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Barron takes over as MACo president

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POLSON – Lake County Commissioner Bill Barron was recently named president of the Montana Association of Counties’ Executive Committee. 

The one-year term began when he was sworn in Sept. 20 during MACo’s annual convention in Bozeman. 

Barron, who has served on the Lake County Commission for 9.5 years and in some capacity with MACo for seven, spoke about his goals for the next year. 

He said he would like to continue to help the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and MACo work together to provide for better public safety and more efficient government. 

Barron also said he would like to help the 14 counties located within Montana’s seven Indian reservations deal with their unique circumstances. 

He noted that since the president sets the executive committee’s meeting agendas, he’ll be able to put topics on that might not have made it before. 

In his previous years on the committee, Barron said he was able to save Lake County some $12,000 in workmen’s compensation expenses. This was done in part through a policy change whereby counties don’t pay as much if their employee wasn’t at fault in an accident, he said.

MACo represents the state’s 56 counties and hires a lobbyist to represent them when the Legislature is in session. Barron explained that the state Senate represents the state and the state House represents the people, but MACo represents the counties. 

“I really do think it’s going to benefit the county,” he said of his presidential term, adding that fellow commissioners Dave Stipe and Gale Decker agree. 

He will be out of the county an additional 4-6 weeks a year as a result of his expanded duties, he said. 

 

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