Bowman County questions Weed Board actionsBOWMAN — Bowman County commissioners question if Weed Board members are doing their job at a hearing Tuesday at the Bowman County Courthouse.
BOWMAN — Bowman County commissioners question if Weed Board members are doing their job at a hearing Tuesday at the Bowman County Courthouse.
“The Weed Board members need to be more active,” said Commissioner Ken Steiner. “They have not been getting the job done like they should be.”
County Commissioner Lynn Brackel said concerns include failure to accept the guidance of the Commission, its inability to control the spending of Weed Officer Roger Wickstrom, the questionable misuse of county benefits and policies by Wickstrom which the board has not adequately addressed, lack of communication, meeting attendance, record keeping, reporting and the board not using state programs such as the Landowner Assistance Program to the fullest potential.
“We do use those programs,” said Weed Board member George Maychrzak.
Commissioners then asked him about the board’s record keeping on the use of the programs and other weed matters and reporting to which Maychrzak had no reply.
Wickstrom was not at Tuesday’s meeting, no one answered at the Weed Board office and a listed number for Wickstrom is no longer in service.
Commissioners also cited several complaints by county residents and agriculture officials.
“It sounds like the concern is more with the individuals on the board rather than the number on the board,” Scranton resident Steve Reimer said to the board.
Brackel said reducing the number of members the board would become more effective and in turn increase dialog and accountability.
He added short of replacing the members the county really had no say in disciplinary action.
“That along with the rest of the concerns brought up today have been brought up to the Weed Board before and nothing has been done,” Brackel said. “The lack of action has brought us here today.”
In the end commissioners made and approved a motion to reduce the number of people on the Weed Board to three people.
Commissioners also discussed safety and security at the courthouse with Bowman County Sheriff Rory Teigen. The issue came to the forefront because a guilty man pulled a gun in a neighboring Adams County courtroom.
The commission discussed escape routes, locking all but one door on court days, having a deputy in both the front and back of the courtroom, having a highway patrol officer in the area on court days, installing silent alarms/alert devices in more areas of the courthouse, and getting a portable module (a walk through metal detector).
Commissioners decided more discussion on the matter was needed and asked Teigen to look into models and costs of a walk through metal detector and also the silent alarm/alert devices.