ROUNDUP, Mont. - Musselshell County has found itself in a strange circumstance. The county has experienced two vacancies within its three- person board of county commissioners.
Following the resignation of Tom Berry on March 6, and Adam Carlson on July 6, the county is now left with only one commissioner, Nicole Borner.
The Musselshell County Central Committee will submit three names of people who have been living in District Two for at least two years, to the Musselshell County Compensation Committee to fill the vacated seat. Whomever is appointed will only serve in an interim role.
Musselshell County Attorney Kevin Peterson says this person would not be allowed to run on the general election ballot. "The interim person would serve until December 31 because the person who is on the general ballot now for this seat is unopposed. So the prospect of this person not being elected is extremely remote."
Though the District Two Commissioner would only be in an interim role, it would re-establish a quorum within the board. Peterson anticipates once an interim commissioner is appointed, they would be sworn in immediately to take on the duties as the District Two Commissioner.
For the time being, the county does not have a quorum, and in the case of an emergency within the county, Peterson believes the county would have to act immediately and address the decisions in the future.
"I believe we would have to act in an emergency fashion in the best we could. Once a quorum is re-established, should that happen, go back and re-affirm or basically acknowledge the acts that were taken under an emergency basis."
An independent candidate has the chance to appear on the general election ballot for District Three by meeting the statutory requirements for the office of commissioner (Section 9. Section 13-10-501 and Section 10. Section 13-10-502). The petition for an independent candidate must be filed with the county election administrator prior to August 1st before the general election.