May 24, 2022
May 24, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.
Public comment Theresa Manzella, Mark cook, Rick Moser, Mary Moser, Lisa Bennett, Pat Plowman, Marie Olson, Cynthia marble, Wade Miller, Kathe Mensik, Sanford Langager, Bob Mensik, and Teresa Pirtz were present. Lisa Bennett questioned Commissioners as to why Miller and Bullock did not attend the election integrity presentation last night. Bullock noted he was not part of the discussion about an evening meeting and did not commit to attend. Blain noted his disappointment that the event advertisement disingenuously represented the event was coordinated and hosted by the Commissioners and that the speakers were invited by the Commissioners. Bennett noted the intent was to meet with the public in a larger longer format. Blain affirmed that he has zero concerns with the elections in Carbon County. Discussion about the possibility of the prevalence of fraud; Blain noted that the random hand count to verify the vote would be hard to be fraudulent in all 56 counties. Attendees expressed concerns about the election machine company ES&S. Blain noted Commissioners have no authority over other elected officials and the Clerk and Recorder has statutory authority over elections. 8:50 Denise Rivette joined the meeting. Discussion regarding warrant seals.
8:58 Cathie Osmun and Hope Smith joined the meeting. Blain noted Sheriff McQuillan is not confident he has the authority to investigate the machines. Cook believes someone is misleading elected officials in Montana. Miller noted need guidance from Sheriff, Clerk and Recorder, County Attorney, and Secretary of State. Continued discussion by Cook regarding bad actors and the possibility of fraud and manipulation but could not point to a specific issue or race when pressed by Blain. Cook emphasized desire for a hand count noting the possibility of “sleeper programming” that could be activated at a later date, he does not trust anything computer related without observing the code himself. Rivette noted google search regarding election machine breaches allegedly engineered by Cook. Holland noted they do not trust the machines; concerned that no on else can be in the room when the machines are being worked on or that anyone in the room would not have enough knowledge regarding what is being done. Lengthy discussion regarding hand counting and associated costs, Clerk and Recorder / Election Administrator’s authority over elections, and the limit of the Commissioners’ authority over elections to budgetary.
9:35 Sanitarian Barbara Krizek met for her preliminary budget. Discussion about Sanitarian Assistant Lori Kane and role in the office; Krizek would like to propose an amended job description to reflect Kane’s administrative role and to increase her pay to the Administrative Clerk level of 80% of the Elected Base wage. Making PT permanent moved from line 112 to 111. Krizek requested she also be increased to 100% of the Elected Base wage to match the professional level of the position which requires a BS and professional licensing that must be maintained. Krizek noted past practice to give incentive for future increases is understandable; believes longevity is a good method for future rewards. Krizek also noted wages for PHEP Sanitarian would be under the grant budget; need for office supplies for that position that may not be covered by the grant. Increase in fuel. Krizek noted desire to keep Engineering West in budget to assist with training (Krizek is concerned she does not have time to train SIT). Travel increase for annual conferences w/ increased staff. Blain commented that after the inspection in Edgar he was impressed with Krizek’s professionalism and knowledge and believes she serves the County well.
10:00 Stovall and Bohleen met with Commissioners regarding Tax Deed properties. Two bids were received one from First American Title $125 and one from First MT Title $175. Blain moved to accept proposal from First American Title; Bullock seconded; motion carried.
10:00 Alistair Baker met with Commissioners regarding last evening’s meeting on election integrity and the meeting this morning.
10:30 Bullock moved to approve employee time as submitted; Blain seconded; motion carried.
1:30 Justice of the Peace Kevin Nichols met with Commissioners for his preliminary budget. Accounts Payable Clerk Piney Helmuth was in attendance. Minimal changes to budget. Discussion about transition to Full court Enterprise and complications with banking reconciliations. Everything should be resolved with the May Statement. Discussion about civil case back log and issues with cases being closed in the system; all issues are resolved at this time with the restitution reconciliation being resolved in May.
Miller moved to approve Commissioners Proceedings for May 3, 2022; Blain seconded; motion carried.
Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer