February 27, 2020
February 27, 2020
Commissioners Robert ‘Pits’ DeArmond, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; Angela Newell, Administrative Officer; and Barbara Daniel, Commissioners’ Secretary were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance
John Harwood of Joliet joined the meeting for the Public Comment period to discuss the proposed Detention Facility; he supports having the facility in the County Seat and only as many beds as the County needs, without leasing beds to outside entities. Discussion about the Citizen Advisory Committee registering as an Incidental Committee with the Commissioner of Political Practices within 5-days of the issue becoming a ballot issue. 8:45 Sheriff Josh McQuillan joined the meeting. Harwood stated his intent to form his own Ballot Issue Committee against the Detention Facility as it is proposed by the County. Sheriff McQuillan and Commissioner Blain offered to attend any of Harwood’s committee meetings to address concerns/questions.
9:30 City of Red Lodge regular meeting. Mary Cameron, City Council, in attendance. Cameron asked about their Resort Tax Committee and whether they need to file as an Incidental Committee; Commissioners referred her to the Commissioner of Political Practices. Newell confirmed that the Election Administrator has received the City’s Resolutions calling for the Resort Tax election which will be taking place in June.
10:00 County Attorney Alex Nixon and Deputy County Attorney Michael Ellinghouse present for regular meeting. Commissioner Bullock noted that fuel tanks are near empty at his road shop and asked Nixon about protocol and procedure in enforcing the liquidated damages clause in the contract with Ray Judd Petroleum, the contracted vendor.
10:15 Meeting closed to discuss a personnel issue.
10:30 Meeting reopened. Discussion regarding the County Attorney’s revisions to the Resolution Establishing Road Maintenance Priority Policy. Commissioner Bullock moved to approve Resolution 2020-07: Road Maintenance Priority Policy; Commissioner DeArmond seconded; motion carried.
11:00 Workers’ Comp MACo Safety Group meeting with Tom Chamberlain and Josh O’Shea–both from Mandeville Insurance Agency–in attendance. They addressed MACo’s announcement, at the Mid-Winter conference earlier this month, that it will be discontinuing Workers’ Comp coverage as of July 1, 2020. MACo, Montana State Fund, and Seitz Insurance came together to try to find a solution to MACo’s hemorrhaging Workers’ Compensation Trust; the result is a Montana State Fund policy administered by Seitz to become effective 7/1/2020. Counties are being incentivized to join the MACo Safety Group by offering a retrospective return of premiums paid to the MACo Workers’ Compensation Trust. Commissioner Bullock expressed dissatisfaction that MACo has not followed contractual protocol and bylaws with proper noticing. Chamberlain anticipates about a $55k premium savings to the County with Montana State Fund over MACo, and with better services. Commissioner Blain stated that he’s not comfortable signing on with Seitz/Montana State Fund, on short notice, without running due diligence in exploring other insurance options and costs. 11:25 Conference call with Jeremy Norby with Seitz Insurance Agency. In addition to $55k premium savings, Montana State Fund will also have potential for dividend returns in a couple of years depending on the County’s claims. 11:30 Conference call concluded. Commissioners agreed they are comfortable submitting Experience Rating Data to Seitz for the time being; actual insurance decision will take place at a future meeting.
12:00 Board of Health Meeting. Dick Nolan, Brandi Mains, Travis West, Lori Kane, Jean Atherly, Maggie Karas, Cortney Lynde, Bill George, Sheila Boggio, Roberta Cady, Tom Kohley, Jason Mahoney, Becky Frank, and Megan Hogue in attendance. Commissioner Bullock moved to approve Board of Health minutes from November 7, 2019 (attached) ; Nolan seconded; motion carried. 12:15 Commissioner Blain left the meeting. 1:00 Commissioner Blain returned to the meeting.
1:40 Betsy Scanlin met with Commissioners to discuss Red Lodge Area Community Foundation’s Roosevelt School Project. She expressed concerns about the grant funds that are supplementing the Roosevelt project. She noted the Roman Theater, which she owns, does not make a big profit and is concerned the Roosevelt School project is undercutting for-profit businesses. Scanlin noted they spent $77,000 to upgrade their systems for digital movies. Commissioner Bullock agreed that government’s job is not to provide funding to guarantee that RLACF’s endeavors succeed.
Respectfully submitted: Barbara Daniel, Commissioners’ Secretary