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107th Annual MACo Conference Minutes


Opening General Session - Monday, September 19, 2016

 

Billings, Montana

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

The 107th Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties opened at 8:00 a.m. President Davey introduced the head table:

  • Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, President
  • Todd Devlin, Prairie County, 1st Vice President
  • Bill Barron, Lake County, 2nd Vice President (not present; family issue)
  • Dave Schulz, Madison County, Immediate Past President
  • Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, Fiscal Officer
  • Jim Reno, Yellowstone County, Urban Counties Representative
  • Joe Briggs, Cascade County, Parliamentarian

United States Marine Corp. League Eugene Sara Detachment presented the Colors for the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.  The National Anthem was sung by Kristie Ostlund, spouse of John Ostlund, Yellowstone County Commissioner.  Tim Moullet, Gateway Christian Center, conducted the Invocation.  The MACo Members were then welcomed to the 107th Annual Conference in Billings, Montana:

  • Tom Hanel, Mayor of the city of Billings, welcomed everyone.
  • Todd Devlin, Prairie County, MACo 1st Vice President, responded with thanks for welcoming MACo to Billings.

 

Roll Call

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

After Roll call was taken, Commissioner McGinley announced a quorum was present to conduct business.

 

Approval of the 2015 Minutes – 106th Annual Conference

Motion/Vote:  John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, made a motion to approve the 2015 Annual Conference minutes. The motion was seconded by Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Resolution in Memoriam

Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone 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 Billings, Montana, this 19th day of September 2016, that the Association does hereby pay tribute to the memory of Commissioners:

  • John J. Shea – Anaconda-Deer Lodge County (01-05-2016)
  • Douglas (Doug) Keith Schmitz – Jefferson County (02-18-2016)
  • Edmond (Ed) N. Carrell, Jr. – Park County (03-11-2016)
  • John Allhands – Madison County (04-24-2016)
  • Conrad Burns – Yellowstone County (04-28-2016)
  • C. Albert Carlson, Jr. – Teton County (06-26-2016)
  • Donald Rieger – Fallon County (08-31-2016)

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.

The assembly was asked if there were additional names to be added to the Memorial Resolution (no further names brought forth).

Motion/Vote:  Gary Macdonald, Roosevelt County, made a motion to adopt the Memorial Resolution.  The motion was seconded by Todd Devlin, Prairie County.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Announcements

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

  • American Hero Quilting Project
  • Turn in commissioner bio sheets for committee appointments; this information also helps put together the MACo Directory.
  • Visit with exhibitors and get your sheet signed.

 

Nominations Committee Report

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

The Board of Directors, acting as the Nominations Committee, brings forth the candidates for the 2016 year as follows:

  • Office of Immediate Past President:   Maureen Davey, Stillwater County
  • Office of President:  Todd Devlin, Prairie County
  • Office of 1st Vice President:  Bill Barron, Lake County
  • Office of 2nd Vice President:  Laura Obert, Broadwater County
  • Office of 2nd Vice President:  Jim Hart, Madison County
  • Office of Fiscal Officer:  Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

President Davey asked for any other nominations and noted that nominations would remain open until the Wednesday General Session. No further nominations were made, and President Davey invited the nominees forward to speak:

  • Commissioner Obert, Office of 2nd Vice President
    • Thank you for your support and guidance.
    • We talk about service; I’m interested in serving you in this organization that we couldn’t do without.
  • Commissioner Hart, Office of 2nd Vice President
    • Come from a family of 13—raised in McCone County—now call Madison County home
    • 30 years in education; 20 years as a coach; 10 years as a county commissioner
    • Proud to be nominated and encouraged by many of you run.
  • Commissioner McGinley, Fiscal Officer
    • Uncontested races are great—uncontested at home this year too!

 

Convention Site for 2017

Commissioner Steve White, Gallatin County

Bozeman, Montana:  Commissioner White expressed Gallatin County’s excitement at hosting MACo’s 108th Annual Conference in Bozeman—the county is looking forward to having everyone as their guests, and this is a great time of year to see Bozeman.

 

Presentation of Proposed Resolutions

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

  • Everyone should have a copy of the resolutions and policy statements in your conference bags. Committees will meet tomorrow and Tuesday to make their recommendations to the membership and review their policy statements.  Everyone is encouraged to attend the committee meetings.
  • All resolutions will be discussed and can be segregated Wednesday afternoon during the business session.

 

President’s Report

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

President Davey spoke to the MACo Membership about her past year as MACo President:

  • MACo is a solid, stable, progressive organization; it got that way from all of you.
  • Committees have done some great work; thank you to the chairs and vice chairs.
  • Our NACo delegation is amazing—great representation.
  • Legislative Session coming up; we have our work cut out for us this your; you commissioners are very important to the process.
  • MACo staff helped me tremendously; couldn’t have a successful organization without them.

 

Fiscal Officer’s Report

Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, MACo Fiscal Officer

Commissioner McGinley, spoke to the MACo Membership about the recent audit:

  • Good audit—no problems; MACo revenue is higher than expected.
  • MACo’s Trusts came in under budget.
  • The organization is financially sound.

 

Executive Director’s Report

Harold Blattie, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

  • MACo Finances FY-2016:  MACo continues to underspend its budget.
    • $41 million total revenue; MACo PCT revenue is $12 million; MACo HCT revenue is $20 million; MACo WCT revenue is $8 million; MACo Operations revenue is $729K
      • MACo Revenue from Trusts:  Admin fees and operations revenue is $3.6 million.
      • MACo Operating Revenue:  Advertising, capital asset reimbursements, conferences, directory sales, dues, grant, investment income, NACo marketing, pooled investment fee, rent, miscellaneous; all together it is $729K
      • MACo Operation Expenses:  Building, conferences, contract services, depreciation, grant administration, insurance, member travel, miscellaneous, NACo travel, office operations, personnel, professional services, staff travel; all together it is $600K
  • Legislative Work:  During the interim and legislative sessions, we provide good information because of you.
  • Examination of PCT/WCT claims processes—brought in outside consultant—very close to adopting guidelines
  • MACo Staff:  Phenomenal and dedicated
    • Health Care Trust Wellness Coordinator position was approved by the trustees and being advertised now
    • Legislative Team:  (Harold, Sheryl, Shantil) interacts with legislators, legislative staff, and state agencies
      • Many state agencies are going through several retirements of long-time employees—there is a gap in knowledge/experience—keeps us busy trying to answer questions and educate
  • Newly Elected Officials Training:  December – ALL newly elected officials should attend, not just commissioners
  • Using Google Earth and the Cadastral website to identify structures
    • Lake County did this and identified several that were not being taxed:  $195,000 worth of taxes to help Lake County and help take burden off of other taxpayers.

 

Presentation:  Multi Bank Securities—An Introduction to the eConnectDirect® Platform

Peter Torvik, Senior Vice President

The environment for the management of county funds continues to be a challenge. Low interest rates and uncertainty from all quarters makes information even more important to an efficient investment process. The Montana Association of Counties, in its continued partnership with the National Association of Counties and their Financial Services Corporation, endorses eConnectDirect® as an essential solution for members to manage their fixed-income investment needs. This presentation showed how eConnectDirect fits into a well-rounded investment program for your county. This system, powered by Multi-Bank Securities, Inc., was also presented to the membership of the Montana County Treasurers Association at their Annual Convention in Great Falls. Commissioners may see proposals from their treasurers to make use of this multi-featured tool.

