I have been fortunate to serve Fergus County for the past five years on the Board of County Commissioners. Prior to that, I served as an elected member of the Fergus County Community Council.
The main function of the Community Council is to advise the County Commissioners on difficult issues that arise and seek additional input from the community. I served on that board for 12 years, 8 of which I was the chair. The time I spent in that position developed my interest in pursuing a position on the Board of County Commissioners.
Since being elected to the Commission, I have regularly attended MACo conferences and trainings. I have served on several committees, been involved in budget and finance, served on the Land Use Committee, as well as the Public Lands Committee.
I appreciate the role MACo plays in ensuring good legislation is presented and supported in Helena. I have testified in Helena on important legislation and recognize the vital role our association plays in getting things accomplished.
The political process has always interested me, which is why I double-majored in History and Political Science. I believe we, as elected local government officials, have an opportunity to provide tangible, direct representation for our constituents.
I also serve on many different boards and committees. These include the MACo 6-County Fort Peck Group; the Lewistown chapter of Montana Landlords Association, as well as the state board of directors of the Montana Landlord’s Association; the Lewistown Municipal Airport Board; I serve as the chair on the Snowy Mountain Development Corporation and the Fergus County Council on Aging and the Area II COA Executive Board. I have also been involved in developing the Montana Natural Resource Coalition, geared specifically towards working with federal agencies in managing our public resources.
I am comfortable with communicating one-on-one or speaking to large groups, in part due to the time I spent as an FFA State Officer. I believe communication is vital for leadership, and I have had numerous opportunities to develop this skill over the years.
My background is in ag production, having grown up on a ranch. After college, my wife and I bought a small retail store and ran that together for over 23 years. During that time, I also invested in rental properties and spent a lot of time working on and managing that business. We have four grown children, no grandkids yet! I am proud to serve in a position that allows me to help ensure that Montana and our local communities continue to be a great place to live, work, and raise our families.
I see a bright future for our country and state, and I believe local government has a role to play in this process. MACo is our unified voice to see that the citizens of our great state are heard.
MACo is a very valuable tool to us, as elected local leaders, to provide support and the resources necessary to help carry out our duties and responsibilities. Should I be given the opportunity to serve in a leadership position at MACo, I would dedicate the time necessary to fulfill the duties and responsibilities required in that position.
Dedicating time to communicate with our membership to effectively represent the needs and concerns of local government would be a priority. I believe being responsive to these concerns helps keep MACo a driving force in Montana.
Fergus County Commissioner