The Ravalli County commissioners have made it clear they have problems with the county's family planning clinic and will consider refusing federal funding, an action that would effectively close the program.

At a recent meeting, commissioners raised concerns about the Title X grant funding the clinic receives so they have yet to sign an order granting the clinic almost $39,000 for the fiscal year.

Commissioners have until Aug. 8 to sign the task order. If they decide against it, the county's family planning program will be eliminated.

"It'll shut down the program," said Judy Griffin, director of public health for Ravalli County. "It'll not only shut down the program, there are people who will invariably lose their job.

"It will have a definite impact on my office."

The grant, distributed by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, is entirely funded with federal dollars.

Last week's discussion on the Title X funding will continue on Aug. 4 at 2 p.m. in the commissioners' meeting room.

"We need to resolve this," Griffin said. "I'm running on a new fiscal year. I'm accruing debt here on this, and it needs to be taken care of.

"We've never had any problem in the past signing the task orders. It's always gone smoothly."

The county's family planning clinic provides annual exams, pregnancy tests, contraceptives, pap tests, STD testing, nutrition, education and counseling.

Griffin emphasized that her clinic does not perform abortions, nor does it schedule appointments in Missoula or transport patients to receive abortions.

"We're required by Title X to tell women their pregnancy options," Griffin said. "If they choose to get an abortion, we give them phone numbers.

"We don't coerce anyone to get an abortion. People make their own decisions."

Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher said he had three issues with the county's family planning program.

First, Kanenwisher said, he believes public health serves to protect citizens from communicable diseases and that pregnancies are not a public health issue.

"In my mind, pregnancy is not a disease state. An unplanned pregnancy doesn't make it anymore so," he said. "You can say it's a social problem, and you can argue there is a role for government to take some action in that. I don't believe that's the case."

Secondly, Kanenwisher noted the clinic's stocking of emergency contraceptives, such as the morning-after pill. He said that while it's easy to fall into the debate of whether the pill is considered an abortion or not, that's not the problem he's focusing on.

"It's not an abortion debate; it's a role of government debate," he said. "To me, the question is, is it a proper role of government and public health to provide that form of contraception ... is that a public health issue?"

The third issue Kanenwisher identified was that the family planning clinic provides contraceptives as well as access to all the clinic's services confidentially, without informing minors' parents.

"That crosses the line that I cannot cross," he said. "In no way will I position myself between a minor and its parent. ... To me, that's a sacred relationship that I can't interfere with."

Kanenwisher said he and his fellow commissioners were wondering if they could pick and choose at some level what the federal funding could be used for within the clinic. They wanted to hear from a representative with Montana Health and Human Services, he said.

Commission chair J.R. Iman echoed Kanenwisher, saying the commissioners hope to confirm the requirements under the grant.

However, Griffin said there's no way to pick and choose what to fund.

"We can't do that," she said. "You have to take the whole task order as is."

The Ravalli County family planning program has 465 clients, including 155 teens. Last year, the clinic served 461 unduplicated patients, 336 of those below poverty level and 88 percent without any form of insurance.

The clinic is funded by both the Title X money and about $30,000 a year of in-kind funds from the county's general fund. If the Title X funding is turned away, the clinic won't receive the in-kind dollars either.

The health department has eight employees. Including Griffin, there is a part-time nurse practitioner, three nurses, an emergency preparedness coordinator, a bookkeeper and an administrative assistant.

This year's Title X funding was $11,000 less than the previous year, which forced the department to hold only two clinic days a month, down from once a week.

Griffin said that while denying Title X funding could eliminate positions in her department, she emphasized that the citizens are the ones who lose.

"The flip side is the impact that it will have on this county," she said. "It's going to be a real issue. It's going to put this county in dire need because Sapphire (Community Health Center) has since closed down. Not everyone can access doctors.

"It affects everybody. It's just kind of a domino effect when you really think about it."

Reach reporter Whitney Bermes at 363-3300 or whitney.bermes@ravallirepublic.com.

 

(71) comments

abides
abides

Neanderthals!

marymary

The Commissioners are apparently gearing to eradicate the recycling program, the humane society and now family planning. What's next . . . public education???? Shame on all of you and shame on those who put you in charge. It's time to start reigning you in.