  • Parent Company, Multi-Bank Services, Ltd., Founded in 1985:  Majority-owned (64%) by David Maccagnone, CEO, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps; in 1987, Multi-Bank Securities, Inc., a broker-dealer, was founded to better serve customers with a wider variety of fixed-income products; certified as a Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (VBE)
    • Headquartered in Southfield, Michigan; 144 employees nationwide; licensed in all 50 statesServing a Diverse Base of Institutional Clients for Three Decades
    • Regulatory Net Capital of $48.5MM, as of June 30, 2016:  Total capital is $64.9MM
    • Ranked in Crain’s Detroit Business Private 200 List in 2012, 2015 & 2016
    • Named as One of the Fastest Growing, Privately Held Financial Companies for Four Consecutive Years by Inc. (http://www.inc.com)
    • Safekeeping and Clearing Through Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon Company
  • FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer; Underwriter; Compliance
  • Market Challenges:  Changes in Rate Over Time – Are Your Local Rates Keeping Up (3-Year Term)?
    • January 2013:  UST = 0.37%; Agency bullets = +5-10; FDIC average = 0.52%; DTC CDs = 0.50%
    • September 6, 2016:  UST = 0.83% (+46); Agency bullets = +5-10; FDIC average = 0.52%; DTC CDs = 1.25%
    • Using Tools to Achieve Transparency; for your County Treasurer, what questions should they want answered?
      • Does it make my job easier?
      • Does it make me better at what I do?
      • Can I measure the results?
      • Does it support my fiduciary responsibilities as a public treasurer?
      • Will it save me time (tomorrow)?
    • Bank Numbers Continue to Shrink
    • Montana Has an Opportunity
      • FDIC-insured CDs from out-of-state banks can increase income for public investors
      • Number of local banks is shrinking
      • Local loan demand is not always there for the banks – they don’t need the deposits
      • County treasurers can assess the benefits of regulatory change
  • eConnectDirect
    • Time and Position Management: The Dashboard
    • Market Transparency: View/Buy
    • Securities Account:  Access to Documents, Activities & Balances
    • Reports: Maturity Distribution, Cash Flow Details & Month-End Interest
    • Example: U.S. Agency Search, Compare & Select
    • Request a Quote & Customer Support
    • 2 Other Great Features-Free with eConnectDirect
      • Multi-Bank Securities Institute©:  Public Funds Investor Guide©; use for training, learning and reference; created by independent experts-reviewed by public officials
      • Policy Guideline Tools:  Set the system to show only what you can buy; securities type, maturity, etc.; set to state and local policy
    • The eConnectDirect Advantage:  Tools, resources, solutions
      • On-demand access, market awareness, suitable investments, customized inventories, policy controls, third-party safekeeping options, position management and reporting, proven results
  • Contact Information:  Josh Stephens (jstephens@mbssecurities.com); Ken Bailey (KBailey@mbssecurities.com); Peter Torvik (ptorvik@mbssecurities.com); Harold Blattie (hblattie@mtcounties.org)
  • Harold Blattie:  Get together with your treasurers and talk about it; we’ll try to help put together a webinar.
     

 

General Session - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

 

Presentation:  Get Your Communities on the Map

Leslie Zolman, GIS Coordinator, Census & Economic Information Center, MT Dept. of Commerce
Erin Fashoway, State GIS Coordinator, Montana State Library

Overview of why participating in Census programs is important. Specifically touching on the Census Designated Places update project, how commissioners can be involved, and resources available from the State Library to assist your county’s mapping needs.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau defines Census Designated Places (CDPs) as:
    • Statistical counterpart of an incorporated place;
    • Provide data for settled concentrations of population that are identifiable by name but are not legally incorporated;
    • Have no legal status; and
    • CDP boundaries may change from one decennial census to the next with changes in the settlement pattern.
  • Montana currently has 235 CDPs
  • Requirements to be a CDP:
    • Be contained within a single state;
    • May not contain an incorporated place or another CDP;
    • Represent a single, distinct, named community;
    • No set population size requirements for CDPs;
    • Suggested that include at least 10 housing units; and
    • Has nucleus of high residential population density.
  • Why are CDPs important?
    • U.S Census Bureau demographic and economic data is available; and
    • Help define the populated place list for Montana.
  • Examples of how economic data can be used:
    • The Helena West Side CDP was judged to be potentially eligible for HUD funding for a National Disaster Resilience Competition Grant.
    • Richland County did not qualify for a Community Development Block Grant for an area-wide benefit project but the Savage CPD met the low-income ratio requirement allowing qualification.
    • Missoula County applied for a 2015 wastewater grant on behalf of Buena Vista Trailer Court but it was not funded because no economic data was available.
  • How draft boundaries were created?
    • Selected approximately 300 communities across Montana that potentially met the requirement to become a new CDPs;
    • Structure densities were investigated to determine if a new CDP could be created;
    • Draft boundaries were created using Census and PLSS lines based on areas of structure density;
    • Potential draft CDP boundaries are now being reviewed.
  • What areas were not considered?
    • Current CDPs and areas near an incorporated city or town
  • Why we need your comments?
    • Done on a state level;
    • Boundaries formed from structures – no population available; and
    • Need people familiar with area to provide verification and corrections.
  • What we need:
    • Confirm name is correct; and
    • Provide name for “no name” areas.
    • Should a CDP be located here – do you think of this area as a community?
    • Are there areas that we missed adding to the map?
    • Are the boundaries correct?
  • How to make comments:
    • Add comments to the interactive map;
    • Add boundary corrections to the interactive map;
    • Provide comments by phone;
    • Make boundary corrections via GoToMeeting.
  • Timeline:
    • Accepting comments until October 7, 2016
    • Editing comments until November 4, 2016
    • Submitting new CDP boundaries to the U.S. Census Bureau – November 14, 2016
    • Participant Statistical Areas Program – 2019
  • Contacts:

 

Presentation:  Security Awareness Training for County Employees

Joe Frohlich, ITSD, Department of Administration

Overview of the timeline and tasks for providing Montana county employees with SANS Securing the Human (STH) awareness training, including a demo of the STH system.

  • Homeland Security Training Grant: $19,000 for security awareness training; 10,000 county users; training begins after December 1, 2016; flexible start dates to fit schedule; training must be completed by June 30, 2017.
  • Tasks & Timeline
    • Prep & Training: LGIT conference announcement August 17, 2016; MACo conference announcement September 20, 2016; email overview/designate county contacts October 14-31, 2016; create count subaccounts October 14-30, 2016; purchase STH licenses November 4, 2016; user templates & training policies November 4, 2016; training for county administrators November 7-21, 2016; counties return user lists for entry into STH November 25, 2016; ESP add users/transfer users November 30, 2016; prep & training status update November 30, 2016
    • Roll-Out: Training begins December 1, 2016-March 31, 2017; flexible start dates; recommend 2 months for training; add new users at any time; training completed by June 30, 2017
    • Reporting:  Each county can run reports for their users; ESP will provide overall reporting monthly to county commissioners, LGIT, MT-ISAC, and county administrators
    • Completion & Evaluation:  Project ends June 30, 2017; counties can continue to use STH until September 30, 2017; survey of county commissioners and STH administrators July 2017; final report August 15, 2017
  • Contact:  Joe Frohlich, Enterprise Security Manager, SITSD / Department of Administration, Enterprise Security Program, 406-444-3119, jfrohlich@mt.gov

 

Presentation:  Board of Investments Shares Changes/Updates to BOI’s, INTERCAP, Short Term Investment Pool (STIP), and In-State Loan Programs

Julie Flynn, Bond Program Officer, Intercap Loan Program
Julie Feldman, Financial Manager, CPA, Short Term Investment Pool (STIP)
Doug Hill, Portfolio Manager, In-State Loan Program

  • The Board of Investments (the “Board”) is a division of State of Montana Department of Commerce that by law administers the Unified Investments Program required by the Montana Constitution.
  • With very few exceptions, all the State’s money is invested by the Board.
  • In this presentation county officials learned:
    • What the Board can do for counties through its INTERCAP Loan Program, a low-interest loan resource for a wide variety of needs to Montana local governments;
    • The Short-Term Investment Pool (STIP), a highly liquid investment fund available to state and local governments to serve their short-term cash flow and deposit needs; and
    • In-State Loan Program—a component of the State's overall economic development efforts—that includes various loan and infrastructure programs for new and expanding businesses

 

Presentation:  Airports 101 for Civic Leaders

Jim Greil, Board of Directors, Montana Community Airports Association

This presentation provided some of the basic knowledge required to help local commissioners, administrators, managers, staff, and other civic leaders better understand how public airports in Montana are uniquely governed, operated, maintained, and financed. Jim is a former MDT Airports and Airways Bureau Chief, having served the State of Montana for nearly two decades. Jim has been actively involved in the airport and aviation industry for over 30 years.

