By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Incumbent Pondera County Commissioner Sandy Broesder is seeking re-election to a seat she first earned five years ago.
Broesder, age 54, is running on the Republican ticket and is the current commission chairman
A native of Calgary, Alberta, she moved to Montana when she was eight. She is a graduate of Lincoln County High School in Eureka and attended MSU-Bozeman before entering the work force.
After her family was grown, Broesder returned to college and graduated with a BS degree in Business Technology from MSU-Northern
She took on the daunting task of taking on a double minor; Small Business and Computer Science and graduated Cum Laude with Departmental Distinction.
“Since college I have taken a number of classes in county management, road maintenance, emergency management and fraud prevention,” she tells the I-O.
Before running for and being elected to the commissioner’s position Broesder spent almost 10 as a computer consultant with Jathco Systems. She is actively involved in agricultural production and has been all her life.
Broesder belongs to and is active in a number of organizations.
She is a life time member for the local FFA Alumni and sits on the Conrad High School Vocational Advisory committee and is a founding member of the Golden Triangle Pachyderm Club.
Broesder is also active on a state and national level with the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) serving as the Chair of the Information Technology (IT) Committee.
She also serves on the National Association of Counties (NACo) IT committee and NACo’s Telecommunication and Technology Steering Committee.
She represents Pondera County on the Board of Directors for the North Montana Joint Refuse Disposal District (the landfill), Hi-Line Recovery (the local alcohol and chemical dependency treatment program), the North Central Montana Resource Conservation and Development Area and the County Planning Board.
In addition, she also represents MACo with the State of Montana on the Electronic Records Information Management (E-RIM) Committee and the Network Expansion Stakeholders Committee.
Not too long ago, she had the honor, after co-authoring a grant for “Rural Health Works”, to be selected as presenter at NACo’s Western Interstate Regional meeting in Tacoma, Wash., less than six months after being elected.
Asked what will make her an effective office holder, Broesder says, “In addition to my business degree, I have had five years of ‘on the job training’ in all the multitude of issues that commissioners handle.”
She went to add, “I successfully completed the MACo commissioner certification program and have taken extensive training in emergency management system.” Broesder is also an experienced grant writer with several successful grants to her credit and, “I posses good people skills.”
She feels the greatest challenge to the county will be keeping a reasonable budget and preserving our financial reserves.
“The huge shortfall in revenues the state is experiencing is impacting our county in many ways such as child protective services, options for juvenile offenders, reductions in state payments and that’s only the beginning,” Broesder notes.
She explains that every cutback on the state level puts increased pressure on local resources so it is important that we be fiscally conservative so we can weather this storm.
She went to say, “I think our best policy will be to evaluate where we are and where the impacts will hit the hardest, look realistically at what our options are, and then take positive action. I firmly believe in being proactive and will do my best to lead Pondera County in that direction.”
Broesder has a variety of hobbies and outside interests she pursues among them are being an avid reader, hitting the slopes for some downhill skiing, knitting, dancing and going to rodeos.
Her most recently book read is Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. She also finished Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.
The most recent movie she has seen is Temple Grandin the story of an autistic woman who changed the way cattle are handled in North America. She doesn’t watch much TV; however she is a fan of NCIS and Saving Grace. “However, my absolute favorite activity is being with my grandkids,” she said.
She and her husband Don have been together for 34 years. They have two sons, one who is an engineer living in Helena and the other who is a deputy sheriff and lives west of Conrad on their ranch. Between them they have five grandchildren.
In closing, Broesder said that positive comments, constructive criticisms, humor, educational attempts, love and understanding have all enriched my life beyond measure.
“I hope you will continue to allow me to serve as your county commissioner,” she said.