Igotone

It appears to me that Commissioner Matt Kanenwisher, is letting his religious up bringing interfere more with this decision making process. Commissioner Kanenwisher, you really need to wake up drink a cup of coffee, read the world news, look around and enter the 21st century. I as a parent of teenagers, would rather have my children have access to Birth Control and physical exams, than DIE. Have you even considered how much money this program have save the tax payers of the county or even the state? I personally believe that you are allowing your own personal belief system to interfere with the well-being of the community as a whole. Commissioner Iman I am really surprised that a man of your intelligence would "echo" someone who has no information on the real world.

NativeBitterroot

Matts personal agenda and religon comes before the welfare of the citizens of Ravalli County? Come on Matt and the fellow STOOGES!!!! This is a service that must be provided to the citizens, especially during these difficult financial times. Like Judy says in the article, not everyone has insurance or the financial means to see a doctor. QUIT PUTTING YOUR AGENDA BEFORE THE PEOPLE'S THAT ELECTED YOU!!!! I for one cannot wait until we have a chance to get rid of these puppets at the next election.

Montana

Oh my GOD!! Are the people in the valley REALLY going to let them get away with this?? They are eliminating jobs? This is a wonderful service that cost the valley NOTHING!! What a bunch of REDNECK, uneducated fools!!

Root

This is truly amazing, but not surprising. The fact that a public official can actually say that unwanted pregnancies are not a public health issue is beyond absurd in this day and age. The alternatives to providing low cost or free birth control are abortion, unwanted children (which the world has more than enough of already), and young families pushed deeper into poverty. Where is Suzy in this? Does a mother and grandmother feel any differently, or is she with Matt and J.R. on this tremendously disturbing position?

SLewis

I don’t know who Mr Kanenwisher thinks he is but he is not GOD. He doesn’t have the right to dictate what is right or wrong for anyone but himself. I am a parent of four grown children and when they were teenagers I would have rather had them go to public health to get contraception then to have them come home pregnant. Teenagers don’t always feel comfortable telling their parents things when it comes to sex, so there has to be somewhere they can go to get what they need to have safe sex. How many STDs and unwanted pregnancies are there going to be if the family planning clinic closes? How many children will be born to teenagers who don’t want them so they end up being abused, neglected or as we see in the news, murdered. It would be a shame to know that you were the one that contributed to that. Family planning is essential to this community whether your religious or moral beliefs agree.

CAM

Now they've crossed the line. They don't have to like or take part in contraception, but they DO NOT have any legal or moral right to take it away from others. Of course this is an abortion issue, Matt. Give me a break, you're a mormon. Stick with making stupid decisions about the land and leave your grubby hands off women's bodies.

Bitterroot Billy
Bitterroot Billy

Pretty sad times now in Ravalli County when our commissioners bend over backwards for developers and the rich but don't care a bit about the health and welfare of the lower class and poor of the county especially in the hard times we are going through right now. Our commissioners should be ashamed of themselves.

Simple

This is a self-defeating and self-fullfilling action. When this funding is cut there will be a babyboom. Then, all those mothers will be on TANF, WIC and foodstamps. When that happens, the commissioners and other like-minded people will point and say 'look at all these welfare mothers who refuse to get a real job'. The simple fact is, the more you cut the prevention, the more you pay for the cure.

realfreedom

The ONLY thing this is about is CONTROL. Got to control our women!!!

realfreedom

The ONLY thing this is about is CONTROL!!!

bigger picture

Ironically, by blocking access to affordable birth control, our comissioners are promoting abortion.

SLewis

Root- According to Bitterroot Star, Suzy is with Matt on the issue. "At least two of the Ravalli County Commissioners expressed strong objections last Tuesday, July 19, to accepting federal funds for the Public Health Department’s Family Planning Program. Commissioners Matt Kanenwisher and Suzy Foss both expressed strong objections to accepting federal funds with strings attached"