  • Airports 101 – The Basics
    • Montana Community Airport Association
      • Mission of the Montana Community Airport Association: promote the public understanding and value of general aviation airports; provide a forum for discussion and decision-making related to the ownership and operation of general aviation airports; cooperate with governmental agencies and industry to sustain and improve the infrastructure of general aviation airports; provide a network of resources related to regulations, economic impact, and operation & maintenance affecting general aviation airports; foster, promote, and engage in aviation education and safety.
    • History of the Association
      • MCAA was established in 2008 as a grassroots effort by several general aviation airports.
      • In 2010 MCAA adopted By-Laws and elected officers and a Board of Directors.
    • Association Memberships
      • Regular Members: Have active responsibility for the management, supervision, and administration of a public-use general aviation airport.
      • Corporate Members:  A corporation or business that is a supplier of products or services, or a tenant of a public-use general aviation airport.  
      • Associate Members:  Individuals or businesses which are not represented by a Regular or Corporate membership.  
    • Annual Activities
      • Spring Meeting: Held in conjunction with the Montana Aviation Conference; open to everyone attending the Montana Aviation Conference.
        • Topics of general interest to those attending the Montana Aviation Conference: unmanned aerial vehicles, powder river military operations area; future of aviation.
      • Fall Conference: Held at a host airport in September.
        • Airport management focused topics:  GA airport rates and charges; maintenance of lighting systems, fuel systems, and airport pavements; snow removal operations; wildlife concerns and management; roundtable discussion.
  • Interesting Facts and Figures – Did You Know?
    • There are over 5,000 general aviation airports in the United States.
    • There are over 120 general aviation airports in Montana.
    • There are 8 primary service airports in Montana:  Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Missoula, Kalispell, Butte, and Sidney.
    • There are 5 commercial service airports in Montana:  Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, West Yellowstone, and Wolf Point.
  • National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS)
    • Most of the NIPIAS airport receive funding for capital improvements thru the FAA.
    • Not all NIPIAS airport receive funding (Gardiner, Geraldine, Phillipsburg, Kalispell City, Red Lodge, Valier, Winifred).
    • NPIAS Entree Criteria:  Open to the public; serves a community located 30 min or more (ground travel time) from the nearest NPIAS airport; not located within 20 miles radius of another airport; included in an accepted State Aviation System Plan; the sponsor is willing to undertake ownership and development of the airport.
      • Montana has 71 airports in the NIPIAS with $220M in identified improvements (2015-2019)    
  • Fun Facts; 4,000 pilots and 3,000 aircraft; there is at least one public use airport in every county except Wibaux; there are an estimated 450 active private use airstrips; longest runways are in Billings and Great Falls at 10,500; shortest runway is at Condon at 2,275; highest airport West Yellowstone; lowest airport Sidney; same distance to fly from Alzada to Yaak as it is from Alzada to Amarillo
  • What Is General Aviation?
    • General aviation is all civilian flying except the scheduled passenger airlines as well as cargo, resource management; recreation, firefighting; medical, wildlife management, agricultural, flight instruction.
  • Businesses & Services That General Aviation Supports: Agricultural aerial applicators; oil and gas industry; mail and cargo; mining; utility pipelines; electrical distribution; aerial surveys; flight instruction; aircraft maintenance; aviation fuel sales; car rentals, motels, and restaurants; aircraft manufacturing; aerial firefighting; medical air ambulance; recreational aviation; hunting and fishing; annual fly-ins; aircraft charter/taxi; hangar and ground leases; agricultural leases; residential airports; game management; avionics
  • Economic Impact of All Montana Airports
    • Direct Impacts:  Employment, 12,130; Payroll, $360.2 million; Output, $941.7 million
    • Total Impacts:  Employment, 18,740; Payroll, $600.0 million; Output, $1.55 Billion
    • Airports support nearly 4% of all the jobs in the state and represent approximately 4.5% of Montana’s gross state product.
  • Economic Impact of the Laurel Municipal Airport
    • Direct Impacts:  Employment 35; Payroll, $911,000; Output, $2.24 million
    • Total Impacts:  Employment 82; Payroll, $2.11 million; Output, $5.80 million
  • How Are Airports Owned, Governed, Managed, and Protected?
    • State Law and Airports MCA Title 67 (Aeronautics):
      • Chapter 7 (Airport Affected Areas), 10 (Municipal Airports), and 11 (Airport Authorities) contain the legislation specific to how your airports are managed and operated.  
      • Chapters 1 (General Provisions), 2 (MTDOT Aeronautical Powers and Duties), and 3 (Regulations and Licensing) generally relate to what Montana Aeronautics does and how they will perform their duties.
      • Chapters 4, 5 and 6 have been repealed.  These chapter dealt with noise, height, airspace, zoning and the like.  The have been replaced with Chapter 7.
      • Chapter 8 and 9 are reserved for future legislation required within Aeronautics.
  • Types of Airport Risks Faced by Owners: misappropriations; exclusive uses; proximal development; encroachment, noise, airspace hazards; financial inequities; wildlife control
  • The Regulations for Running an Airport
    • Federal Aviation Administration regulations, advisory circulars, FAA orders, and grant assurances
    • State Regulations: Title 67 Aeronautics, and Administrative Rules of Montana
    • Local Regulations; Airport affected areas, land-use compatibility, ground & hangar leases, and airport rules & regulations
  • Airport Operation and Maintenance
    • Typical Day-to-Day Operational Requirements:  Security, fuel, air ambulance; hangars, lighting systems; mowing, haying, and snow removal
    • Long Term Operational Requirements:  Capital improvements, revenue generation, leases (rates and charges), and airport planning requirements
  • How Can MCAA Help?

 

General Session - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

 

Presentation:  Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act

Mike Tooley, Director, Montana Department of Transportation

On December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law authorizing surface transportation programs through 2020. This long-term authorization bill is important to Montana and will provide program stability at the federal level needed for MDT to plan, develop, and deliver infrastructure projects that improve the safe and efficient operations of Montana’s roads and bridges. Current implementation activities, highlights of the legislation, along with some challenges were shared during this presentation.

  • $400 million in federal funds for Montana
  • Match is critical.
  • FAST Act is critical for maintaining especially in rural America and rural Montana.
  • FAST Act = Stability
  • National Freight Program:  About $11 million a year for Montana
  • Pay attention to rule making and comment.
  • TranPlanMT is Montana's statewide long-range plan for preserving and improving Montana's transportation system. Originally adopted in 1995 as TranPlan 21, this long-range plan is an essential component of a continuing statewide planning process focused on assisting MDT in developing and implementing policy goals and actions. TranPlanMT provides MDT an opportunity to work with the public and stakeholders to identify and achieve transportation goals to keep Montana moving forward.The TranPlanMT update is part of an ongoing process to identify transportation needs and priorities in Montana, evaluate future transportation concerns, and establish policy goals and strategies. The plan will guide MDT's efforts to plan, manage, and preserve a safe and efficient transportation system.

 

Presentation:  How Your County Could Be Impacted by the Department of Justice Regulations on Website Accessibility

Jacob Terrell, NACo Associate Legislative Director, Telecommunications & Technology

  • Will Your County Website Meet the New Standards?
    • Alternative text for photos made accessible to e-readers and mobile devices
    • Keyboard alternatives using speech input
    • Transcripts/ live captions of podcasts and videos
  • The Department of Justice Needs Feedback:  Comments are due on October 7, 2016
  • Additional Resources

 

 

Congressional Reports

Senator John Tester, Congressman Steve Daines & Congressman Ryan Zinke

Videos were provided and played for the membership.

 

MACo Committee Reports

MACo Agriculture Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Larry Hendrickson, Liberty County

  • The resolution to Allow Counties to Set Bounties on Predators was discussed. Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, made a motion to DO PASS this resolution. Commissioner Tom Rice, Beaverhead County, seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  • The resolution to Designate Common Buckthorn as a Noxious Weed was discussed. Commissioner Dave Schulz, Madison County, made a motion to DO NOT PASS this resolution. Commissioner Mark Peterson, Hill County, seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  • The resolution concerning increase funding to the Noxious Weed Trust Fund was discussed. Commissioner Schulz made a motion recommending that the MACo staff work with county treasurers on a funding mechanism. Commissioner Davey seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  • The resolution of Support for Biocontrol of Noxious Weeds was discussed. Commissioner Davey made a motion to incorporate this resolution into the Agriculture Policy Statement. Commissioner Rice seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  • Commissioner Rice gave an update from the Yellowstone Ecosystem Subcommittee. Commissioners have been involved with this committee for the past 10 years.
  • The committee reviewed the amended policy statement to include Support for Biocontrol of Noxious Weeds. Commissioner Peterson made a motion to approve the amended Agriculture Policy Statement. Commissioner Davey seconded the motion. Motion passed.
  • Committee members gave updates concerning agricultural issues in their respective areas.
  • Casey McGowan, Trailhead Spirits, gave a presentation about Agriculture in Relation to a Grain-to-Glass
  • Distillery and Agro Tourism. Casey described his value-added agriculture distillery business and marketing from inception to present production.
  • George Edward, Livestock Loss Board Executive Director, discussed payments for loss of livestock to wolves and grizzly bears; upcoming and past legislation; and loss of livestock to mountain lions black bear, and raven.
  • Mike Honeycutt presented information about brucellosis in elk and in bison.
  • John Stuber discussed appropriations in the USDA Aphis Wildlife Service Predator Control program and the cattle and sheep petitions for predator control across the state.

