana has a voice:  Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, Todd Devlin, Prairie County, and Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, also sit on this committee.
  • Diverse group that works on a lot of issues
    • Crown Jewels:  Request from BLM
    • Marijuana in Wilderness Areas:  Police difficulties
  • Need more people on Public Land/bring the issues back to Public Lands
  • Appreciate opportunity to be on the committee

Transportation Steering Committee

Committee Member, John Ostlund, Yellowstone County

Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, reported on the NACo Transportation Steering Committee meeting: 

  • Highway Safety Network:  Funding roads and bridges
  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs):  Discussed as result of new highway bill
  • Other Discussion Topics:  Electric cars, Complete Streets policy
  • Highway Bill: Senate extended to January 2012
    • Eliminate bike trails and other transportation enhancements
    • Focus on highway safety projects
    • Off-system bridge program is on hit list in the new bill; Transportation Committee supports the program.
    • President Obama proposed stimulus package; may change amount of money available for transportation funding.

 

The Role of the County Sanitarians in Montana in Their Communities

Melissa Tuemmler, Supervisor, Food & Consumer Safety Section, Department of Public Health & Human Services

Melissa discussed the duties of sanitarians and how the Food and Consumer Safety Section supports the counties. She also discussed the future of the profession in Montana and how counties can prepare for greater demands on environmental health professionals.

  • Who are we? County Sanitarian:  Registered Sanitarian, Environmental Health Specialist, “Health Inspector”
  • Mission:  Addressing environmental issues that impact the health of a community/county/state; food we eat, air we breathe, water we drink;  wastewater, garbage, water supply, air quality, food service, food supply, public accommodations, etc.
  • Who:  In MT, most employed by local health departments; “authorized agent” of local board of health and health officer;  currently approximately100 County Sanitarians; others--DPHHS FCS, DEQ, private consulting
  • How:  Ensure compliance of health standards—Law (statute), rule (ARM), ordinance, policy; educate first, then enforce; follow-up, and lastly, consequences
  • Where:  Community, county, district, state;  “Licensed Establishments” –restaurants, food service, public accommodations, campgrounds, trailer courts, work camps, food manufacturing and other food wholesale, as well as schools, daycares, group homes, jails, institutions, large group events
  • When:  Preventative and proactive (inspections), response (complaints, events—emergencies—technical assistance), epidemiological study
  • FCS Mission:  Protect public health through education, training, technical services, information, and enforcement of health standards (sanitation standards) through local health departments.
  • State Health Authority:  MCA—Title 50:  Health & Safety
    • Chapter 1:  Administration of Public Health Laws
      • Part 1:  General provisions –Definitions, enforcement, collaboration & relationships within public health system.
      • Part 2:  Department –General powers & duties, public health inspections, quarantine & isolation measures
  • Local Health Authority:  MCA—Title 50:  Health & Safety
    • Chapter 2
      • Boards of health –county, city, city-county, district
      • Financing, appropriations
      • Legal advisor (county attorney)
      • Powers & duties of local boards of health
      • Powers & duties of local health officers; appointment
      • Assistance from law enforcement officials
      • Obstruction of local health officer
      • Compliance order authorized
      • Penalties for violations (misdemeanor)
      • Local regulations –written finding, public hearing & comment, adopted by local board
  • Collaboration = ‘the PH system’
    • In general, the department and local public health agencies shall seek to establish working relationships with federal, tribal, and other state or local public health agencies and with other public sector partners engaged in the provision of public health services and functions within the public health system. [50-1-106, MCA]
    • In order to carry out the purposes of the public health system to protect and promote the public health, the department, in collaboration with federal, state and local partners, shall:… [50-1-202, MCA]
    • In order to carry out the purposes of the public health system, in collaboration with federal, state, and local partners, each local board of health shall:…[50-2-116, MCA]
  • A local board of health may provide, implement, facilitate, or encourage other public health services and functions as considered reasonable and necessary. [50-2-116(3), MCA]
  • Inspector Responsibilities:  Cite deficiencies (time and place specific, not omniscient or ever-present, complete documentation), relay deficiencies and public health reasons, follow-up, complaints—response will vary with types
  • Responsibilities:  Establishment (follow health standards; know the health standards), County Sanitarian (verify, document, correct, teach, enforce), Local Boards of Health & Health Officer (empower, provide competent workforce, legal action), State Dept. of Public Health–Food & Consumer Safety (evaluate, educate, mobilize partnerships, develop policy & rule)

 

Disaster Guidance, an Eligibility Discussion

Tim Thennis, Bureau Chief, Response & Recovery, Disaster & Emergency Services Division

Question and answer session regarding FEMA’s County and State Per Capita Indicators and Tax Year 2010 Value of the 2 Mill Emergency Levy.