RUserious

God, I mean Matty, you have three issues you discussed here, I have three issues I want to bring up:
One: It is a Federal Law that teens get services without their parents permission, it is not the Ravalli County Public Health office policy. The office is under certain mandates, which the commissioners would know IF they would go visit the office and actually see what the services are.
Two: The Title X Family Planning Program, signed into law 40 years ago by President Richard Nixon, was a monumental step forward in public health and social justice in this country. The work that goes on at these clinics saves lives by focusing on preventive care like annual exams, cancer screening, contraception, testing for sexually transmitted infections and family planning services. These are necessary health services, and many people have nowhere else to go for the help they need. The Ravalli County Commissioners seem not to care that, for many men & women, this is their only service provider. Over 85 percent of men & women who visit Title X−funded clinics live at or just above the poverty line. They cannot afford anywhere else for the attention they need. Over 60 percent of them receive their basic services — services you or I might get at a doctor's office.
Three: I can’t help but feel this is your “personal opinion” mandated on religious beliefs for the citizens of Ravalli County? What exactly is the commissioners suggestions and plans to provide these services without the family planning in the RCPH department?

seeker1956

These guys make me sick. Who are they to impose their morals on others, especially when the subject concerns the worst problem this planet faces--OVERPOPULATION!!! They aren't doing abortions, and the money has already been allocated by the feds. Programs like these SAVE the state money and help ensure that the unplanned pregnancies have the best chance possible for resulting in a healthy birth. Mr. Kanenwisher is anti woman and anti freedom as is Suzy Foss. Not to mention prejudice against poor people. This is simply disgusting. Throw these guys out on their ear.

LongtimeHamiltonite

This is just going to increase abortion. Also the number of abused/neglected children are going to rise. If people can not afford birth control they can not afford to have children. This program helps stop the cycle of welfare. If you take away all help for people to dig themselves out we are going to end up with all lot more problems.

RockinPony

Thank you bigger picture. well put.

I thought that these commissioners were all about private property and lets face it...my body ismy private property and I will do with it what I chose...or don't. If their beef is b/c of "tax dollars" then I suppose they also want to rip up the federal and state funded roads because I'm sure there were some strings attached to that as well.

Don't they realize that the low income majority that voted them in are exactly the people who will be hurt by this.

Also, Kanenwisher you may want to educate yourself on how Plan B works... it's a contraception pill....not an abortion pill.

ravalliresident

Matt was quoted as saying that "pregnancy is not a disease". STDs are (by definition). Poverty and teen pregnancy are absolutely epidemic. Cutting off (free) funding for this public health service is immoral and reprehensile, if not illegal. Any commissioners who support Matt on this should also be held to task.

NativeBitterroot

Hey Matt go back to Utah and push your Mormon agenda onto them, they might be more accepting. P.S. will someone please,PLEASE start a recall petition so that we can get rid of these idiots before they destroy everyone and everything in the county.

2cents

A recall is really what we need and we don't need five Commissioners. Why should we pay five Commissioners to destroy OUR County?

Oasischris

Aah, more of that 'compassionate conservatism' I keep hearing about.

There's nothing like cutting health care for those that can least afford it--part of that family values package, I guess.

It's very pathetic to remove good programs that help as well as employ people.

Doesthismakesense

This is a unique take on commissioners who believe less government intervention is better for everyone—as they proved in their recent approval of Flatiron. It is evident they feel they can pick and choose which issues the government (Ravalli County) should intervene in least. In this case, they've determined it was their obligation to get into bed with all the women who use the services of the Planning Clinic. Considering this is the only health care provider for many uninsured women, considering it minimizes funds the commissioners would otherwise have to put out on other services to these women and their children in the future, considering the many assurances of the commissioners that they want to be good shepherds of the county's funds, it would seem to boil down to a separation of church and state which has become intertwined to fit the commissioners definition.

Lee Enfield

Have you noticed - at least up to this point - how none of the tea party cheerleaders who love everything these right-wing commissioners do have jumped in to defend their actions on this.

Not even the worst of the worst - Gene Williams.

Not surprising, really. What Suzy and her cohorts on the commission have done with this is indefensible.

But please, people, I'm begging you. Don't just complain about their actions in this public forum. Remember what they have done to this county come election day when you are in the privacy of the voting booth.

H-town

Obviously, Matt needs to be booted.....along with everyone who follows him.................

Montana

Are we going to wait 4 years to do something?? Yes, remember this next election but that is almost 4 years for these 3. This has crossed the line and can’t go on. Do not elect the 2 that are up for reelection but PLEASE someone start a recall. I’ll donate time and money.

galadriel45

Matt - don't try to blow smoke by saying that this critical public health funding is not the role of the government. You are clearly imposing your Christian Taliban values on impoverished women. Shame on you! If you don't believe in abortion - don't have one. If you don't believe in birth control, don't use it. Here in America, we have a separation of church and state and you are clearly in violation of the Constitution with your comments and intentions.