MACo Community, Economic Development & Labor Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County

  • There were no resolutions assigned to this committee.
  • Extensively updated the committee policy statements.
  • Speakers & Presentations
    • CRDC 101 Session, Sarah Converse & Jason Rittal, MT Economic Developers Association
    • ABC’s of Recruiting Wind and Solar Power Companies, Joe Briggs, Cascade County Commissioner
  • Committee Discussions
    • How Infrastructure of a Community Ties to the Economic Development of a Community
    • Revenue & Transportation Interim Committee Proposed Legislation on TIF

MACo Energy Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Allan Underdal, Toole County

  • State Senator Duane Ankney, Senate District 20, talked about energy issues in the State of Montana and an Energy Council conference he recently attended. The Gulf States along with Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, New Mexico, and Utah belong to the Council; Montana is currently not a member. Nationwide, there is a whole spectrum of issues forcing the shuttering of power plants; New Mexico is closing a plant because of haze issues. Colstrip Units 1 and 2, which are owned by Puget Sound Energy and Talen Energy, has a consent decree to close by 2022. The Puget Sound portion of energy production all goes out of state, while Talen’s half is utilized by large industrial customers such as the Great Falls flour mills along with the City of Great Falls, some of the Butte mines; other customers are refineries and cement plants.
  • Current estimates put replacement generation at a 20%-30% increase in power costs. This looming increase in their major input cost has caused some industries to leave the State already; the total impact on our State economy remains to be seen. At this time, Puget Sound doesn’t have any replacement power. The Energy Interim Committee is currently working on six different bills and has filed as an intervener in a Washington State rate case. They are also looking at remediation and guidelines to clean up Units 1 and 2 as well as to set aside money from both companies for impact fees for counties, schools, communities and displaced employees. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to force a transition plan to address plant closures. Going forward with Units 3 and 4, it would cost about $1.2 billion for carbon sequestration; they are looking at federal incentives to utilize carbon for enhanced oil recovery and removing carbon before it burns. Other reasons we need these plants online include wind farming power and pipelines’ serious permitting issues.
  • Jay Skabo, Vice President for Electric Supply, Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU), then talked about challenges facing generation of electricity using coal. He spoke generically for the industry although MDU has some special circumstance.  He started with a background on the MDU companies; spoke of Lewis & Clark Station which came on line in 1958 with 52 megawatts of capacity. New scrubbers, ash handling ponds, and other environmental upgrades have cost the company an additional $31 million. The plant has the capacity to generate at 100% with natural gas in place, but it is not economical because of boiler inefficiencies using gas. Challenges to coal include market issues such as influx of wind generation with its subsidized costs, the current price of natural gas and its associated cheaper construction costs and expensive maintenance costs on older plants. Environmental regulation challenges include a DEQ mercury rule that is higher than EPA standards and air toxics rules, coal ash residuals, regional haze rules, which is in the second round of restrictions, fish impingement screens are going to be put in place, but the big one is the increasing carbon emission restrictions with the Clean Power Plan. Currently it is difficult to judge where the rate targets will land for each state but reductions need to begin in 2022. The proposed plan had Montana at a 21% reduction, with a final target of 47%. These represent doomsday levels to the coal industry. There are many unknowns in the future of the Clean Power plan including the Supreme Court stay but with death of Judge Scalia, the Court is locked. Plant closures of Units 1 and 2 are about halfway complete, while the Corrette plant is closed. Montana’s hydroelectric could help attainment if it was counted, and our wind generation helps. Carbon dioxide removal costs include both capital investment and efficiency costs up to 30% of plant output plus infrastructure to handle carbon. The industry is looking at 10-20% rate increases for residential users, while commercial could be much higher. The bottom line is coal is under intense pressure, and while wind has some opportunities, backup generation is needed.
  • Discussion followed on current wind generation development with some solar also beginning to be developed. Other topics discussed included Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, introducing proposed legislation for a PACE program. Commissioner Duane Mitchell, Richland County, presented some numbers for taxes paid by the oil industry. Tax impacts statistics also need to include income taxes from employees who work on these industries.
  • The resolution regarding closures of natural resource entities was discussed.  There was some consideration given to having it be a policy statement as opposed to a resolution. A motion was made by Commissioner Doug Martens, Rosebud County, to accept the proposed resolution as a policy statement; it was seconded by Commissioner Bryon Adolph, Musselshell County. Motion carried unanimously.
  • The policy statements were examined with no additional changes beyond the adding the proposed resolution as a policy statement.
  • Justin Piccar, Geronimo Energy, came at the invitation of MACo First Vice President Todd Devlin to meet with state leaders and to assess the potential for utility-sized energy development in Montana. His company looks for a favorable regulatory environment, transmission capacity, and wind data on potential sites. His focus is a solution for economic development for small rural areas, and he relayed a story about development in his hometown of Wimbledon, MN with a population of 200, where they developed a $350 million infrastructure project. Geronimo Energy is also looking to develop solar energy sites. They are currently in 9 states and looking to expand into 13. One of the possibilities they are exploring is the corridor by Colstrip, where they could take advantage of transmission lines vacated by the closure of Units 1 and 2. One of the advantages of this company is their emphasis on creating a community fund to be administered by impacted landowners who determine where the funds go annually; the company is very friendly to farmers with the founder being a farmer.

MACo Health & Human Services Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Carl Seilstad, Fergus County

  • Incoming President’s Initiative: MACo 1st Vice President Devlin reported that his Initiative as MACo President will be to work towards preventing sexual abuse in families. He reported that it costs approximately $3,000 per victim for each year of their life in counseling, etc. The goal is to start the dialogue and awareness of this long-term issue.
  • Sexual Abuse in Families: Kathy Connors Rumph, from the Billings Family Tree Center, provided a presentation on sexual abuse, including behavioral signs and protective factors. She provided several statistics on abuse and contact resources for help and information.
  • Resolutions Reviewed
    • Immunization Record Disclosure: Commissioner Jane Weber, Cascade County, reported the public Health Officers Association supports this resolution. Commissioner Weber moved and Commissioner Susan Mosness, Sweet Grass County, seconded to recommend a Do-Pass on the resolution to the membership. Motion carried unanimously.
  • Policy Statements
    • Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Families: Incoming President Devlin presented his proposed policy statement regarding starting the dialog to pursue the prevention of sexual abuse in families. Following discussion, Commissioner Andy Hunthausen, Lewis & Clark County, moved and Commissioner Nicole Rowley, Missoula County, seconded to approve the resolution as amended, striking “to pursue”, and inserting “and pursuing”. Chair Seilstad commented that domestic abuse is also part of the issue. Discussion noted that other forms of abuse (elder, verbal, etc.) could also be included. The consensus was to have the resolution focus on Incoming President Devlin’s intent of sexual abuse in families. Motion carried unanimously.
    • Prevention of Physical and Emotional Abuse: Commissioner Hunthausen moved and Commissioner Bob Mullen, Jefferson County, seconded to add a policy statement: “MACo supports efforts to improve the prevention of physical and emotional abuse.” Motion carried unanimously.
    • Raw Milk: Barbara Schneeman of Riverstone Health presented a proposed policy statement regarding raw milk sales. She noted that the Public Health Officers have worked to defeat this legislation for the past two sessions. Discussion was held regarding the impacts, etc. Commissioner Janice Hoppes, Pondera County, moved and Commissioner Weber seconded to add a policy statement: “MACo supports language to protect public health regarding the sale of raw milk and raw milk products for human consumption.” Motion carried 8-3.
  • Policy Statement Amendments
    • Incorporated Amendments
    • Add Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Families;
    • Add Prevention of Physical and Emotional Abuse;
    • Add Protecting Public Health regarding Raw Milk Sales;
    • Amend #5 regarding the Clean Indoor Air Act to remove outdated language;
    • Strike #10 regarding increasing the solid waste disposal threshold from 5 to 160 acres.
  • Agencies on Aging: Lynn Mullowney of the Alzheimer’s Association presented on proposed legislation that had been worked on over the interim and the MT Alzheimer’s & Dementia State Plan. She reviewed the four bill drafts that had been unanimously approved by the interim committee, that would help people stay at home, provide relief for family caregivers, provide family caregiver support, and support court appointed guardians of incapacitated adults.
  • Montana Developmental Center Closure: Commissioners Mullen and Seilstad reported on the working group. Concerns were expressed regarding the number of individuals left to be place and the lack of facilities for placement. Discussion was held regarding assistance to the employees being displaced and the future use of the facility.
  • Mental Health Centers: Sidney Blair, Center for Mental Health, reported that the goal is to sustain what has been achieved so far as it relates to funding for community-based services. There is a concern regarding the inability to find qualified psychiatrists with prescription-writing authority in rural areas. Jim Novelli, Eastern Montana Community Health Center, expressed concerns with the proposed Federal Rule on Overtime. The rule would require the centers to raise salaries or pay overtime, which will divert the dollars away from crisis services. He also expressed concern regarding the high suicide rate in eastern Montana.
  • Children’s Mental Health: Sidney Blair reported that a bill will be introduced out of the Interim Committee, that will be a good investment in children’s mental health and will help keep kids from ending up in detention centers and added that it is a good start to fixing a fragmented system.
  • Public Health Officers: Barbara Schneeman thanked the Committee for their support on the raw milk and immunization record issues. She reported that they would be supporting DPHHS on their public health and safety budgets and don’t anticipate any new proposals, as the focus will be keeping what is already in place. The Public Health officers will be working on the primary seat belt bill and are pleased with the success of Medicaid expansion, noting nearly 53,000 have signed up. Ms. Schneeman added they look forward to a continued open dialogue with public health officers and sanitarians. Chair Seilstad asked about guidelines for sanitarians, as it is difficult to recruit them. Discussion was held regarding possibly changing the education requirement to a 2-year program and the high costs of licensing fees
  • Other Discussion
    • Commissioner Dolores Plumage, Blaine County, reported on a meeting with the Governor’s staff on Indian health and EMT services.
    • Commissioner Sandy Youngbauer, Fergus County, asked how to handle accidents with trucks carrying perishable foods. The advice was to contact the public health officer and/or DES until the sanitarian can get there.
    • Commissioner Seilstad commented on the upcoming closure of Colstrip 1 & 2 and the impacts on the families of those being unemployed. He expressed concerns that their mental health is not being considered. Staff was asked to watch for bills at the upcoming session.
    • Commissioner Plumage expressed concern over the issue at Standing Rock, and the concerns regarding climate change, coal, and oil and gas development. She added that the Bismarck, ND DES Coordinator is applying for $6 million in funds to address the issue, and there needs to be more communication and debate.

