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Resident Continues Complaint Against Commissioners

Wolf Point resident Bill Juve continued to claim at Tuesday’s April 27 commissioners meeting that Roosevelt County Commissioners didn’t follow Montana’s meeting laws when commissioners approved a stipend for county employees during a March meeting.

Juve said the item was added to the agenda shortly before the meeting, rather than the required 48-hours notice. He asked who made the decision to add the topic to the agenda.

“I can’t really recall for sure,” Commissioner Gordon Oelkers said.

Commissioner Duane Nygaard added, “It was a general discussion with the three of us and we decided to put it on the agenda.”

Juve asked commissioners if they feel they violated the Montana Constitution by not providing proper notice.

“I don’t know for sure,” Oelkers said.

Regarding why the amount was $1,000 for full-time employees, commissioners said they came up with the figure by looking at what the schools and tribes have done regarding stipends.

Oelkers said the money for the stipend came from CARES funds for the county’s health department and sheriff’s office. He said it was an unrestricted fund.

Juve replied that a state official told him that CARES funds can’t be used for stipends.

The Northern Plains Independent News expressed concern that the Montana Public Information Act was violated. The newspaper hopes that items are placed on the agenda at least 48 hours prior to future meetings as required by Montana statute.

In other business, commissioners approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the county and Fort Peck Tribes regarding the detention center. The agreement is for the ability of 10 tribal prisoners, up to a maximum of five females, to be jailed in the county detention center. The agreement is the same as the least two years except cost for day increased from $72 to $75.

Traci Harada resigned her position on the compensation board. Lynda Jeffries resigned her COVID case investigation position at the health department.

Commissioners approved the hiring of Katie Mac-Donald at the health department.

The county approved receiving a $5,458 immunization grant from Dawson County for personal services and supplies.

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