  • Don’t have to do a 2-mill right off
  • Can do a local declaration and then levy the 2 mills later; you’ll know if it’s a state disaster or a presidential
    • $1.2 million or more is presidential; under $1.2 million is state
  • Anything over the 2-mill, the state picks up
  • News this morning said they were going to replenish disaster fund.
  • 24-hour Number:  324-4447

 

General Session - Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Open Meeting Act Compliance & Avoiding Lawsuits

Tara DePuy, JPIA Land Use Attorney; Susan Swimley, JPIA Land Use Attorney; Mike Sehestedt, MACo Chief Legal Counsel; Maureen Lennon, MACo Associate Legal Counsel

A panel discussion that highlighted the issues the counties face under the Open Meetings Act, especially in light of litigation. The Open Meeting Act and Montana law requires counties to properly notice meetings. Discussing legal strategy in litigation against counties requires discussion between the client and attorney. Violation of the Open Meeting Act can result in counties paying attorney’s fees to the party challenging the county’s compliance with the Act.

  • Susan Swimley, JPIA Land Use Attorney
    • Quarum of commissioners must comply with the Open Meeting Act.
    • AG Opinion said 48 hours is sufficient notice, and putting it on the agenda is sufficient form to give notice.
    • Minutes:  Day, time, location, names, items of discussion, proposals, motions, and actions (passed, unanimous, etc.)
    • Exceptions to Notice
      • 2-3-112. Exceptions. The provisions of 2-3-103 and 2-3-111 do not apply to:
        (1) an agency decision that must be made to deal with an emergency situation affecting the public health, welfare, or safety;
        2) an agency decision that must be made to maintain or protect the interests of the agency, including but not limited to the filing of a lawsuit in a court of law or becoming a party to an administrative proceeding; or
        3) a decision involving no more than a ministerial act.
  • Tara DePuy, JPIA Land Use Attorney
    • AG Opinion says 48 hours notices, but Supreme Court says you may want to do more than 48 hours if the topic is of significant public interest.
    • When closing a meeting for litigation or personal privacy, allow public comment before closing.  You don’t have to comment on their public comment.
      • Don’t close the meeting if you think you will be sued; it has to be filed.
      • Settlement agreement terms must be posted so public can comment on it before you sign off.
    • Agendas:  Be specific; don’t do a catchall category.
  • Maureen Lennon, MACo Associate Legal Counsel
    • Mediation Statute:  Insured claim—all parts of mediation consist of litigation strategy.
  • Mike Sehestedt, MACo Chief Legal Counsel
    • Opposed to opening any part of mediation to the public except in exceptional cases.

 

MSU Update

Waded Cruzado, MSU President

  • MSU broke record in terms of student enrollment.  We are meeting the needs of the constituents.  We have more students that are from Montana:  9% increase of Native American students, great increase in number of transfer students—we are recognizing the other courses from other universities as being equivalent to MSU courses, so students can transfer and graduate sooner.
  • There are more students graduating; it went up 47%, and this year it is 50.8%. 
  • We have exceedingly bright students; the average ACT score is 25.2, and this is the third year in a row that two of our students have received the Gold Water Award.  We are ranked 14th in the nation for our Gold Water Scholars.
  • Research:  Every student receives a hands-on research experiences; the Department of Energy granted MSU $67 million.
  • We create approximately 13,000 jobs, and we attract $1 billion in personal income.
  • Service:  Outreach/Extension—the entire state is our campus.  The counties are partners in our extension services; thank you for that partnership.

 

Federal Funding for Transportation

Tim Reardon, Director, Department of Transportation

Tim Reardon, Department of Transportation (MDT) Director, provided background information on how MDT is funded and how funds are distributed, including the statutory allocation to local government. He also provided information on the current construction activity and funding throughout the state and explained how MDT selects projects. He also gave an update on the current funding issues from both the state and federal perspective.

