Madison County Commissioner Dave Schulz was recently elected to serve as 2nd Vice President for the Montana Association of Counties at the annual fall conference in Great Falls in September, making him the first Madison County commissioner since 1947 to serve on the executive board of directors for the 103-year-old organization.
MACo aims to “enhance the public service mission of counties by promoting integrity and providing proactive leadership while acknowledging and respecting Montana’s diversity,” according to their vision statement.
Schulz says that being involved with MACo has been an effective educational tool in helping commissioners serve their county’s residents by working with the legislature, state and federal agencies as well as other counties to for the betterment of many issues.
“I think every county benefits from the value that MACo offers and provides the opportunity for commissioners to get together several times a year and communicate issues that are going on in their county and how they might affect another county, and for commissioners to interact with others regarding concerns that we have and what somebody else may have learned to positively affect that as a resolution,” he said. “They don’t try to lever any commissioner into a certain direction because no two counties in Montana are the same, and our independent thinking is one of the things that we promote the most.”
Among the benefits offered by MACo are three trust risk management pools for workman’s compensation, property and casualty liability and health care, and Schulz serves on the seven-member property and casualty liability trust in addition to his duties as second vice president.
The four goals of MACo, according to the organizations website, are “to educate and develop relationships with legislators, state officials and local elected officials regarding county structure, budgeting and operation; to provide education on self-determination techniques such as charter government and functional consolidation, and facilitating agreements; to educate the public using press releases distributed to local media to market county government; and to promote effective tax reform including consideration of general sales tax.”
Schulz pointed out that MACo is one of the most recognized organizations the Legislature goes to for answers, and he emphasized his own positive experience with the group.
“I’ve been a commissioner for 12 years, and MACo has provided a long and ongoing service for us whether it’s legal advice, or insurance risk management or just those relationships and responses to questions we might have,” he said. “But I also felt it was an opportunity for me to give something back to my fellow commissioners who have helped me during my tenure as a commissioner.”
For more information on the Montana Association of Counties, visit their website at www.mtcounties.org.