Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Foster County Commission: New Year - New Beginnings

The Foster County Commissioners met on Tuesday, January 6, 2014, and addressed a long agenda of items to start off the new year.  Chairman Bill Bauer and Commissioner Jim Carr brought the community uptodate on issues concerning the vacant positions which need to be filled at the county level. They each nominated a person to fill the third seat of county commissioner to replace the recently resigned Les Greger.  Both Carr and Bauer agreed that the third commissioner should come from the eastern part of the county, since  the two of them are from the Carrington area.  However, they could not agree on the same person for the job.

Jim Carr nominated Josh Dreher for the position, stating that he felt Josh was well educated as to how the county ran, he had taken an interest in County business, had attended almost every commission meeting, had put a lot of effort into running for the office and was committed to doing a good job.  

Bill Bauer nominated Leo Gauderman, Jr. and said that after much investigation, he felt that the community wanted another farmer on the commission, that Gauderman came highly recommended by the people he interviewed from the eastern part of the county, and that Gauderman was interested in having the position.

According to the North Dakota Century code, Noreen Barton, Foster County treasurer, was brought in to break the obvious tie, and instead recommended Pat Copenhaver. She stated that he was the third biggest vote-getter in the election and she felt that he should get the appointment.  

Community member Dunn suggested that there be a special election so the community could choose the third commissioner. State's Attorney Paul Murphy was instructed to find out if a special election was feasible and to look into what it would take to have one.

In other important business, the commission announced their choice for the next Foster County sheriff, who is currently Chief of Police Mattice from Lamour. They agreed to offer him a $48,000 salary and are waiting to see if he will accept the offer.  In the meantime, Henry Head, Deputy Sheriff, is overseeing the duties of the Sheriff with help from the Carrington Police Department and from nearby Eddy County Sheriff's Department when needed.  The commission agreed to pay Head an additional $2,500 for his extra duties.

During the meeting, Commissioners Bauer and Carr reviewed the applications for two other offices, Emergency Manager and Clerk of Court.  They narrowed the selection down, and instructed Auditor Casey Cables to set up a special meeting for interviewing the candidates and notice that in the local newspaper and inform others who have asked for notification.  In the meantime, Lynelle Hoppe, County Recorder, is overseeing the Clerk's office and taking care of those responsibilities. 

Heather Martin, Assistant Auditor, reported that the Game & Fish account is over $5,500 in the red. She stated that, because of missing records,they haven't been able to pinpoint the reason for the deficit.
Chairman Bauer emphasized that good records need to be kept, and new auditor, Casey Cables, said that they are doing that now.

The commission discussed that the Water Board is short one person and that a notice will be put in The Independent for anyone who might be interested in applying for that position.

The commission emphasized that they want to add a polling place in the eastern part of Foster County so that people don't have to drive so far to Carrington. State's Attorney Murphy will look into the requirements to do that.

Note:  If you were not able to attend the meeting, you can see the televised edition on DakTel's Channel 17 at various times during the coming week.

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