  • Big Question: How much money is going to be available tomorrow/next year?
  • Problem:  How to plan projects when the funding source and amount are uncertain.
  • MDT is trying to identify projects that are ready to go into construction, so they can get projects underway.  Highway construction is keeping a lot guys working right now.
  • Two Bills at Federal Level:  1.) Senate version--$41 billion; 2.) House version--$27 billion (30-40% reduction in our program—we won’t see what we’ve been seeing the last 18-20 years).
  • Montana has seen a greater return on the gas tax (federal level) than we put in.
  • In six months we could be where we were two weeks ago, which is what do we do, and how do we pay for it?
  • Alternative ways to fund the program:
    • Some states are considering tolls, which isn’t realistic in Montana.
    • Tax raises—not popular
  • We are a victim of our own success—more cars on the road that are electric or get great gas mileage.
  • Problem:  Taking care of the snow, but not the spring issues (breaking, holes, etc.)
  • A construction project takes five to seven years to get underway; the planning process takes time before getting in front of the selection committee.  All projects go to the Transportation Commission.
  • There is almost $2 billion of identified needs in the State Transportation System; we do the worst first (ones that deal with safety).
  • We work closely with the counties on the Secondary Road Program; once roads get paved, the state takes over maintenance.
  • Floods:  $36 million in damage to state roads and bridge—again, worst goes first (33 projects identified)

 

Preview of the Montana Labor Day Report

Pam Bucy, Administrative Counsel, Department of Labor & Industry

  • Recession:  Began in the 4th quarter of 2007 and ended 18 months later, 2nd quarter of 2009.
  • Montana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) loss was 2.3%.
  • Montana’s income increased 1.8%, and private employment is up 3%.
  • Montana has out-performed the nation.
  • Many Montanans have experienced job losses, mostly in construction; healthcare and education grew, but job growth in construction is slow—building permits are on the rise.
  • Montana unemployment rate is slow/dramatically down over last six months.
  • Indian Reservations performed similarly to the state.
  • Report points to urging people to get post-secondary degrees or further raining, as there will be more jobs available for people with higher degrees/education.
  • Montana’s Workforce for a Greener Economy (report available on the Department of Labor & Industry Website):  Green jobs don’t need more training, but may possibly be more specialized.

 

Health Care Reform

Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities & Insurance

This presentation was about the rapidly changing landscape of health insurance, legislative initiatives from Montana’s 2011 session, and the steps the Commissioners’ office is taking to better educate and serve Montana’s consumers and small businesses.

  • Four pieces of legislation; none of them passed.
  • Affordable Care Act Issues
  • Medical Home Model

 

County Commissioners’ Responsibility When Serving on Boards

Mike Sehestedt, MACo Chief Legal Counsel and Greg Bonilla, MACo Associate Legal Counsel

This program discussed the duties of board members generally including Board Members’ duties of care, loyalty, and obedience. It also provided guidance on the identification of incompatible offices.

  • Duty of Care:  Attend meetings regularly, and understand what written material says (reports, documents, financial statements, actions, etc.).
  • Loyalty:  Undivided loyalty when making decisions affecting the organization—a board member can never use information obtained as a member for personal gain, but must act in the best interests of the organization.
  • Obedience:  Board members must be faithful to the organization's mission; they are not permitted to act in a way that is inconsistent with the central goals of the organization.
  • Incompatible Offices:  If one office is in any way subordinate to another office, then they are incompatible.

 

Closing General Session

Roll Call

Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, Fiscal Officer

After Roll call was taken, Cynthia Johnson announced a quorum was present to conduct business.

 

Unfinished Business from Opening General Session

Harold Blattie, MACo Executive Director

  • Commissioner Redistricting:  Statute says “following the census,” but it doesn’t say when you have to do it.  Most counties could do it for the 2012 election.  Some have to comply with legislative redistricting lines and more.
  • Fuel Tax Bidding Timing:  If you have a prior bid out that won’t be out until after October 1, then do an addendum.
  • HB 351, TSEP Bill & Litigation: The lawsuit isn’t about the Governor’s right to do a statutory veto.  It’s about what constitutes an item of appropriation.
    • Plaintiff’s Case:  Only the legislature can impose regulations on the item of appropriation.
    • Every county has a stake in this, which is why MACo has been approved by the Board of Directors to contribute $10,000 in support of the litigation.
    • The brief and injunction have been filed.
    • Maureen Davey, Stillwater County:  Stillwater County is going to contribute $1000 to the fund.
  • HB 645, Providing for a budget stabilization account:  It was not stimulus money; it was HB 2 General Fund money.  There are no federal strings on it; there are only strings that Legislature put on it to free up HB 2 money.

