Guest Editorial -Bill Bullock-Commissioner District 3, 

Dear residents of Carbon County,


I wanted to write this letter to the editor to address some reoccurring comments regarding the status of the Carbon County Commissioners Office.  It has been referenced and eluded to that the board will soon be made up of entirely appointed Commissioners.  This is true. That being said, we as a commission believe that there is nothing more sacred and important than the vote of the citizen. Sadly, the events that have occurred in the last year have led us to where we are today.  With the retirement of former Commissioner Prinkki, in March 2017, I was selected to fill his position based on my dedication to this community, broad range of experiences, the integrity and good name I have displayed and earned through my years as a Montana State Trooper, and my reputation and documented history of making the toughest of decisions under the worst possible circumstances. I took an oath to discharge the duties of the Office of Commissioner for the Red Lodge District, and my commitment and resolve to fulfill that oath could never be stronger.  

With the death of former Commissioner Grewell I had the responsibility and challenge to assist in appointing someone to fill that vacancy in the Joliet District. I believe that the best possible candidate in Scott Blain was chosen. His experience, knowledge and dedication to Carbon County is a welcome addition to the Board to represent the Joliet District. I know that his commitment and resolve to discharge the responsibility of his office matches my own. 

  We are at that point again in the appointment process. With the resignation of former Commissioner Tucker, a vacancy exists in the Bridger District. We have the option to not appoint this position. However, that would leave an entire district in the County, not represented in the Commissioner’s Office until January 2019, leaving the residents in the Bridger with no representation. Having the Bridger District absent from the table and decision making, would be a disservice to Carbon County.  Therefore, we have begun that selection process.  There has a been a robust response to this vacancy in that numerous very qualified and invested members of that District have applied for the vacancy. 

Having very qualified candidates makes the process all the more difficult.  That being said, that is the very nature of the position of Commissioner, making the tough decisions for the greatest benefit of Carbon County. We will endeavor to complete this task for the benefit of the entire County.  

Just like Commissioner Blain and myself, this individual will be appointed in the legal process set forth by Montana law. Other elected offices from the County have participated in the interview and selection process. All of these interviews were held in a public meeting and anyone interested could attend. In November 2018, all three commissioners will have to be reelected in order to confirm these appointments.

Through all of these changes, the function of county government has continued at the highest level.  We have an excellent corps of public servants and staff that serve Carbon County on a daily basis and are committed to its success.  Our roads and infrastructure have been maintained and improved through this entire time and will continue to be serviced.  

As a Commission, we ask for your patience during this time. Please know that the duties of the Commissioners office are being discharged at the highest level. We also encourage the entire Carbon County community to attend a Commissioners meeting, or call and visit with us about any questions or concerns you may have. We will get through this, and our continued success as a County will be maintained through our positive actions, and the community’s continued cooperation.  


Submitted by Bill Bullock, 

Commissioner District 3, 

Red Lodge


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