The Board of Missoula County Commissioners conduct three types of regular meetings: administrative meetings; public meetings; and department updates. Because a quorum is present (e.g., at least two of the three Commissioners are present), meetings are open to the public. Discussions of litigation strategy or personnel matters are two noteworthy exceptions. The following will outline the content of each meeting, what business is typically executed and where resources are available to learn more.
Routine Administrative Meetings
Typically held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week at 10 a.m. in room 206 of the Administration Building.
Administrative meetings are the foundation of the County’s business. During this hour, departments bring contracts, agreements, resolutions, grant applications, etc. to the commission for consideration of approval or denial. Because the commission oversees all County department budgets, either the chair of the commission or the board is required to sign documentation. With limited exceptions, only the commissioners are authorized to bind the County through a contract or agreement.
Before an item comes to the commissioners for consideration, it has been routed through several offices, depending on the nature of the action. The County Attorney’s Office and Risk department review contracts. The Finance department often reviews for fiscal impacts and to ensure action is properly executed within financial reporting requirements.
All agendas are published at least one day in advance of the meeting. They are available on the County’s website on the Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes & Agenda Portal page. Agendas outline what will be discussed, while the agenda packet includes a copy of the action item for the public or media to view in its entirety. Summary minutes will soon be uploaded to the portal following the meeting.
All action is required to have a 2/3 majority vote to approve or deny. A commissioner may abstain from the vote.
Once an action has been approved or denied, it is routed back to the Commissioners’ Office staff to be attested and recorded by the Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer. The final copy of the item is then recorded and a copy of the original is sent to the department or staff member who brought the item forward.
Administrative meeting actions are captured through summary minutes. In addition, a record of the meeting is then captured in the Commissioners’ Journals. Commissioners’ journals capture all of the commissions’ actions, votes, attendance at meetings, and meeting minutes. The journals are the official record of the Board of County Commissioners.
Typically held the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. in room 151 of the Courthouse Annex. As of Feb. 9, 2017, meeting dates will change to the second and fourth Thursday of the month at 2 p.m.
Unlike administrative meetings, the public meetings are recorded and verbatim minutes are taken. Video is captured by Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT) which will be streamed live to their television channel and video will be made immediately available online. Because these meetings often include items of broader public interest, largely involving land use, proposed policy changes, proclamations and community plans and proposals, substantive information is captured. Minutes, including those present, staff reports/recommendations, public comment, action taken and votes are included within the minutes.
Agendas, agenda packets, video and recorded minutes are available on the Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes & Agenda Portal webpage. Because documents take time to finalize and route through the organization and journals go through an extensive review process to ensure accuracy, journals are typically finalized and uploaded to the website two or three months after the month’s business is concluded. Enhancing the technology and staffs’ ability to utilize it will continue to decrease this processing time. The Commissioners’ Office staff manages/publishes the agenda and takes minutes during the meeting.
The completed minutes on the website include video bookmarks. Viewers can follow the bookmark link to the segment of the meeting where the agenda item or speaker comments on the item of interest to the viewer.
Community & Planning Services (CAPS) Update
Typically meet the second and fourth Monday of each month at 9:30 a.m. to convene an informal meeting in room 206 of the Administration Building.
The CAPS update is conducted by the Community and Planning Services department to discuss land use issues. Any items requiring a vote of the commission are taken up at either an administrative meeting – if administrative in nature – or at a public meeting if the proposal is brought forward by the public. All CAPS meetings are open to the public.
CAPS administrative staff compile agendas. Agendas are published on the Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes & Agenda Portal.
A note of this meeting is captured in the Commissioners’ Journal. Action items that come as a result of the CAPS update will appear on administrative agendas or public meeting agendas.
Other Department Meetings/Updates
The Commissioners also meet with each department head on a regular basis to be updated on current activities.
The Commissioners meet with each of the County departments on a monthly basis to be updated on activities and upcoming projects of note. Some department heads meet together for an hour and rotate updating the commission. Others, such as the County Attorney’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, Risk and Benefits, HR, Clerk & Recorder/Treasurer and the Chief Administrative Officer updates are department specific.