 

Resolution of Appreciation

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, President

Whereas, the 2011 Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties 102nd such meeting; and

Whereas, attendance of member counties marks its success; and

Whereas, the fine facilities in Bozeman make us all feel welcome.

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the 102nd Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties expresses its sincere appreciation for the sponsorship of this conference to the Gallatin County Commissioners and staff:

  • Joe Skinner
  • Bill Murdock
  • Steve White

Motion/Vote:  A motion to pass the Resolution of Appreciation was made by Allan Underdal, Toole County and seconded by Gary MacDonald, Roosevelt County. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Election of Officers

Past President, President & 1st Vice President

Carl Seilstad, Fergus County:  The nominations are as follows:  for MACo Past President John Ostlund, Yellowstone County; for MACo President, Connie Eissinger, McCone County; and for MACo 1st Vice President, Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County. Are there any other nominations? Nominations have been closed.

A motion for acclamation was made by Cele Pohle, Powell County, seconded by Tony Berget, Lincoln County, and passed by unanimous consent to elect John Ostlund as MACo Past President, Connie Eissinger as MACo President, and Greg Chilcott as MACo 1st Vice President.

2nd Vice President

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County:  I would like to open the nominations up for office of MACo 2nd Vice President. Are there any nominations?

A motion was made by John Prinkki, Carbon County, seconded by Dave Schulz, Madison County, to nominate Joe Briggs as MACo 2nd Vice President.  The motion passed by unanimous consent. 

Are there any further nominations?  Nominations are closed.  Congratulations Joe Briggs, MACo 2nd Vice President.

Fiscal Officer

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County:  I would like to open the nominations up for office of MACo Fiscal Officer. Are there any nominations?

A motion was made Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, seconded by Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, to nominate Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, for MACo Fiscal Officer.  The motion passed by unanimous consent. 

Are there any further nominations?  Nominations are closed.  Congratulations Cynthia Johnson, MACo Fiscal Officer.

 

2013 Conference Location

Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County:  Lewis & Clark County invites you to come to Helena in 2013 and enjoy the Capital City.  We offer many wonderful amenities, including a tour of the Capitol.  We’d love to have you, and we’re willing to serve if called upon. 

Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County for Missoula County (representation not present):  If you’d consider coming to Missoula, I’ll introduce you to my grandkids.

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County:  There are two nominations for the 2013 Annual Conference location. Are there any other nominations? Nominations have been closed. 

The counties caucused.

Vote:  A visual/hand vote was taken and Lewis & Clark County had majority (31 votes). 

The 2013 MACo Annual Conference will be held in Lewis & Clark County.

 

Resolutions

Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, Resolutions & Legislative Committee Chair

Overview of Process:  For each resolution, we have to vote to suspend the rules, and then we vote on the resolution. We have three resolutions that are being presented, so we will have to suspend the rules three times.  We have one resolution that went through the resolutions process, so we will not have to suspend the rules for that particular resolution.  We also have a Public Lands Policy Statement addition.  We can just vote on this item as well; we don’t have to suspend the rules.

  • 2011-01, A Resolution to Support HR1581 (Releasing WSA's & IRA's)
    • This resolution was submitted by Beaverhead County in a timely fashion and went through the resolutions process, so we do not need to suspend the rules.

Motion/Vote:  Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, motioned to amend the resolution, striking “2001” in the last sentence of the final paragraph, and then approve the resolution as amended.  The motion was seconded by Leonard Wortman, Jefferson County.  The motion passed by unanimous consent.

  • Fort Belknap Community Water Settlement

Motion/Vote:  Cele Pohle, Powell County, motioned to suspend the rules.  The motion was seconded by Sandra Broesder, Pondera County. With no other discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Motion:  Cynthia Johnson, Pondera County, motioned to approve the proposed resolution.  The motion was seconded by Suzy Foss, Missoula County.