2cents

If we had a special election and went back to three Commissioners, that would get rid of two of the new three.

VERITY

This is so very predictable. Kanenwisher and the others ran for election on a phony platform that emphasizes the economy, jobs, fiscal responsibility in government, and purported libertarianism with less government interference in private lives. That isn’t their real purpose for seeking office, however. Their central goal is to use government to impose their own religious values and belief system on others and to give as much aid and support as possible to business interests, using government as an authoritarian device to achieve those goals. Government is too big only when it doesn’t serve their purpose and it can never be too big or intrusive into private lives when needed to accomplish either their moral objectives or their determination to give economic assistance to wealthy business interests. As a matter of “principle” they will reject federal funds (that will simply be expended in some other locality if rejected here), damage our economy and cause a loss of jobs when it has to do with contraception and health care for poor people, but they have no problem with millions of dollars in federal funds to expand the local airport.

Sean

I cannot believe this is actually even happening. Opps thats right some people voted for their party and not on the issues. So far this commission has made a ton of mistakes. I would like for someone in the know to tell us the people what it would take to do a recall or impeach or whatever.

tfinmt

They preach about less government and rule like dictators. Wipe the slate clean. Get rid of the five of them.

BilBear

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up and get OUR "moral" views jammed down your throats. Oh by the way enjoy all the jobs that are popping up since we were elected! Just don't count the job losses at the health department, and all the other departments that we plan to systematically gut, then contract out.

UgottaBkdnme

Mr. Kanenwisher can sugarcoat his arguments and reasoning any way he wishes. But what it comes down to is that he's a misogynist and zealot. Now he's imposing his archaic beliefs on the public. Wonderful.

Just My Opinion

Lee,
Sorry to disappoint you in not having a conservative comment earlier. Most of us were working all day to make enough money to pay the taxes so they could be spent on those that were not working, but out in the bushes creating new life they want to destroy tomorrow. This is a perfect example of the Feds and State putting hooks into their "free" money. If this money is going toward the morning after pill (RU486), then, by definition, this pill works AFTER conception. If you believe that life begins at conception, which I do, then that pill is used to destroy that new life. If you don't believe that, I still don't want to be paying for someone elses sex life. I applaud the commissioners for taking a stand on this issue. When we devalue life, we have nothing more of value.

tfinmt

JMO - You always applaud the commissioners because you are one of them. The commissioners are supposed to support the laws as they exist - not cram their personal religious beliefs down people's throats. Next time you are at work, do your job correctly or get another job.

hmmmmm

You can't have it both ways. You all want the government to stay out of a woman's body and right to choose. But then you want the government to PAY for contraception and other exams. WHAT A BUNCH of hippies!

Further... I happen to know that Matt's church is very much in support of local women's charities (such as Birthparent Programs at Planned Parenthood)

Get over youselves and allow the government to get out of my health care!

My tax dollars should be going to public safety!

GiGi

JMO

Mifepristone (RU486) is not the morning after pill. "Plan B" emergency contraception is available at most pharmacies over the counter. It is, however, expensive, so it is likely that the Ravalli clinic distributes it at a much lower cost. You might ask whether the Ravalli distributes RU486, but they probably don't.

While you're on your campaign against emergency contraception for poor women, how about being consistent and working to pass an ordinance against the sale of emergency contraception at all pharmacies in Ravalli County? (Good luck with that.) Or is your ire just aimed at poor women who might be getting a break on the price?

Neighbor

So instead of just complaining - lets get started on a recall. It worked with Hudson-Smith. We can get rid of the garbage in the commissioner's office. Somebody please get busy organizing a recall effort. Count me in!

Chordelia

Please keep your religious opinions out of my medical care. The three or four people that may need a morning after pill, are well within their rights to receive them as well as the 460 odd other folks who received badly needed medical care last year. There is a dearth of accessible health care in this area. Go ahead and make the quality of life worse, oh and destroy a few jobs while you are at it. ( And by the way Suzy and Matt, that is none of your business, that is between a doctor and a patient.)

bigger picture

Just My Opinion
The money does not go to access RU486. There is one aspect of the funding that provides for emergency contraception, which delays ovulation.
http://ec.princeton.edu/questions/ecnotru.html

What the funding also provides for is countywide access to healthcare, such as cancer screening for both men and women and an opportunity for all citizens of Ravalli County to access affordable family planning, including counseling regarding abstinence and well mother and baby checks. It's a bargain and an incredibly important service for the patients who use the service.

