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Commissioners Approve Primary For Elections

There will be a primary election for two non-partisan primary elections in Roosevelt County on June 4.

Both the county attorney and District II county commissioner races feature three candidates. According to Montana statute, a primary isn’t required if there are three or less candidates for a position, but the governing body may require that a primary election be held if it passes a resolution not more than 10 days after the close of filing by candidates.

Candidates for county attorney are current deputy county attorney Thomas Bleicher, current county attorney Theresa Diekhans and former long-time county attorney Ralph J. “Jim” Patch.

Seeking the commissioner position in District II, currently held by Gary Macdonald, are Doug Marottek of Poplar, Dean Mahlum of Wolf Point and Dan Sietsema of Wolf Point.

According to the resolution approved by commissioners, Roosevelt County recognizes the importance of conducting fair and transparent elections for non-partisan offices and the governing body wishes to ensure a democratic process for selection of candidates for non-partisan offices.

The motion to pass the resolution passed unanimously.

Also on the agenda was a settlement and agreement in the Labatte case. Lynn Labatte is seeking the county to desist from further proceedings with Road 1018. The argument is that the county didn’t follow statutory proceedings to create a county road. According to Labatte, the two-track road was not constructed or maintained by the state or Roosevelt County. Labatte claims that he petitioned the county in 2007 to close the road. He didn’t receive a response from the county.

Commissioner Robert Toavs said that based on their attorney’s advice, commissioners needed to table the matter and not discuss the issue.

According to the proposed settlement agreement, the parties agree to stay the litigation in order for the county together with the Labattes to prepare a petition for abandonment of the portion of Road 2058 commencing at the T intersection with Road 1018 and extending to the east to its terminus at the former Wix farm. The county will pay for the viewers and notice of a public hearing. The parties acknowledge that the county is unable to agree, as part of settlement, that Road 2058 will be abandoned as the same is subject to statutory procedure and public hearing including public comment.

The commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding with Frances Cook to provide medical services at the detention center in Roosevelt County.

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