  • Discussion
    • Lesley Robinson, Phillips County:  The last draft will include 64,000 acres (State, BLM, and BOR lands); lands in the communities of Zortman and Landusky.  We want them to analyze the impacts on those communities and the county.
      • Suzy Foss, Ravalli County:  Could you please explain the financial impact?
        • Lesley Robinson:  BLM has indicated that possibly Blaine, Phillips, and Valley County would be affected.  These counties would lose their PILT for the land traded, as it would become tribal, and there is no PILT for tribal lands.
      • Dan Happel, Madison County:  Could you explain if there are private property owners affected?
        • Lesley Robinson:  Yes, there are two patented mining claims, one with 1000 acres and one with334 acres that would be landlocked.
      • Vic Miller, Blaine County:  As a potentially affected county, I’m having a real minute of understanding of water compact bill; I wasn’t sure before, but I now rise in support.

Vote:  Mike Murray—If there is no further discussion, we will vote.  Only voting delegates are permitted to vote.  As a point of clarification, this resolution has gone through the MACo Public Lands Committee and received a “Do Pass” recommendation.  All voting delegates in favor of this resolution signify by saying “aye.”  Motion carries by unanimous consent.  This resolution becomes 2011-02.

  • Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline
    • Mike Murray:  This resolution went through the MACo Energy Committee, the MACo Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee, and the MACo Public Lands Committee and received a “Do Pass as Amended” recommendation.

Motion:  Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, motioned to suspend the rules.  The motion was seconded by John Ostlund, Yellowstone County. With no other discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Motion:  John Ostlund, motioned to approve the proposed resolution as amended.  The motion was seconded by Don McDowell, Powder River County.

  • Discussion
    • Richard Dunbar, Phillips County:  This resolution mirrors the OGCC resolution that was passed Monday night at the meeting.  Has to do with the pipeline that would run through Canada, Montana, and down to Texas.  Because it crosses national boarders, there must be a Presidential Permit issued.  Last night was the final round of Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) and comment period.  It received much support from other counties in the eastern and western parts of the state.  This purpose of this resolution is to send the message to the Department of State that we support issuing the permit.
      • Friendly amendment:  Cynthia Johnson—Offered a friendly amendment to the original motion to remove the word “that” in paragraphs six and seven.
        • Response:  John Ostlund and Don McDowell accepted the friendly amendment.
      • Friendly amendment:  John Prinkki, Carbon County—The Energy Committee offered a friendly amendment to the original motion to have the resolution amended in the sixth paragraph:  change “truly” to “firmly.”
        • Response:  John Ostlund and Don McDowell accepted the friendly amendment.
      • Friendly amendment:  Maureen Davey, Stillwater County— Offered a friendly amendment to the original motion to spell out the acronym “EIS” in the first paragraph.
        • Response:  John Ostlund and Don McDowell accepted the friendly amendment.

Vote:  Mike Murray—If there is no further discussion, we will vote.  All voting delegates in favor of this resolution as amended signify by saying “aye.”  Motion carries by unanimous consent.  This resolution becomes 2011-03.

  • Support MAOGCC Amicus Brief Cause No. DV-11-424
    • Mike Murray:  This resolution went through the MACo Energy Committee and received a “Do Pass” recommendation.

Motion/Vote:  Carl Seilstad, Fergus County, motioned to suspend the rules.  The motion was seconded by John Ostlund. With no other discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

Motion:  Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County, motioned to approve the proposed resolution.  The motion was seconded by Cynthia Johnson.

  • Discussion
    • Allan Underdal, Toole County:  This resolution is a simple MOGCC resolution; it states the obvious.  We do have the Amicus Brief, so that is available if needed—it boils down to “Now Therefore” section: MACo supports the MAOGCC amicus curiae brief Cause No.  DV-11-424 in support of Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited motion to dissolve or modify the preliminary injunction against the MDT permit to use Montana Highways.
      • Paddy Trusler, Lake County:  The resolution seems to be somewhat contradictory.  I suggest removing the second “Whereas.”
        • Allan Underdal:  The committee felt that before action is taken, there needs to be discussion between the counties involved.
      • Maureen Davey:  At the top, in the intent, the word “Curiae” needs to be included after the word “Amicus.”
        • Mike Sehestedt, MACo Chief Legal Counsel:  It gets referred to both as “Amicus” and “Amicus Curiae,” so either is appropriate.