Misanthrope

@JMO,
RU486 and the morning after pill (Plan B) are different drugs. http://contraception.about.com/b/2009/02/02/ru486-vs-plan-b.htm

By funding care to those who take responsibility to not have children before they are ready, we save a lot of money as taxpayers when it comes to public aid.

People are going to have sex, it's human nature. If people are against it, then you can be the first one to stop doing it.

Igotone

To Just My Opinion

you don't want to pay for another persons sex life. Well, maybe if Title X would have been around when you were conceived the public would not have to read or listen to your, ...... well for a lack of a better word imperialistic attitude

FarmerJane

Those commissioners sure fed us a line to get into office. Now they're wanting to dictate birth conrtol? I know none of them are intellegent enough to reproduce nor do they know where babies come from.....do you really want Foss and Kannewisher in YOUR bedroom? EEEEWWWWWW!

RUserious

JMO: REALLY? This is a perfect example of how biased the commissioners are. I know homemakers, students, and career women who do not want to have children at certain times in their lives. Let’s face it, humans are going to have sex and that is our choice. It is also our choice as to what “pill” we want to use or not. To take away our rights of our own human body is taking away our “value of life”. The Public Health isn’t all about “someone elses sex life”, they also have cancer screenings and education about women’s health. Perhaps the commissioners should actually go into the office and speak to the nurses and staff and educate themselves as to the benefit of Public Health. Now the song in my head has just been changed to : FIVE BLIND MICE

dave

I can't believe the short-sightedness exhibited by the commissioners in threatening to refuse federal funding for the clinic. They refuse to consider the consequences of their actions or are insensitive to the health needs of lower income families. Their comments show they are pushing a personal/religious agenda and not looking out for the taxpayer's dollars or necessary community services. OF COURSE there is an essential government role in educating people about reproductive choices and helping prevent unwanted pregnancies and STD's. Our commissioners don't seem to be worried about spending millions of unnecessary federal dollars on airports for their wealthy buddies, but they begrudge a few thousand for the young and needy. What a bunch we elected!

Simple

Let's get past your high and mighty soapbox, JMO, and get down to the real problems with your comments...[quote]Just My Opinion said: ... If this money is going toward the morning after pill (RU486), then, by definition, this pill works AFTER conception."[/quote]
RU486 is an abortion pill. It is NOT the morning after pill, marketed as Plan B, which prevents conception. In reality this pill is a high dose of the same ingredients found in birth control pills.
It seems obvious you need a bit of a refresher in the differences between RU486 and Plan B. Plan B is available over the counter to women over 18 and by prescription for those younger. It should be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex to prevent a pregnancy.
You may not want to pay for other peoples sex lives, but you're going to end up doing so anyway if those women have children then end up on public assistance because they couldn't afford access to the things that allow them to prevent a pregancy in the first place.

harpjane

I understand the basic tenet here (although I don't agree with it). MK wishes to limit federal involvement in our lives. But why start with the Health Department? Seems a little suspicious. What's next? The Council on Aging? No Child Left Behind? The Road Department? The Airport? So many federal mandates, so little time! (How little time, I hear you ask? Count the days until the next election, folks!)

seeker1956

Even fiscal conservatives such as myself who don't believe that federal administration of things like health care,(of which this is certainly an example Mr. K) is economically efficient, we do believe that these services should exist. Any civilized society has a safety net for the poor, and birth control helps keep a society from having many, many poor to support. The county and state levels is where this comes to fruition. Good grief! If you can't afford your food, shelter and electricity, how on earth can you afford your birth control? Do you think not having birth control is really going to prevent people from having sex? If you do, pull your head out of the sand. If these commissioners are truly Christian in their hearts, they should be looking for ways to transfer support from federal funds to state and local funds to help prevent the state from having all the children that will result from the lack of birth control, and help the women who do conceive to have a healthy baby that won't require state funds to help survive. This is the fiscally conservative way. "Conservatives" like JMO who don't want to pay for other people's sex lives are paying whether or not these federal funds are put to use in the clinic. If the funds come from state and local taxes and are administered locally, we should be able to do a much more efficient job. But. we don't just pull the funds out from under these people and the clinic and talk about what we'll do later. That is CERTAINLY not Christian and shows no humanitarianism or compassion!

