Moffat County Commission to host night meeting |

Moffat County Commission to host night meeting

Brian Smith

Moffat County Commissioners, from left, Audrey Danner, Tom Gray and Tom Mathers

Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray said government's role is to make sure it is accessible to constituents.

That's why Gray and the rest of the Moffat County Commission have decided to host a night meeting Tuesday to tackle some of the bigger issues in the county.

The idea, Gray said, was brought up by a number of residents who are unable to attend regular commission meetings, which take place Tuesday mornings.

"The way I see it, it's not a way to push people to be interested, it is to fulfill our role of making government available," Gray said.

The commission will release a formal agenda today for the Tuesday meeting, which will start at 6 p.m. in the commissioner's chambers at the Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way. There will also be a regular commission meeting Tuesday morning to address a few items with "time constraints," Commissioner Audrey Danner said.

One of the main discussions pegged for the special night meeting are the negotiations regarding the Moffat County Public Safety Center, Danner said.

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Moffat County Budget Analyst Tinneal Gerber will share information on the sales tax issues behind the safety center, Danner said.

"We are giving information we know about how the taxes came about historically," Danner said. "We need to present that information and what we know is the intent of the voters and how that money has been allocated.

"That was the big question there — how it was allocated percentage-wise and what dollars, what items were spent out of those dollars because it is really important that we, all of us, present the absolute facts to our citizens, which are both in the city and the county."

Gray said the county has not had a meeting solely dedicated to sharing the commission's interpretation of the safety center negotiations and taxing issues.

"We did have some requests for us to put some information out much like the city did when they held their informational meeting," he said. "That was one — 'You guys should just do an informational meeting, but you should do it in the evening because I can't come in the morning."

Commissioner Tom Mathers said he has experienced limited public feedback regarding the issue.

"I haven't had anyone come up and say, 'Holy smokes, what have you guys been doing?'" he said.

However, Mathers said he recognizes the importance of the Tuesday meeting. The goal, he said, is to "put to sleep whatever is out there that is saying that somebody did something wrong."

"I guess there are a few people out there that are concerned about it and I guess it is just to clear the county's name to show there has been no wrongdoing or buying something that we shouldn't have bought," Mathers said.

Danner said the commission also expects State Sen. Jean White, R-Hayden, to be available for a legislative update.

"We did ask her to be on (the agenda) because of several pieces of legislation — specifically business personal property tax and several others that we need to stay in communication with her on," Danner said.

Gray said the night meeting is a test run, of sorts, to see if the commission will host more evening meetings periodically.

"We may experiment a little and have maybe the nuts and bolts stuff … that is not the most interesting, do it on a Tuesday morning and adjourn and reconvene in the evening," he said.

Gray said the last night commission meetings were hosted in 2005 due to resident request. But, turnout was a different matter, he said.

"And no one came — we just didn't get any attendance," he said. "So, we discontinued that process. But, I've always been open to it and thought if there are people who want to come and because of their work schedule can't, we should accommodate the public because we have had a couple of people mention it."

Danner said the night meeting is part of a bigger goal to reach out to more constituents in the county through different avenues.

"Over the past year, we redeveloped our website and posted more and current information on the website, been using email as a way to keep in touch with some that we hadn't, worked to improve the communication with Dinosaur," she said. "It is a way to improve our communication."

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If you go …

What: Moffat County Commission special meeting

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Moffat County Courthouse, 221 W. Victory Way

— An official agenda for the meeting will be released today.

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