MACo Justice & Public Safety Committee
Committee Vice Chair, Commissioner Laura Obert, Broadwater County

  • Resolutions Reviewed
    • Detention Costs in County Jails: Commissioner Jim Reno, Yellowstone County, expressed concerns that with the Legislature imposing a $69 per day cap, the agreements with the state are irrelevant. He noted they are expanding their women’s unit, and will offer beds to those entities willing to pay the actual rate (feds, other counties, etc.). They have a significant issue with mental health services in the detention facilities and are looking at doing tele-net with the Billings Clinic. Sheriff Brian Gootkin, Gallatin County, reported that Gallatin County will no longer accept state prisoners. His association is meeting with Governor Bullock and working with Senator Keane. There are different costs for different facilities so a one-size fits all price is not reasonable. Commissioner Susan Good Geise, Lewis & Clark County, reported on their two failed jail bonds. Commissioner Dennis Shupak, Stillwater County, commented that Stillwater does not have a jail; they pay the costs at the jail in which they place inmates, and the state is only reimbursing $69 per day. Commissioner Geise moved and Commissioner Reno seconded to recommend a Do-Pass to the membership. Motion carried unanimously.
    • Sheriff’s Retirement System Funding: Vice Chair Laura Obert, Broadwater County, read the resolution to the Committee. MACo Associate Director, Sheryl Wood, reported on the consensus meeting with the Governor’s office, MSPOA, and MPERA, regarding the terms and conditions in the resolution. Commissioner Reno moved and Commissioner Geise seconded to recommend a Do-Pass to the membership. Motion carried unanimously.
  • Policy Statements Reviewed & Updated
    • Drones in Emergency Areas: The proposed policy statement submitted by Missoula County was reviewed. Sheriff Gootkin noted the media is using drones to gather information. Dave Galt, MSPOA, expressed concerns the drones can take pictures of refineries, pipelines, etc. Commissioner Shupak moved and Commissioner Kevin Krausz, Custer County, seconded to approve adding the policy statement regarding drones. Motion carried unanimously.
    • 9-1-1 Funding: Commissioner Geise reported that Commissioner Gary Macdonald, Roosevelt County, who serves as the MACo representative on the 9-1-1 Advisory Council has requested a statement of support regarding the proposed 9-1-1 statutory rewrite and funding bill. Commissioner Geise moved that a policy statement in support of the 9-1-1 proposed legislation be drafted by staff for presentation to the membership at the Wednesday business meeting. Motion died for lack of a second.
    • Policy Statements as Amended: It was the consensus of the Committee to add the policy statement regarding drones and to strike Policy Statement #5 regarding the state financing of district courts, as it was nullified with District Court Assumption. Commissioner Reno moved and Commissioner Shupak seconded to approve the policy statements as amended. Motion carried unanimously.
  • Programs and Services Update: Deb Matteucci, MT Board of Crime Control, reported on many issues including:
    • Juvenile Justice: With the closing of some regional juvenile detention centers, stakeholder meetings are being held to look at the overall system and diversion alternatives.
    • Byrnes/JAG Grants: The grants have been expanded to include funding for courts of limited jurisdictions to work on prevention and early intervention.
    • National Criminal History Program: The system will support information sharing resources and will have a jail management system that will be available to all counties. The system will also interface with the Medicaid system.
    • CIT Training: They are hoping to expand the training and will be requesting funding from the legislature.
    • Sexual Assault Kit Testing: They have received preliminary notice of a grant award to assist getting the kits tested. There are approximately 1500 kits that have not been submitted for testing. They will be supporting funding requests for the crime lab to catch up and complete the testing.
  • Association Reports and Updates
    • MT Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association: Sheriff Gootkin reported that the MACo/MSPOA Coordinating Council has been a great collaboration. It was initially formed for jails and peer reviews but has been expanded to other issues. MSPOA is concerned the funding for the peer reviews is going away, so they will be working to develop a plan to sustain the program. Currently, Sheriffs allow staff to be trained, and those staff conduct the reviews. He added that the top two issues for the Sheriff’s Association at the upcoming legislative session are the cap on state detention costs and funding for the Sheriff’s Retirement System.
    • MT County Attorneys Association: County Attorney, Leo Gallagher, Lewis & Clark County, reported that they are watching the Interim Committee and the work of the Sentencing Commission. It looks like there will be nine recommendations on ways to improve the system, including decriminalizing minor offenses, reducing the number of years for sentencing, and pre-trial diversion. There is also an Interim Committee reviewing the operations and funding of the Office of Public Defender. County Attorney’s still struggle retaining and recruiting attorneys, due to the wage disparity. Mr. Gallagher expressed concerns with the closure of the Montana Development Center in Boulder. There has not been enough training for law enforcement and jail staff, and there needs to be long-term placement for the residents and not put them in the jails. Extensive discussion was held regarding the proposed Constitutional Initiative on “Marsy’s Law,” and the language regarding victims’ rights. This bill will cause considerable problems and costs at the local level trying to implement the requirements, including a disparate records/management system and victim notification obligations.
    • DES Coordinators: Curt Petrik reported that their Association, along with EMS and fire services is working with the MT Police Association on common evacuation procedures. He added the State Emergency Response Commission is reviewing the codes, and will be recommending several changes on how the Local Emergency Planning Committees are operated.
  • Incoming MACo President’s Initiative: Incoming MACo President Todd Devlin informed the group that his initiative will be to start the dialogue to prevent sexual abuse in families.

