Commissioners consider replacing board members

By Sarah Pridgeon

Crook County Commissioners considered the status of two board members at a hearing this week on the grounds that both are regularly absent from meetings. Although it was decided that the Land Use Board will retain its current line-up, a vacancy on the County Library Board will be filled at March’s regular proceedings.

Brian Marchant of the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee was not able to attend his hearing for unspecified reasons; his attendance record was provided by Tim Lyons, based on committee minutes, and showed 15 absences during the last 31 meetings.

“I assume he’s working as that’s what he told me has been the problem,” commented Nels Smith, Chairman of the committee. “I would hate to lose him, he has practical knowledge and helps bring facts that enable us to make sensible decisions.”

Smith indicated that Marchant had expressed interest in continuing on the committee and pledged to make an effort to be more vigilant about his attendance. In response to a query from Commissioner Jeanne Whalen, he confirmed that Marchant is usually prepared when he is in attendance at meetings.

As Marchant’s term is due to expire in June, with only three more meetings to be held before that time, the board decided there was little point in initiating the process to replace him on the committee.

“I don’t think he’s shown a lot of effort, but I don’t see a point in going through the process and then doing it again,” said Commissioner Jim Hadley.

Grace Moore was also unable to attend the hearing to replace her as Secretary of the Crook County Library Board. County Clerk Connie Tschetter confirmed that her hearing notice had been returned to sender and Moore’s fellow board members indicated they had received no responses since the last meeting to emails sent to both her workplace and home.

County Attorney Joe Baron pointed out that the hearing was announced in the Commissioner’s proceedings for January, which were subsequently printed in the Moorcroft Leader, Moore’s place of work.

“I believe she probably had adequate notice and that there is sufficient evidence to have her removed,” he said.

A letter from the library board was presented, explaining that Moore has attended just two of the six meetings since her appointment. Although the board rearranged its meeting schedule in January to accommodate her, she failed to turn up and her absence was not explained.

On Baron’s recommendation, the commissioners approved a motion to remove Moore from the board. Her unexpired term will be filled on March 5 at 10:30 a.m. in the Commissioner’s Room at the County Courthouse.