Vae Victis

Simple:

The simple fact is, when an individual chooses an action, they are also choosing the consequences of that action.

Why must society pay for each individuals choices ??
Ever hear of Personal Responsibility ?? It seems to be a foreign concept to a vast segment of the populace who believe they are "entitled" to to do and act in any way they feel, with others picking up the check.

Andrew

Conservatives are always touting "intrusive government" and that "government is the problem". This is a perfect example of that. Intrusive Commissioners who are the Problem.

Force Majeure

The real test of the three new commissioners' political principles will come with their decision to accept or reject federal funding for expansion of the Hamilton airport. If they stay true to their collective campaign pledge to refuse federal grants, then they should reject any federal airport dollars. If they accept, we'll know their decision to refuse family planning dollars was made solely for religious reasons and not out of any any high-minded political values. Or, by accepting airport dollars but not family planning dollars, it may simply be because they owe a political favor to the Mildenbergers. Politics just aren't as simple as you three made them out to be, are they?

Lee Enfield

JMO:
I plan to respond to your comment fully as soon as I can, but, despite your snide suggestion that we who are expressing outrage over the commissioners' actions don't work, I have a project to get finished.

And for what it's worth, I don't believe a zygote is a human being and I fully support young women having access to the "morning after" pill if they feel they need it.

I don't claim to know when life truly begins, but it's certainly not at any stage before the "child" has a heart, lungs, brain, central nervous system, etc., etc.

RockinPony

Lets all be real here. Plan B is not just for wanton reckless jobless losers. There are plenty of responsible adults who practice safe sex in healthy relationships and have had their primary method of birth control fail (condoms, pill and RX interactions) Plan B is available to those individuals. And what would you rather, pay for 18 years of an planned child that the parents dont have the resources to afford, or wouldn't it be better to have those parents have access to preventative options.

These clinics do so much more than just deal with contraceptives, I wish more people would understand that.

bigger picture

The county commissioners featured in the story are trying to cherry pick the parts of the program that they agree with while rejecting the parts they don't. The Title X program does not allow for them to micromanage the program in accordance with their narrow ideology. They were elected to represent all of Ravalli County, not just those who attend their place of worship.
I'd like to suggest that all of the commentors here show up at the meeting on Thursday at 2 to let their elected commissioners know that this program is important and they should allow it to continue.
The overwheming good that the program provides at a bargain far outweighs the objections of the commissioners. This program has been in place in Ravalli County for at least 30 years. The senior commissioner has never raised any objections to signing off on it before.
To Just My Opinion and Vae Victus-
Contrary to what you believe, the folks who benefit from social programs don't wake up in the morning trying to figure out how to waste your tax dollars. This is safety net for the least fortunate among us. I, for one, think that since we live in a somewhat enlightened society, that is a valid use of my tax dollars and I support it wholeheartedly.

amazed

Our country was founded by many people who sought religious freedom and their government separated from religion. Our constitution is formed from this conviction. Yes, more and more I hear religion wrenching my freedoms away; imposing more and more religious dictates to the laws of my country. I no longer trust elected official to make decisions based on the best for my community; it is very obvious they ran for office to impose their own priorities, both religious and monetary.

The commissioners in this county have a scary amount of power and six years to do it. Fight them at every step. Show up and speak out; stop them from their power trip. And live the law and constitution and leave their religious judgement at home.

abides
abides

55 comments...majority stating you're all numbskulls...get the picture!?

Cloud Cult

Matt Kanenwisher you are a freaking IDIOT!!!!!

FarmerJane

Some folks here are suggesting a recall of these dic taters. I second the motion. Next public meeting, why not put it on the agenda? Is it "their" county or ours?
I'd be ashamed to show my face as a commissioner with all the negative comments about their job performance. They need to be put out of office. Let my tax dollars go to a recall effort as money well spent.

henley

Here is a prime example of electing a gang of people, not by ability, but by party. This is not a representative form of govt but a gang of thugs that is going to dictate to the TAX PAYING citizens of Ravalli county. Maybe folks, it's time to stop paying county taxes, impeach this gang of thugs and actually elect commissioners that are aware of the needs of all of the citizens of the county, not just a few big contributors. The rot in govt usually starts in local elections and then works it's way to the top.

