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SB 442 Override Letter - April 6

November 15, 2022

November 15, 2022
Commissioners Scott Miller, Scott Blain, and Bill Bullock; and Administrative Officer Angela Newell were present.
8:00 Foreman Meeting. Eric Walker, Tim Blair, Sam Kallevig, and Human Resource Specialist Kate Asbury. Discussion about rotating position, scheduling and planning work projects, flood repairs, project scheduling, and projects that are expected to be bid. Discussion of budgeted equipment. 8:40 Pat Plowman, Lisa Bennett, Chip Bennett, Ed Halland joined the meeting. Discussion regarding gravel crushing and likelihood that contract deadline will not be met, alternates for gravel sources/crushing, and gravel mixes and benefits. Discussed surplus equipment auction with Musser Bros. 9:00 Contract Civil Deputy Attorney Jacque Papez joined the meeting. Asphalt preservation projects, increased traffic on rural roads, discussed with Lisa Bennett about paving and issues with current equipment.
9:00 Contracted Civil Deputy County Attorney Jacque Papez presented contract amendment regarding her active litigation rate. County Attorney Alex Nixon joined the meeting. Discussed current open litigation, noted emails with County Attorney have been made exhibits as part of the litigation and may result in Nixon becoming a fact witness. Miller moved to approve the Contract amendment with Doney Crowley; Blain seconded; discussion about other portions of the agreement remaining; Lisa Bennett requested a copy and was provided Blain’s. Motion carried.
9:10 Public Comment.
Public Comment. Pat Plowman, Lisa Bennett, Chip Bennett, and Sanford Langager in attendance. Chip concerned that public comment was not provided as Agendaed. Chip Bennet discussed various concerns he had over election night. Papez and Nixon advised the commissioners do not engage with Lisa Bennett as a party in active litigation. Langager noted the animosity he has witnessed and expressed concerns about what happened on election night. Blain noted friction is being propagated by individuals who are focused on attacking the integrity of elected officials and staff. Noted he trusts the election officials. Lisa Bennett commented that she submitted 284 elector challenges that she believes are valid from 1500 electors. Bennett stated that she does not want to be in litigation with the County but feels she was left with no choice but to pursue litigation because her records request was not responded to as quickly; stated she is not questioning the validity of any race, but is concerned that things are not being done to the letter of the law. Plowman noted she is questioning the race because she is concerned about centralized tabulating.
9:30 public departed
Discussed GRLA Litigation Amicus Hearing. Nixon and Papez departed.
Miller moved to approve special claim run; Bullock seconded; motion carried.
10:00 Commissioners discussed participation in the Public Lands Research Center. Funding would establish a group to perpetuate western land interests. Bullock noted concerns about Forest Service’s discouragement of County participation in various issues including the Amicus Hearing. Blain recounted Public Lands Committee discussion at the Montana Association of Counties (MACo) conference and noted possible benefits to ensure continued federal discussion and education about western land issues. Bullock and Miller discussed concerns about providing funding to the National Association of Counties (NACo). 10:10 Bullock Departed. Discussion about what funding will be used for. Discussion regarding if there will be ongoing funding commitment; Blain does not believe so. Blain moved to a participate in the Center and allocate the requested funding; Miller seconded; motion carried.
10:20 Treasurer Lori Lynde introduced her new clerk Shannon Posey to Commissioners.
Gary Harem met with Commissioners to discuss airport business, including request by hanger owners to plow the runway/taxiways at their own expense. Commissioners would like to see a indemnification agreement before permission for private plowing is granted.
11:00 Public Health Director Erin Cross met with Commissioners regarding Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Grant Agreement renewal. Blain moved to approve; Miller seconded; Cross noted renewal of CRI deliverables being met by contract with 373 Consulting; motion carried.
12:00 Adjourned.

Respectfully submitted: Angela Newell, Administrative Officer