Published August 24, 2020

MACo President, Shane Gorder, Richland County Commissioner

Members and MACo Partners,

On behalf of the Executive Committee of MACo, including Commissioner Martens (1st VP-Rosebud); Commissioner Strouf (2nd VP-Custer); Commissioner McGinley (Fiscal Officer-Beaverhead); Commissioner Pitman (Urban Counties Rep-Yellowstone); and Commissioner Hart (Immediate Past President-Madison), I thank you for your selfless leadership and dedication to your counties.

As you are well aware, Montana Counties have been on the front lines of this pandemic from the very beginning. As elected officials and county leaders you have modified operations, implemented changes in traditional business practices, and accommodated unforeseen and unknowable circumstances, all while serving your constituents honorably as we have progressed through the immediate and mid-term consequences of the pandemic. I am proud of the work you have done, focusing on the needs of your local communities and supporting local decision-makers in the process.

As we endure and navigate these unprecedented circumstances, continue to rise above the mounting noise. As Montana’s leaders and those closest to the people, your role inside and outside of the pandemic is significant. The people of our great state are in need of your leadership and guidance more than ever, so continue to focus on the bigger picture of the important work you are doing; stay the course.

MACo will continue its long tradition advocating for local decision making. Our position has always been and will continue to be that the best decisions are made at the local level. As a collective we also have a strong tradition of supporting each other and working together in good times and in bad. As this pandemic wears on, decisions will most likely become more difficult, not less, so please continue to look for opportunities to support and assist your colleagues in the important work that counties do in Montana. From coordination with law enforcement and public health, to decisions regarding events in our communities, to procedural decisions over the election process, MACo members need to support each other and the decisions made for the benefit of our local communities.

We will get through this pandemic, and your MACo Executive Committee looks forward to a transition back to some normalcy whenever that can occur. Until then, take some time to check in with your colleagues and make sure our tradition of support and local government advocacy remains as strong as it ever has been.


Shane Gorder, MACo President
Richland County Commissioner