Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Commission Meeting Standards - New Auditor

The Foster County Commissioners met on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. in the Foster County Courthouse in Carrington, North Dakota.  The newly elected commission chairman, Bill Bauer, announced standards which he wants the commission meetings to follow under his chairmanship.  He specifically mentioned the following standards: A person must be on the agenda to speak at a meeting.  There will be no bashing during the meetings, and no outbursts will be allowed.   Issues must be personal to the speaker, and no hearsay statements about others will be allowed.  Criminal issues should be reported to law enforcement, not to the commissioners meetings.  Complaints about a commissioner should be addressed through the recall process, or speak to that commissioner personally.  Complaints about a hired employee should be addressed to the person's supervisor, not to the commission.  Bauer emphasized that the commissioners have a lot of business to cover during the meetings and a lot of decisions to make.

After the minutes from past meetings were read and signed, Chairman Bauer introduced Casey Cables as the newly elected auditor of Foster County and officially gave her the oath of office.  The commissioners welcomed Casey aboard, and Bauer said he looked forward to working with her and her assistant, Heather Martin.

Overall the meeting went very well - other than an outburst from Dean Tracy who was escorted from the meeting for not following the standards announced by Chairman Bauer.

At the end of the meeting, after a lot of county business was taken care of and all the bills were paid, Commissioner Les Greger turned in his resignation from his official capacity as commissioner of Foster County.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Train Performs for Huge Carrington Crowd

Quite a crowd turned out to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train arrive in Carrington.  Santa made an appearance, much to the delight of the small children, and even though it was COLD, the children didn't seem to mind. 

Not only were the performances great by Kira Isabella and Home Free, but it was impressive to see the generous donation to the local Carrington Food Pantry - $3,500!  Since the program first launched in 1999, it has raised $7.4 million and 3 million pounds of food for local communities.  

Carrington High School Students hold check presented by Canadian Pacific

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Foster County Press Conference - Part 2

Foster County (North Dakota) State's Attorney Paul Murphy and Commission Chairman Bill Bauer answered submitted questions from the news media regarding the state of Foster County after five officials resigned from their jobs. 

Murphy and Bauer both kept a positive attitude, basically telling us to not dwell on the past, but to "move forward" and apply ourselves toward creating a good future for Foster County.  

Foster County Press Conference - Part 1

Foster County Commission Chairman, Bill Bauer, and State's Attorney, Paul Murphy, called a press conference to give more information relating to the recent resignations of five Foster County officials.  Members from the following news media were present: Valley News Live - Jamestown Sun - WDAZ TV - Foster County Independent and 

Basically, Murphy and Bauer professed to not really knowing why anyone resigned.  They emphasized that we don't need to concentrate on that.  We need to "move forward" and work with all the positive elements that are available to us now and in the future.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Most likely these Foster County resignations are part of a scripted plan by soundly-defeated Auditor Risovi as payback to the voters for solidly rejecting her in the November 4th election (2 to 1). Her confidants at the Courthouse are the ones who are resigning. One may speculate that the resignations are Risovi's planned punishment for all the voters of Foster County. One could also speculate that these resignations were a direct result of Paul Straley being defeated and no longer having control over the Foster County government. Therefore, the perks and privileges that these "public servants" enjoyed under the Straley/Risovi administration will soon be coming to an end under the new chairman, Bill Bauer. In other words, the Straley/Risovi party at the Foster County Courthouse is now over.

Another reason for quitting may have been that Bill Bauer would require them to come before the commission on a regular basis and answer his questions, as well as the questions of the citizens themselves. He had announced that he would like to have regular meetings of the department heads and employees so the Foster County community could see how their taxes were being used. This idea was obviously revolting to this Risovi group.

Lastly, Risovi blames the resignations on a hostile work environment which apparently is the opinion of those who resigned. It's easy to see that these "public servants," when held accountable by the taxpayers, can't stand the scrutiny. Risovi and this group believe that being held accountable is analagous to being in a hostile work environment. Good-bye and goodluck to all of them. We hope they try their luck in the private sector and see how well they fare with these attitudes.

Once it is thoroughly realized that the Bill Bauer administration intends to hold every single County employee accountable to the taxpayers, we speculate there will be other vacancies to fill. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Commissioner Bauer Fines Dean Tracy for Contempt

Ex-Auditor Teresa Risovi and her buddies continue to cause turmoil for the county commission. Dean Tracy, the administrator of the website that Teresa moderates, came to the December 2nd commissioners meeting to obviously cause trouble for the new commissioner chairman, Bill Bauer.  Risovi and Tracy didn't like the fact that Bauer wanted to hire a full-time Emergency Manager for the county, thereby eliminating Risovi's part-time position.  Tracy did his best to distract and interfere with the meeting.  (Take a look at the above video clip and see what you think.)

There's been some controversy as to whether there was a vote to fine Dean Tracy $5 for being in contempt. Here is the video taken from my angle, which does not show the negative gesture made by Tracy to Bill Bauer - a gesture which the DakTel video shows. (Sorry for the blur-out by Dean Tracy attempting to grab my camera. He did that several times while Bill Bauer was reprimanding him.)

Obviously, the commission voted to fine Tracy in contempt. You can hear Greger voting no and Carr voting yes with a second from Bill Bauer. However, it's hard to hear because of Tracy's disruptive behavior at the time of voting. The Commission could have voted to penalize Tracy with up to 24 hours in jail, but gave him a $5 penalty instead.

Personally speaking, I think the commission should have punished his contemptible behavior with 24 hours in jail.  Not only did Tracy keep messing with my camera while I was filming (as you can see in the above video), but he also followed me when I got up to get away from him.  While I was standing and continuing to film, Tracy placed his body right next to me and slyly bumped me again and again, trying to intimidate me and interfere with my filming.  I kept taking small steps to the left to get away from him touching me.  A repulsive man - who knew exactly what he was doing.  

Even though Tracy did his best to destroy the meeting, I think Bill Bauer handled the situation well.  He clearly stated some of his goals for straightening out the problems taking place at the Foster County Courthouse.  He wants to have regular meetings of the department heads and employees so everyone knows what is expected of them. Also, as he was talking, he freely admitted when he didn't understand something.  One of the most informative times for me was when Bill asked Heather Martin, the Deputy Auditor, to explain each bill before he signed it.  That would be a great thing to do at every commissioners meeting so the public can actually hear about the things for which our taxes pay.

Here is the statute from the North Dakota Century Code which Foster County Commissioner Bill Bauer is following to preserve order at their meetings:
ND Century Code 11-11-10. Power of board to preserve order – Fines – Collection:-- The board of county commissioners has power to preserve order when sitting as a board and may punish contempts by fines of not more than five dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than twenty-four hours. The board may enforce obedience to its orders by attachment or other compulsory process, and when fines are assessed by it, they may be collected before any district judge having jurisdiction, and, within ten days after they are collected, must be paid into the treasury of the county to be added to the state school fund.