Motion:  Paddy Trusler motioned to amend the resolution—strike the second “Whereas” statement.  The motion was seconded by Ron Stoltz, Ravalli County.

  • Discussion
    • Allan Underdal:  I am in opposition to removing this, as it was deliberately put in the resolution. We’re not trying to be confrontational; we’re just stating a point that without any consultation with other counties, an action was taken that affected other counties.  It’s not meant to be personal.

Vote:  Mike Murray—If there is no further discussion, we will vote on the amendment.  All voting delegates in favor of this amendment signify by saying “aye;” opposed same sign.  The motion failed.

Vote:  All voting delegates in favor of this resolution signify by saying “aye.”  The motion to approve the resolution carries by unanimous consent.  This resolution becomes 2011-04.

  • Public Lands Policy Statement
    • Mike Murray:  The policy statement addition reads as follows:  MACo strongly encourages the congressional delegation and the State Land Board to fully analyze the economic impacts on local governments with the cooperation and coordination of the affected counties before supporting any land transfers

Motion:  Troy Blunt, Phillips County, motioned to approve the proposed Public Lands Policy Statement addition.  The motion was seconded by Dave Schulz, Madison County.

  • Discussion
    • Maureen Davey:  Does this policy statement come from a resolution.
    • Mike Murray:  No, it doesn’t need to.

Vote:  Mike Murray—If there is no further discussion, we will vote on the Public Lands Policy Statement addition.  All voting delegates in favor of this policy statement addition signify by saying “aye.”  Motion carries by unanimous consent.

  • Process:  Previously passed resolutions will be carried forward to the next meeting.

 

2012 Ballot Initiatives

Mike Sehestedt, MACo Chief Legal Counsel, Jack Holstrom, MACo Personnel Services Administrator, and Ronda Wiggers, Lobbyist

  • Ronda Wiggers, Lobbyist
    • LR 119 (SB 268):  Referendum to require election of supreme court justices from districts
      • This is on the Primary Election Ballot
    • LR 120 (HB 627):  Referendum to revise parental notice of abortion and judicial bypass
    • LR 121 (HB 638):  Referendum to require proof of citizenship to receive state service
    • LR 122 (SB 418):  Referendum to prohibit health insurance purchase requirement
    • LR 123 (SB 426):  Referendum for contingent property and income tax reductions based on surplus
    • IR 124:  Refer SB 423 (Generally revise laws relating to use of marijuana) to the voters of Montana
    • IR 125:  Refer HB 198 (Generally revise eminent domain laws) to the voters of Montana
    • CI 108:  Amend the Montana Constitution’s due process section to define “person” to include all human beings, at every stage of development, including fertilization and conception
    • Ballot Issue #7:  Reserve to the people the power to amend or repeal laws passed by initiative
  • Mike Sehestedt, MACo Chief Legal Counsel, and Jack Holstrom, MACo Personnel Services Administrator
    • AG Opinion:  Don’t use county funds (public money) for political opinions; you can provide information/education on an issue to the people, but don’t say whether or not to vote for something.

 

Congressional Reports

  • Senator Max Baucus
    • Trying to get our financial house in order.
      • Federal spending:  $44 trillion; Revenue:  $39 trillion; Budgeted:  $35 trillion
      • Budget Act cut it down $34 trillion, and there are another $2 trillion in cuts being proposed.
    • Europe is trying to get their financial house in order too; worldwide, things are slowing down a bit.
    • SRS & PILT:  Working to get it passed/reauthorized; it’s difficult for eastern states to understand, and it’s the same for the farm bill and post offices.  When the country is forced to cut, it’s felt more in the western states.  Some action on PILT and SRS may come next week.
    • Highway Bill:  Extended for the next 6 months.  The House talked about a 6-year bill, but it would cut the funds by 1/3—trying to put the bills together to make sense.  How do you get the money?  President proposed $500 billion in highway funds; no way to pay.  Material costs are going up; people aren’t driving (fuel tax).  What can be done about transportation (highways & infrastructure) in the future?  Energy tax/higher gas tax?
    • FAA: Same problem; paid for by general and commercial aviation
    • Farm Bill:  Spend $1 trillion; $700 million food stamps; $10 billion shortfall
    • Post Offices:  75 slated to be closed in Montana; trying to get Postmaster Jones to Montana
    • Super Committee:  Biggest challenge; Senator Baucus is the only rural guy out of 12.