MACo Land Use, Planning & Development Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Joe Skinner, Gallatin County

  • Commissioner JR Iman, Ravalli County, introduced the “Hard Look” resolution.  This resolution is a result of the Legacy Subdivision Court Case originating in Ravalli County.  The Ravalli Commissioners approved a subdivision, which was later overturned by the court on the basis of the “Hard Look Standards.”  Howard Recht explained the reason for the resolution:  to revise statute 76-3-608 MCA to identify standards that satisfy criteria and define “hard look” in statute.
    • Phasing of large subdivisions would also be part of the resolution. The Court ruled that phasing is illegal beyond three years.  This resolution would seek legislation to extend phasing to five years with a process of review and approval.  Tara DePuy, Land Use Attorney, MACo PCT, stated that there is no apparent authority for counties to approve phasing in statute.  Commissioner Jason Strouf, Custer County, made a motion to recommend the new resolution titled, “Authorization for phasing in Montana Subdivision and Platting Act.” Commissioner Iman seconded the motion, and the motion was carried unanimously.
    • Commissioner Iman made a motion to recommend the resolution regarding “hard look” be titled “Review Standard of Subdivision and Platting Act.”  Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County, seconded the motion. Discussion and comments stated that this amended resolution addressed the situation in a much simpler and understandable way than originally presented.  The motion passed unanimously.
  • Commissioner Steve White, Gallatin County, presented the “Minor Subdivision” resolution, which would require public hearings on minor subdivisions.  Questions and discussion ensued; it was determined that a change in statute to “allow” public hearings on minor subdivisions would be a more simple and practical solution.  Commissioner Strouf made a motion to recommend the amended resolution to seek legislation to allow public hearings on minor subdivisions.  Commissioner Iman seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
  • Commissioner Jim Reno, Yellowstone County, presented the “Road Tracts on Plants & Certificates of Survey as County Roads” resolution.  County landowner mortgages are being impacted because of old plats on the certificates of survey not having any ownership of public dedication easement.  This resolution would seek to solve the problem by providing a process for counties to create county roads on undesignated but depicted county road tracts shown on plats and certificates of survey.  Commissioner Nye, Madison County, made a motion to recommend passage of the resolution; Commissioner Iman seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
  • Ms. DePuy gave an update on exempt well status.  The supreme court reaffirmed a current district court ruling on combined appropriations.
  • Pam Converse from the Montana Weed Control Association gave an update that the association will have a full managers’ meeting October 11-13, and their annual conference will be January 10-12 in Great Falls.

MACo Public Lands Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County

  • Resolutions Review
    • Noxious Weed Trust Fund: Committee recommends “Do Pass”
    • Wilderness Characteristics Inventory:  Amended by removing “supports a letter” and recommends “Do Pass as Amended”
  • Policy Statement Review
    • Discussion on Policy #37:  Amended to read MACo calls for “full funding” of federal payments “for” Secure Rural Schools (SRS), Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT), Taylor Grazing, and Refuge Revenue Sharing “programs.”
  • Presentation: Matt Cronin, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • Aspects of ESA science; ESA species (endangered with extinction); intent of ESA; relevant to forest counties/projects held up; recent examples—Science Matters—2010, sage grouse warranted, 2015, not warranted decision, wolf subspecies in south east Alaska in 2016 not a warranted decision; science considerations—genetics now used for subspecies, populations, adaptation, hybrids; models used as basis of being endangered; important to get science to policy makers
  • Region 1 Update:  John Hagengruber, Montana Capital City Coordinator, Region 1, USFS
    • Encouraged everyone to attend the Montana Counties Forest Summit on October 19-20, 2016 in Missoula; Farm Bill update—14 projects in progress; added 2 NEPA strike teams; added Farm Bill team; expanded timber strike team; good neighbor authority; litigation—4 new lawsuits; 2 large “no bid” sales; light fire season—95,000 acres burned; state helicopter agreement; Forest Plan revisions; Guide to Cooperating Agency Relationships; discussion on SRS in relation to 25% forest receipts
  • Forestry Program, Jason Parke, Forester, MFWP
    • First forester with Fish, Wildlife & Parks—authorized in 2015; goal to provide wildlife habitat and recreation on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs); 2011 FWP was directed to come up with a Forest Plan; first project was 3 Mile—others in planning stage; benefits—healthy wildlife populations and generates forest products to communities; comments on prescribed burning
  • BLM Update 2.0, David Lytle, Acting Associate Director
    • Proposed Planning Rule:  FLPMA—regulations—Land Use Planning Handbook; goals to improve BLMs ability to respond to social and environmental changes; to provide meaningful opportunities for collaboration; to improve the ability to implement a landscape approach; rulemaking process—initial outreach, proposed rule, public comment, final rule; proposed chances—planning cycle (planning assessment, develop RPM, implementation, monitor, evaluate, adjust); high quality information—includes scientific information, traditional ecological knowledge, other types; planning framework—goals and objectives (designation, resource use determination, monitoring/evaluation standards, management measures, monitoring procedures); public involvement—scoping, draft RMP, proposed RMP, decision; comments and next step—http://www.blm.gov/plan2
  • Montana Weed Control Association Update, Jack Eddie, MWCA Representative
    • Encouraged to become members of MWCA; goals; service; dates of training; 60th Annual Conference; comments—good idea for all to be members of MWCA; recognized those leaving—Commissioner Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, and Commissioner Lesley Robinson, Phillips County
  • Other Business
    • Kootenai National Forest was selected to provide the National Christmas Tree for 2017

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

  • There are updated resolutions and policy statements available.  The MACo Land Use & Development Committee is proposing a new resolution, which will require a 2/3 vote of the membership.
  • The Resolutions Committee met Sunday, September 21 to review our assigned resolutions and our policy statement.
  • Resolutions Review
    • Change in Form of Government – Do Pass
    • Combining Special Purpose District Elections – Do Pass
    • County Printing – Do Pass
    • Detention Costs in County Jails – Do Pass
    • Generally Revise Laws Applicable to County Government (Omnibus) – Do Pass as Amended
    • Mail Ballot Voting – Do Pass
    • Uncontested City Elections – Do Pass
    • Uniform Process for the Disposal of Surplus County Real Property – Do Pass
  • Policy Statement: Reviewed and approved it as is.

MACo Tax, Budget & Finance Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

  • Policy Statement:  Reviewed and struck language to broaden workers’ compensation for firefighters
  • Had three resolutions assigned to our committee and recommended a “do pass” for all three.

MACo Transportation Committee
Committee Chair, Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone County

  • Resolutions were reviewed:
    • Eliminate Gas Tax Allocation to LTAP:  MACo Executive Director, Harold Blattie, gave the history of LTAP; LTAP provides training and risk management to cities and counties; recommend tabling the resolution and incorporating language into policy: “MACo supports the traditional role of the Local Technical Assistance Program at MSU to provide technical assistance, safety and operator training and risk management to local government employees across the state and opposes diverting LTAP resources to grant writing and research, believing such diversions will weaken the level of services provided to Local Governments.” Commissioner Duane Mitchell, Richland County, motioned to not pass the resolution and move the language into the Transportation Committee’s policy statements.  Commissioner John Grewell, Carbon County, seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
    • Funding for State Secondary Roads: Wayne Noem, Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), talked about the wording in MDT codes. This would allow secondary gravel roads to be eligible for funding.  Motion: Commissioner Jerry Collins, Garfield County, motioned to pass the resolution. Commissioner Grewell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
    • Road Tracts on Plats & Certificates of Survey as County Roads:  Clarifies laws authorizing board of county commissioners to create county roads as shown on plats or certificates of survey.  Commissioner Grewell motioned to pass the resolution. Commissioner Mitchell seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
    • Setting Speed Limits:  Missoula County Commissioners, Nicole Rowley and Jean Curtiss, explained the resolution: This would remove the minimum and allow a lower speed limit to be set.  Commissioner Grewell motioned to pass the resolution. Commissioner Mitchell seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.
    • Utility Relocation in Public Rights-of-Way:  After discussion on the 48-hour notice requirement, it was decided to table the resolution.
  • Policy Statements:  The policy statements were reviewed and passed with the LTAP language.
  • Discussion: Options for Getting a Good Samaritans Law for Public Employees
    • The discussion centered on possibly bringing forward a resolution to make county employees exempt from prosecution due to an accident of an employee; it was decided not to bring a resolution forward.
  • Update: Montana Weed Control Association Update, Mike Miller (MDT), MWCA Representative
    • Fall weed control in Baker
    • They have different weed control awards for county weed operators.
    • Resolution regarding noxious weed trust fund: MACo is working with County Treasurers to find a funding mechanism.

 

MACo Business Session

 

Roll Call

Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, Fiscal Officer

After roll call was taken, Commissioner McGinley announced a quorum was present to conduct business (see roll call attachment).

 

Unfinished Business

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

There was no unfinished business from the opening general session.

 

Resolution of Appreciation

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

Whereas, the 2016 Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties 107th such meeting; and

Whereas, attendance of member counties marks its success; and

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the 107th Annual Conference of the Montana Association of Counties expresses its sincere appreciation for the sponsorship of this conference to the Yellowstone and Stillwater County Commissioners and staff:

Yellowstone County Commissioners:

  • John Ostlund
  • Jim Reno
  • Robyn Driscoll

Stillwater County Commissioners:

  • Maureen Davey
  • Gerald Dell
  • Dennis Shupak

Motion/Vote:  A motion to pass the Resolution of Appreciation was made by Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, and seconded by Commissioner Susan Mosness, Sweet Grass County. The motion passed unanimously.