Montana

Is there anyone out there willing to start a committee to recall and/or impeach these people. We could organize so when the time is right we could start the signature gathering process. I believe there is enough support in the valley. Hell, they did it in Wisconsin. We CAN do it here!! Come on, anybody???

idnarbyoccm

My major problem with this article. Among many things, is that Kanenwisher believes public health is merely for communicable diseases and that is only a tiny portion of what public health is. So for him to make a decision such as this based on his ignorance of public health blows me away. Completely uneducated decisions!!

lovinlife078

WOW!!!! really ? taking family planning away is yet AGAIN another stab at the poor, it is unbelievable to me that they are evan considering it!!!!! OBVIOUSLY THEY DONT HAVE A CLUE ABOUT REAL LIFE IN MONTANA!!!!!! GET IT TOGETHER COMMISSIONERS , you CAN BE REPLACED!!!!!!!!!1

BC Rider 406

I am willing and eager to begin the recall of the three new commissioners. Hell, lets go for the sweep, since the other two have pretty muched voted the same as the new teabaggers.

We need to know what the legal process is. What is the minimum required amount of votes needed to get them kicked out? Is there a required amount of time we must wait, much like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, who is given a year before a recall can be performed?

Unfortunately, I have a job as well and cannot make it to the meetings during the day, however, I am ready to sign any petition that would get these idiots out of office as soon as possible.

Can you imagine what this valley would look like after four years of this non-sense...

icemoth

Montana. Seriously... you posted 3 times about you wanting somebody to start a recall. with all that posting, you could have started it yourself! Do it Montana. Take the lead.

abides
abides

'GO TIME?'...with me? Progressives? You know...let's go! Stay tuned...


Force Majeure

Montana:
Start with this statute: MCA 2-16-603 - Officers subject to recall - grounds for recall. Find it on the Montana state government website.

harpjane

I can't wait until they find out that people get STD's at the airport! Better cut the funding for the airport!

BC Rider 406

Montana Code 2-16-603. Officers subject to recall -- grounds for recall. (1) Any person holding a public office of the state or any of its political subdivisions, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall from office.
(2) A public officer holding an elective office may be recalled by the qualified electors entitled to vote for the elective officer's successor. A public officer holding an appointive office may be recalled by the qualified electors entitled to vote for the successor or successors of the elective officer or officers who have the authority to appoint a person to that position.
(3) Physical or mental lack of fitness, incompetence, violation of the oath of office, official misconduct, or conviction of a felony offense enumerated in Title 45 are the only grounds for recall. A person may not be recalled for performing a mandatory duty of the office that the person holds or for not performing any act that, if performed, would subject the person to prosecution for official misconduct.

Well I think we have grounds for a recall based on several criteria. Incompotence stands out as a strong candidate, however, physical or mental lack of fitness isn't a bad choice either...

Doesthismakesense

To follow up on BC Rider 406, a little more on the recall process. According to the Clerk/Recorder office there were 29,137 registered voters in the last election. With that in mind, it looks as though a minimum of 4,37l signatures would be required per

2-16-614. Number of electors required for recall petition.

  (b) If a recall petition is for a county commissioner in a county that is divided into commissioner districts pursuant to 7-4-2102, then the petition:
     (i) must contain the signatures of qualified electors equaling at least 15% of the number of persons registered to vote at the preceding county general election; and
     (ii) must also contain the signatures from at least 15% of the qualified electors residing in that commissioner's commission district.


VERITY

Federal Judge Blocks Kansas Law To Defund Planned Parenthood

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/08/federal_judge_blocks_kansas_law_to_defund_planned.php

Our Commissioners have opined that they want to defund the family planning clinic because it furnishes a form of contraception that they don’t like. There might be a number of grounds upon which to mount a legal challenge to de-funding on that basis, including a constitutional privacy right to use contraception long ago established by the Supreme Court in Griswold v. Connecticut. One would hope that our County Attorney would caution the Commission that they are potentially inviting expensive litigation, but the present County Attorney is essentially their lap dog and cannot be expected to stand in their way no matter what they do.

Montana

Interested in recalling these 3? Contact me at ravallirecall@yahoo.com

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