First listening session held

40_bev_7103FINAL TIME  — Pondera County dispatcher Bev Anderson sits at her desk in the dispatching enclave in the courthouse basement one more time. She has served as a dispatcher for over 24 years.  I-O Photo by Barb Endler




By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

The county commissioners held their first listening session for constituents and any interested person on Wednesday.

The sessions are planned to take place every third Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m. Commissioners will be on hand until 6 p.m. or until everyone who wants to air a concern has been heard.

No action will be taken on any topic, but if it is needed, the item will be on the agenda for the next regular business meeting. These are held every Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The commissioners wanted to give individuals a chance to speak out about their concerns or ideas, but are not able to make the 10 a.m. business meeting on Wednesday.

Commission Chairman Cyndi Johnson and Sandy Broesder were present for the first session. Also on hand was I-O editor, Buck Traxler.

He had a concern over a bill coming on the senate side of the floor, sponsored by Sen. Kendall Van Dyk (D/SD-25) out of Billings.

He is sponsoring SB-188 which would eliminate the county board of printing and would place maximum legal advertising prices under the Department of Administration, the Governor’s Office.

It would eliminate any formal input of the counties, public or newspapers. Traxler noted that if this bill should happen to get through, “It would be a one-shoe-fits-all bill, and one shoe, in 56 Montana counties doesn’t fit all.”

Presently, the commissioners are able to set maximum prices that may be charged for county legal advertising and to adopt printing standards for county legal advertising.

Also if passed, the Department of Administration will be able to adopt standards of typeface, size, style and type leading for county legal advertising.

The next listening session is scheduled for Feb. 16, 5:30 p.m. in the commissioner’s office in the courthouse.

In other news from their morning business meeting, commissioners approved a task order for $3,916 for an Immunization Action Plan (IAP) which deals with the county health department.

Shawn Sullivan and Harold Olson were re-appointed to the Pondera County Regional Port Authority board, each to serve a five year term.

Plate glass windows, from the community center that is being remodeled, were declared surplus property and will be sold off. Watch the I-O for an ad concerning the sale of the glass.

A letter of resignation, effective March 1 from Steve Becker, weed coordinator for the county weed district, was read and accepted by the commissioners. Becker has been with the county for 31 years.

Mike Koenig was on hand and expressed safety concerns for the Midway West and Healy Springs intersection.

John Stokes, road supervisor took part in a discussion by phone, and will meet later with Koenig to see about various control measures and road signing.

There has been a holdup on the installation of plumbing and heaters at the Community Center which is pushing back the timeline completion date.

The next regular business meeting of the commissioners will be Jan. 26, 10 a.m. in the courthouse.