 

Election of Officers

Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County, MACo President

The Board of Directors, acting as the Nominations Committee, brings forth the candidates for the 2017 year as follows:

  • Office of Immediate Past President:  Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County
  • Office of President:  Commissioner Todd Devlin, Prairie County
  • Office of 1st Vice President:  Commissioner Bill Barron, Lake County
  • Office of 2nd Vice President:  Commissioner Laura Obert, Broadwater County and Jim Hart, Madison County
  • Office of Fiscal Officer:  Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County

President Davey asked for any other nominations.  No further nominations were made.

President Davey invited the nominees forward to speak:

  • Commissioner Obert:  Running because this group inspires me.  We face issues together; no county stands alone.
  • Commissioner Hart:  You have two good choices.  To be involved, to be informed, to educate:  you can trust in the fact that I will be each of these things to the best of my abilities.

Vote:  Ballots for the 2nd Vice President position were cast.  Commissioner Hart was elected by majority vote as MACo’s new 2nd Vice President.

Election for MACo Immediate Past President:  Commissioner Davey

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Gary Macdonald, Roosevelt County, motioned to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Commissioner Davey as MACo Immediate Past President. Commissioner Jane Weber, Cascade County, seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Election for MACo President:  Commissioner Devlin

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Macdonald motioned to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Commissioner Devlin as MACo President. Commissioner Janice Hoppes, Pondera County, seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Election for MACo 1st Vice President:  Commissioner Barron

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Sandy Broesder, Pondera County, motioned to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Commissioner Barron as MACo 1st Vice President.  Commissioner Marty Malone, Park County, seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Election for MACo Fiscal Officer (2-Year Term):  Commissioner McGinley

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Bob Lee, Rosebud County, motioned to close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot for Commissioner McGinley as MACo Fiscal Officer.  Commissioner Obert seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Announcement

Harold Blattie, Executive Director, Montana Association of Counties

  • Libertarian Candidate, Mike Fellows, was killed in an accident.
  • Ballot reprinting
  • Overseas ballots: Guidelines will be drafted

 

Parliamentarian Report

Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County, MACo Parliamentarian

  • You must be a voting delegate to vote on motions; however, any elected official may speak to an issue.
  • Proclamation & Order:  September 21st of each year, the Montana Association of Counties will be known as the “Mo”tana Association of Counties, in honor of Immediate Past President, Maureen “Mo” Davey.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, motioned that the proclamation proceed as written. Commissioner Gary Macdonald, Roosevelt County, seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Resolutions

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

  • Emergency Resolution:  A 2/3 vote was obtained thereby suspending the rules to allow the membership to address the emergency resolution from the MACo Land Use, Planning & Development Committee.  
  • Commissioner Joe Skinner, Gallatin County and Chair of the MACo Land Use, Planning & Development Committee, presented the resolution to the membership: Authorization for Phasing in MT Subdivision & Platting Act.
    • During subdivision review, there is no authorization in the Montana Subdivision & Platting Act to allow the phasing in of development/extend it over time.  Many counties are already doing this, but the law does not address it.
    • Suggested Amendment:  Commissioner Pam Holmquist, Flathead County, suggested amending the resolution to say “may.”
    • Discussion
      • Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County:  Not in favor of adding “may;” wrote this with the help of Tara DePuy, MACo Land Use Attorney.  Move to strike “may.”
      • Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County & MACo Parliamentarian:  Out of order; reconsideration of action just passed.
      • Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County:  Regarding phasing component, allows public to comment on these large subdivisions and identify and lessen future impacts—realtors would support this.
      • Commissioner Ross Butcher, Fergus County:  Point of order—there was no discussion asked for with amendment.

Motion/Vote: Commissioner Susan Good Geise, Lewis & Clark County, moved to reconsider.  Commissioner Nicole Rowley, Missoula County, seconded the motion. Motion failed on a tie vote.

Motion: Commissioner Chilcott moved to passed the resolution as amended.  Commissioner Gary MacDonald, Roosevelt County, seconded the motion.

  • Discussion:  There was no further discussion.

Vote:  Motion passed unanimously.

  • “Do Pass” Resolutions:  Commissioner Murray entertained a motion for action on the resolutions with the committees’ recommendations of “Do Pass.”

Motion:  Commissioner Macdonald moved to accept the recommendations of the committees and pass the “Do Pass” resolutions as a block.  Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, seconded the motion.

  • Discussion:  Commissioner Steve White, Gallatin County, requested to segregate the resolution titled “Change in Form of Government” for discussion.

Vote:  Motion passed unanimously and the resolution was segregated for further discussion.

  • Discussion:  Resolution Titled “Change in Form of Government”
    • Commissioner Geise:  Allow commissioners to put it to the voters: “Would you like to have nonpartisan elections?”
    • Commissioner White:  Oppose—full scope is change in form of government; we have a process to study the form of government; it can also be done by petition.  The process can be difficult and slow (every 10 years), but we need the discussion and wisdom of the study commission—respectfully request this be voted down.
    • Commissioner Janice Hoppes, Pondera County:  The way the resolution is worded, the change would still be put to the voters; it’s just another vehicle—doesn’t take away the study commission; it’s optional—still get constituent input.
    • Commissioner Ralph Mannix, Powell County:  Oppose
    • Commissioner Marty Malone, Park County:  Oppose
    • Commissioner Ostlund:  Oppose

Vote:  Motion to pass the resolution fails on a majority vote.

  • “Do Pass as Amended” Resolutions:  Commissioner Murray entertained a motion for action on the resolutions with the committees’ recommendations of “Do Pass.”

Motion:  Commissioner Chilcott moved to accept the recommendations of the committees and pass the “Do Pass as Amended” resolutions as a block.  Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, seconded the motion.

  • Discussion:  Commissioner Jane Weber, Cascade County, requested to segregate the resolution titled “Generally Revise Laws Applicable to County Government” as well as the resolution titled “Wilderness Characteristics Inventory” for discussion.

Vote:  Motion passed unanimously with both resolutions being segregated for further discussion.

  • Discussion:  Resolution Titled “Generally Revise Laws Applicable to County Government”
    • Commissioner Weber:  Need more information on second “whereas” statement regarding the fire district trustee election.
    • MACo Executive Director Harold Blattie:  Came from Lewis & Clark County Attorney; prior to the passage of HB 84 in 2015, when a fire district trustee election was cancelled due to a lack of candidates, the position was filled by appointment of the board of county commissioners.  That language was inadvertently stricken and replaced by general language that places the responsibility to fill such an appointment with “the governing body,” however in this context the governing body would be the district trustees. The policy question is “should the appointment be done by the board of commissioners or the board of a district?”
    • Commissioner Weber: I’m concerned it would cause more appointments to be made—oppose this one whereas statement.
    • Commissioner Phil Mitchell, Flathead County: We are dealing with this in one of our fire districts where the fire chief stole $50,000; would like the decision to stay with the county commissioners.
    • Director Blattie:  This is specific to special district elections; commissioners had always had this authority, but it was inadvertently stricken with the passage of HB 84. This would reinstate the original authority.
    • Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Carl Seilstad, Fergus County, moved to pass the resolution as recommended by the committee.  Commissioner Chilcott seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority vote.
    • Discussion: Resolution Titled “Wilderness Characteristics Inventory”
    • Commissioner Weber:  The BLM is keeping current/ongoing inventory; this is a one-county issue—not appropriate for MACo as a whole; recommend a “do not pass.”
    • Commissioner Chilcott:  Rise in favor; this came through the Public Lands Committee with a unanimous “do pass” recommendation; it’s more than a one-county issue.
    • Commissioner Butcher:  Support—Fergus County is involved as are others.  
    • Commissioner White:  Support—50% under federal land ownership; not a single-county issue.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Chilcott moved to pass the resolution as recommended by the committee.  Commissioner Richard Dunbar, Phillips County, seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority vote.

  • Discussion: Resolution Titled “Wilderness Characteristics Inventory”
    • Commissioner Weber:  The BLM is keeping current/ongoing inventory; this is a one-county issue—not appropriate for MACo as a whole; recommend a “do not pass.”
    • Commissioner Chilcott:  Rise in favor; this came through the Public Lands Committee with a unanimous “do pass” recommendation; it’s more than a one-county issue.
    • Commissioner Butcher:  Support—Fergus County is involved as are others.  
    • Commissioner White:  Support—50% under federal land ownership; not a single-county issue.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Chilcott moved to pass the resolution as recommended by the committee.  Commissioner Richard Dunbar, Phillips County, seconded the motion. Motion passed by majority vote.

  • “Do Pass & Incorporate into Policy Statements” Resolutions:  Commissioner Murray entertained a motion for action on the one resolution with the committee recommendation of “Do Pass & Incorporate into Policy Statement.”