 

Proposed By-Law Amendments

  • Proposed By-Law Amendment #1:  Amend Article III, Section 2, Part d)—Text that says “$50,000” needs to say “$50,000,000;” also, amend Article III, Section 2 and Article IV, Section 1 to change the term “Class 1A” to “Urban.”  With the passage of HB 212 that eliminated the County Classification system from statute, the term is no longer valid and therefore the term “Urban” is being substituted in the affected locations in the MACo By-Laws.  The term “Urban” is being defined as a county having a taxable value over $50 million and a population over 35,000 which is the same as the statutory requirements for a Class IA county that was removed from statute.

Motion/Vote:  Allan Underdal, Toole County, motioned to amend Article III and Article IV as presented.  The motion was seconded by Gary MacDonald, Roosevelt County.  The motion carried by unanimous consent.

Motion/Vote:  Ken Ronish, Fergus County, motioned to approve Proposed By-Law Amendment #1.  The motion was seconded by Tony Berget, Lincoln County.  The motion carried by unanimous consent.

  • Proposed By-Law Amendment #2:  Amend Article IV, Section 1 to allow all MACo Past Presidents to remain as members of the MACo Board of Directors as long as they continue to serve as an elected county official.

Motion: Laura Obert, Broadwater County, motioned to amend Article IV, Section 1 as presented.  The motion was seconded by Russ Tempel, Liberty County. 

  • Discussion
    • Bill Barron, Lake County:  Is this a voting position, and who pays for it?
      • Harold Blattie, MACo Executive Director:  Yes, it is a voting position as drafted, so if you wanted to change it to a non-voting position, you would need to amend it.  The Board discussed this and figured that the most it would ever be is 4 or 5 (possibly 6); they would never have control over the Board.  As far as payment, there are two meetings a year: the budget-setting meeting and the December Board meeting, and MACo doesn’t cover the travel costs associated with those meetings.
      • Friendly Amendment:  Russ Tempel offered a friendly amendment to the original motion to make this a non-voting position, as you could have more than one from one county.
        • Response:  Laura Obert & Russ Tempel accepted the friendly amendment.
      • Joe Christiaens, Pondera County:  Do you not think you can get their expertise without them on the Board?
        • Harold Blattie:  No, because they would need to be present in the meetings for the discussions and available to offer their input at that time.
          • Example:  Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, MACo Past President, was very active in the 2009 Legislative Session, but he wasn’t there in 2011.  He had the personal knowledge of what occurred, and we lost that in the next session. 
        • Mike McGinley:  It’s critical for at least the last two Past Presidents to be on the Board regardless of voting power.  The money that you invest in these people and what they learn in four years is valuable, and then after the Past Presidency is complete, it is lost.
        • John Ostlund:  We lose that institutional knowledge, and there is value in keeping that.  NACo does keep their Past Presidents on the Board.
        • Harold Blattie:  During the session, we do an Executive Committee conference call every Monday, and this year—with the Executive Committee’s approval—we included Past Presidents on those calls, so we could reach back and have that institutional knowledge available.

Motion:  Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, motioned to rescind the non-voting friendly amendment.  The motion was seconded by Gary MacDonald, Roosevelt County.

Vote:  John Ostlund—If there is no further discussion, we will vote on the motion to rescind the friendly amendment.  All voting delegates in favor of rescinding the amendment signify by standing up (visual vote).  Motion carries by majority consent (39 votes with 3 proxies).  The By-Law amendment goes back to its original state.

Vote:  John Ostlund—If there is no further discussion, we will vote on the original motion approve By-Law amendment.  All voting delegates in favor of this By-Law amendment signify by saying “aye.”  Motion carried by majority consent.

 

Other Business

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County:  There is no further business.

 

Adjournment

John Ostlund, Yellowstone County:  The General Session of the MACo 102nd Annual Conference is closed.