Hoppes in the race for commissioner seat

47_janice-hoppesBy Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Montana native Janice Hoppes, the Clerk and Recorder in Conrad for the past 17 years, has decided to join the race for a county commissioner position on the Republican ticket.

The position Hoppes is seeking is held by incumbent Cynthia Johnson (R), District III. The filing fee for a commissioner is $211.76. The salary for a county commissioner is $42,776.

Born in Havre the 65-year-old Clerk and Recorder/Election Administrator was raised in Inverness.

She graduated from Carroll College in 1969 with a BA in Elementary Education with post-graduate studies in Paralegal Studies at the College of Great Falls which is now the University of Great Falls.

She is a certified Clerk and Recorder via trainings over the past 17 years and has the life-experience of a part ownership in a small business.

Hoppes came to Conrad in 1976 and was employed at a local law firm for 11 years.

The four years just preceding her election to the Clerk and Recorder position, she worked in the accounting department at the Pondera Medical Center, serving as Supervisor until November of 1994.

Hoppes serves on the board of directors of the Dollars for Scholars and is a member of a book club.

From 2004 to the present, she was appointed as one of 10 Clerk and Recorders across the state to serve on the Montana Election Technology Advisory Committee to implement the Statewide Voter Database in Montana; she is the chairperson of the Montana Association of Clerk and Recorder’s Legislative Committee; and is past president of the Montana Association of Clerk and Recorders.

She first ran for an elected office in 1994 and has been re-elected to the Clerk and Recorder position since.

Her special interests include spending time with her two grandchildren and reading. A little known fact about Hoppes: She takes oil painting classes.

She tells the I-O that the seat on the ballot this year is in the nominating district in which she lives. “It is an opportunity to bring my experience, knowledge, management style and work ethic to the commissioner’s office.

Asked about her qualifications that will make her an effective office holder, Hoppes says, “My 17 years of experience as the Clerk and Recorder and my knowledge and experience gained during this time in county government would provide a different focus and positive impact on the office of commissioner.”

Hoppes goes on to add, “I have worked with many commissioners, including those from others counties during my years in county government and feel I would provide new insights to the office.”

She served on the board of directors of MACo, (Montana Association of Counties) while president of the Clerk and Recorder’s Association.

She feels her strengths are in two areas; budgeting and internal auditing. In addition, she enjoys new challenges and the opportunity to research options and solutions.

Hoppes has some ideas she would like to bring to the commission office: “I would like to see more communication with the public as a whole and among the commissioners and individuals bringing a situation to their attention.”

Additionally, she feels it is important for commissioners to communicate with other elected officials and employees in the county and to also be present in the courthouse.

“I would bring more opportunities for the public to meet with the commissioners with more time in the office and follow-up and be proactive in researching and providing answers to situations brought to my attention,” she said.

She also brought out an idea that may not be real popular with her fellow commissioners if elected; “I would like to research the possibility of making the position of Commissioner in Pondera County a part-time position with part-time compensation,” she says.

Hoppes notes, “We need to keep our communities viable and encourage development and growth, but at the same time, we need to keep the balance with our rural life.”

She said she was very grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Pondera County for the past 17 years as Clerk and Recorder. “It has been an honor and I will continue to work for them to the best of my ability.”

Hoppes has two children, Marni and her husband Don and two grandchildren DJ and Madison, and a son, Ryan and his wife Leah.