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner McGinley moved to accept the recommendation of the committee and pass the “Do Pass & Incorporate into Policy Statement” resolution.  Commissioner Mike Wendland, Hill County, seconded the motion.  There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.

  • “Do Not Pass; Incorporate into Policy Statements” Resolutions:  Commissioner Murray entertained a motion for action on the two resolutions with the committees’ recommendations of “Do Not Pass; Incorporate into Policy Statements.”  Both resolutions were segregated for discussion.
  • Discussion:  Resolution Titled “Closures of Natural Resource Entities”
    • Commissioner Allan Underdal, Toole County:  We would like to change the amendment we put in policy from this resolution the language you see in green on this resolution.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Ralph Mannix moved to not pass the resolution but instead incorporate the language from the resolution into the MACo Energy Committee Policy Statements.  Commissioner Doug Martens, Rosebud County, seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

  • Discussion:  Resolution Titled “Eliminating the Gas Tax Allocation to LTAP”
    • Director Blattie:  Suggest tabling it and putting a positive statement into policy; in support of LTAP—what we were concerned about is LTAP possibly moving more toward research and grant writing.  

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Chilcott moved to not pass the resolution but instead incorporate it into the MACo Transportation Policy Statements.  Commissioner McGinley seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

  • “Do Not Pass” Resolutions:  Commissioner Murray entertained a motion for action on the resolutions with the committees’ recommendations of “Do Not Pass.”
    • Discussion:  Commissioner Curtiss requested to segregate the resolution titled “Designating Common Buckthorn as a Noxious Weed.”

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Ostlund moved to not pass the remaining resolution titled “Utility Relocation in Public Rights-of-way” with the committee recommendation of “Do Not Pass.”  Commissioner Macdonald seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

  • Discussion:  Resolution Titled “Designating Common Buckthorn as a Noxious Weed”
    • Commissioner Curtiss:  Common Buckthorn takes over and effects crops and forest land; asking you to reconsider the “Do Not Pass” recommendation.
    • Commissioner Larry Hendrickson, Liberty County: This was in the MACo Agriculture Committee; the representative from the Montana Weed Control Association (MWCA) felt a resolution wasn’t necessary and recommended that that Missoula County take the necessary steps.
    • Commissioner Rowley:  It has been growing in other counties too.  We are requesting a letter to use weed money and get ahead of the issue; add it to the statewide list.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Rowley moved to pass the resolution.  Commissioner Lesley Robinson, Phillips County, seconded the motion.

  • Discussion
    • Commissioner McGinley:  There are many weeds listed; will this dilute the money?
    • Commissioner Malone: Concern with fund dilution when there aren’t many counties dealing with this issue—keep the high-impact weeds on the list.
    • Commissioner JR Iman, Ravalli County:  Oppose as it’s not the position of this organization to choose what weeds are worse.
    • Commissioner Rowley:  If it’s added to the list, you can spend your money on it; if it’s not on the list, then you can’t; half of the counties have this weed.

Vote:  Motion to pass failed 18-23.

 

Policy Statements

Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County, MACo Parliamentarian

The MACo Policy Statements have been reviewed, amended as the committees felt necessary, and approved by the individual committees.  

  • Segregation:  The Health & Human Services Policy Statements, Justice & Public Safety Policy Statements, and Tax, Budget & Finance Policy Statements were segregated for further discussion.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Gary Macdonald, Roosevelt County, moved to pass all other policy statements as recommended by the committees.  Commissioner Marty Malone, Park County, seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

  • Discussion:  Health & Human Services Policy Statements
    • Commissioner Deanna Bockness, Prairie County:  Elaborate on raw milk; it isn’t allowed by law as of now.
    • Commissioner Carl Seilstad, Fergus County:  Committee discussed this considerably; it’s illegal as of now; the health departments are bringing this issue forward, as there may be bills coming forward this legislative session; health departments are concerned with outbreaks and the associated costs.
    • Commissioner Briggs:  This is a policy statement, so it would simply give the executive committee and staff direction during the legislative session, should the issue arise.
    • Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County:  If approved this would say that the herd owners take responsibility; it’s about E.coli and protecting public health.
    • Commissioner Nicole Rowley, Missoula County: Food has to be temperature-controlled; there are potential dangers.
    • Commissioner Jane Weber, Cascade County: We are in support of this policy; our public health nurse has expressed concern and asked us to do so.

Motion/Vote: Commissioner Seilstad moved to retain the statement #26 as written.  Commissioner Sandy Youngbauer, Fergus County, seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

Motion/Vote: Commissioner Macdonald moved to pass the Health & Human Services Policy Statements.  Commissioner Jim Hart, Madison County, seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

  • Discussion:  Justice & Public Safety Policy Statements
    • Commissioner Curtiss:  Technical Amendment on statement #20—drone not zone

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Dennis Shupak, Stillwater County, moved to approve statement #20 as amended.  Commissioner Bob Lee, Rosebud County, seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

Motion/Vote: Commissioner Allan Underdal, Toole County, moved to pass the Justice & Public Safety Policy Statements as amended Commissioner Shupak seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

  • Discussion:  Tax, Budget & Finance Policy Statements
    • Commissioner Susan Mosness, Sweet Grass County: Suggest Amendment to Policy #13—Add language to support extension of sunset of statutory appropriation for metal mines allocation to impacted counties.
    • Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County:  We overlooked this, and it’s important to many counties.
    • Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County:  Concur, as the Chair of the Tax, Budget & Finance Committee.

Motion/Vote: Commissioner Hart moved to pass the Tax, Budget & Finance Policy Statements with the proposed language.  Commissioner Mike Murray, Lewis & Clark County, seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

 

Proposed By-Law Amendment(s)

Commissioner Joe Briggs, Cascade County, MACo Parliamentarian

  • Proposed Amendment #1

ARTICLE IV - BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1.  MEMBERS

a)   The Board shall consist of the four elected officers, the Immediate Past President, Past Presidents, the Class 1A Representative and the elected chairperson from each of the twelve regional districts specified in Article VIII.

b)    In addition to the members identified in Subsection (a), other county elected official associations with no fewer than 29 county members may each designate a member to serve as a non-voting representative member on the Board.

  • Commissioner Maureen Davey, Stillwater County:  These amendments would clarify the membership of the Board of Directors to include the Immediate Past President and Past Presidents to reflect previous decisions of the membership (cleanup language), as well as allow eligible county elected official association representatives to be voting members on the MACo Board of Directors.

Motion:  Commissioner Dennis Shupak, Stillwater County, moved to accept the proposed language from amendment #1 into the MACo Bylaws.  Commissioner John Ostlund, Yellowstone County, seconded the motion.

  • Discussion
    • Commissioner Phil Mitchell, Flathead County: Please clarify, 29 members?
    • MACo Associate Director, Sheryl Wood:  Other county elected official associations with no fewer than 29 county members may each designate a member to serve as voting members on the Board.
    • Commissioner Ralph Mannix, Powell County:  How many past presidents?
    • Commissioner Davey: Eight total.
    • Commissioner Jean Curtiss, Missoula County:  Past presidents still serving.
    • Commissioner Briggs: Should we clarify “1 member” or add “approved by the board of directors in “part b?”  It would read as follows:

In addition to the members identified in Subsection (a), other county elected official associations approved by the board of directors with no fewer than 29 county members may each designate a member to serve as a non-voting representative member on the Board.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner John Grewell, Carbon County, moved to amend the bylaws with the additional language.  Commissioner Greg Chilcott, Ravalli County, seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

Vote: The membership voted on the motion to accept the proposed language as amended into the MACo Bylaws. Motion passed unanimously.

  • Proposed Amendment #2

ARTICLE IX - ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND PROCEDURES

Section 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE

These by laws having been duly amended by a majority vote of the members cast at the 105th 107th Annual Conference, held in Kalispell, Billings, MT on September 24 21, 2014 2016.  These by-laws will be effective upon the adjourning of the annual conference with all provisions for compliance in regard to the elected officers of the Association having been provided for by action on the floor of the Association.

  • Associate Director Wood:  This proposed amendment would incorporate the date of adoption of the most recent amendments to the bylaws.

Motion/Vote:  Commissioner Marty Malone, Park County, moved to amend the bylaws, thereby updating the dates accordingly.  Commissioner Mike McGinley, Beaverhead County, seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.

 

Other Business

There was no further business.

 

Adjournment

The General Session of the MACo 107th Annual Conference adjourned with the installation of officers occurring at the evening annual banquet.

 

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