Anita Wilson opened the meeting and set the objectives:
- The main objective is to get a new board in place.
- It isn’t a bitching fest or finger pointing session.
- People are upset about the past and current situation but need to focus on the future.
Anita, and others, expressed their thanks to all of those that helped out the community during the recent weeks, including:
- Greg Hewitt
- Dave Curtis
- Jim and Annie Halpin
- Terry Pierce
- Alan Thompson
- James and Amy Hileman
- and, of course, Steve Wilson
Anita pointed out that we can be good neighbors in these times of crisis, but we really need to be good neighbors every day.
Multiple members pointed out that everyone needs to remember that the board members are neighbors, that they have their own lives, and that the positions are voluntary. Some of the board members come to the ranch to get away and relax, and they can’t enjoy their own properties when they are bothered and can’t enjoy their time.
Bruce Wilson noted that it is important that everyone grow up and be responsible.
Value of the Board
Everyone needs to understand that there are huge problems if we do not have a board. The lack of a board would:
- Reduce property values
- Mean the loss of agricultural status for everyone.
- Mean that we would not have the ability to collect and spend money on roads
Some discussion around snow removal occurred. Key points were:
Challenging year – It was discussed, multiple times, at the annual meeting that this was going to be a difficult year because of issues with outsourcing snow removal and that heavy snow would be a significant challenge.
Road grader – The previous board made the decision to not use the grader because of reported mechanical issues and the lack of insurance coverage. Transmission problems still exist, however, the need was clear, this year. The grader is being used, now, but there are still concerns. Russ Kaufmann has been working behind the scenes to get information about the insurance, and Greg will work with the new board to get the grader in for maintenance, soon.
Snow Removal Contract – We had one contractor pull out of the contract and had to scramble to get a new contractor. The issues were that the contractor did not like to deal with being interrupted and having people yell at him. However, equipment and failure to follow directions on placement of snow led to other issues. The contractor terminated the agreement.
Impact of Snow – While the snow has been a huge issue, Terry Pierce pointed out that we have had many storms that are significantly worse, and we need to be prepared for them. Some recommendations include:
- Having a vehicle capable of dealing with larger snow fall.
- Making sure you have enough propane to keep homes heated when the delivery services can’t get in to replenish propane.
Future – The long-term needs to be addressed, this Spring and Summer, and should include getting the proper equipment and making sure the equipment that we own is properly serviced. We also need to invest in new snow fencing.
It was discussed that just because somebody is on the board does not mean that trespass laws can be ignored. The Sheriff representatives at the meeting spoke up on the law and how it is handled today, including prosecution by the District Attorney.
Discussion of Dues and Other Day to Day Issues
There were questions around the daily operations and what has been going on since the board resigned and whether the board formally resigned or not.
It was noted that the entire board communicated their resignations properly.
Annie Halpin pointed out that Russ Kaufmann continued working behind the scenes by continuing to communicate the status to everyone and that he was continuing to work with Park County on the Letters of Agency and other issues.
President – Russ Kaufmann was nominated. Celeste Jain was nominated. Celeste refused to accept the nomination and did not want to be considered. No other nominations were made. Russ made it clear that he would take on the role if his privacy is respected. Election was by acclamation.
Treasurer – Stephen Winkler was also drafted into the position. No other nominees were made. Election was by acclamation.
Member at Large – Celeste Jain was nominated. No other nominations were made. Election was by acclamation
Cattle Manager – Alan Thompson was nominated. No other nominations were made. Election was by acclamation.
Secretary – After failing to receive nominations, Daphne Patton stepped up and volunteered to accept the role. Daphne was nominated and elected by acclamation.
There was a misunderstanding as to why the road committee was not continuing as constituted at the January 12th Annual Meeting.
Russ Kaufmann noted that the road committee is appointed by the board and works at the direction of the board. While there were volunteers in January, the positions were not appointed. However, the new board should work to establish a road committee as quickly as possible.
End of Meeting
With the main objective of the meeting achieved, the meeting was closed. The new board will work on next steps and will communicate those next steps.