All Directors present plus members of the public, see attached attendance list. Meeting convened at 6:02 PM.
Barbara Shesky taking minutes, Mona Jamison, Board attorney, acting as convening chair person.
Board members Aimee Dawson, Rebecca Demaree, Greg Dalling, Wade Laubach, and Richard Parks and Mona Jamison introduced themselves to each other and their experience with Gardiner and the resort tax.
Cheryl Hoppe, notary, conducted the process of swearing in the board members and departs at 6:17 PM.
As required by statute the board members drew lots to determine the length of their initial terms. Dawson and Dalling drew 4 year terms, Demaree, Laubach, and Parks drew 2 year terms.
The board then conducted the election of their officers:
Demaree was nomintated for chair by Laubach, seconded by Dailing, there being no other nominations Demaree was elected chair.
Dailing was nominated for vice-chair by Demaree, seconded by Dawson, there being no other nominations Dalling was elected vice-chair.
The nature of the Secretary-Treasures's position was discussed with both Dawson and Laubach expressing reservations about the position. Parks was nomintated by Demaree and seconded by Dailing, there being no other nominations Parks was elected Secretary-Treasurer.
Each Board member was provided with a handbook produced by Jamison containing the critical documents and a draft of the ordinance the District Board must pass to enable their governance of the District. Jamison led the Board through a thorough discussion of the Resort Tax statute, the text of the Ballot voted in by the residents of
the Gardiner Resort Area, the implementing County Resolution, and the effect of the subsequent vote establishing the Gardiner Resort Area District. Jamison also instructed the Board on critical elements of the Resort Tax law regarding their duties and reminded the Board that it is a public body subject to Montana's open opening meeting
law. She noted that some of the Board's work, such as the information contained in the remittance forms, would be deemed confidential as the right of individual privacy would outweigh the public's right to know. She said that not only the Board but Board staff must respect this constitutional right owing to the establishments that collect the resort tax.
Jamison strongly advised the Board to retain its own attorney and to not rely on the County Attorney whose duties go to the County; and to contract with an administrative office to handle the Board's accounting and record keeping functions. A discussion of the next steps was held. Jamison stressed that its critical for the Board to pass the governing ordinance as soon as possible and laid out the process for doing that with a first and second public reading (public hearings) of the ordinance and the associated time line. It was discussed that the Board needed to establish a bank account to receive and disperse resort tax funds collected, create the form on which establishments will remit the taxes collected, and designate how the funds will be received. It was also discussed that the County should be informed that the Board is operational and request the balance of the resort tax funds held by the County be transferred to the District once the bank account is established and opened.
The board then held a wide ranging discussion of the elements of the draft ordinance which Jamison had prepared based on the Park County ordinance for the Gardiner Resort Area, the ballot passed by the Area residents, and the statute. Some technical errors in the draft were identified for correction and the language of several key areas of the ordinance was discussed and adjusted. Jamison committed to producing a clean redraft of the ordinance by the end of the week.
The following work assignments were established:
1. Laubach (chair) and Parks were appointed to the hiring committee. A position notice for the board's administrative officer will be produced and placed as soon as possible based on the draft job description provided by Jamison. Laubach will contact the administrative officer of the St. Regis RT District for information on potential work load and compensation. (Connolly, 649-7206}
2. Parks will approach the Gardiner branch of 1st Interstate Bank to open the board's bank account on Thursday and secure his and Demaree's signatures to activate the same.
3. Richard will contact the administrative officer of the Big Sky RT District to secure information on their proceedures handling collections, records, and appropriations. (Whitney 995-3234)
4. Demaree will contact the Park County Treasurer about accounting for and transferfing the existing funds collected for the 2014 and 2015 tax seasons as soon as we have the mechanism for receiving the funds established.
The attending public still present was solicited for public comment. None was forthcoming.
Dailing moved, seconded by Dawson to present the Ordinance for 1st reading and public hearing at the next meeting of the Board. Passed 5 aye, no nays.
A discussion resulted in setting the next meeting to be in the Chamber board room on 11/18/2015 at 7 PM. Demaree will coordinate with Shesky to place the required public notices of the meeting.
Dawson moved, seconded by Dailing that the meeting be adjourned, all voting aye, at 9:45 PM
Note: these minutes were approved by unanimous vote of the board at the 11 /18/15 board meeting.
Signed (Rebecca Demaree - Chair)
Signed (Richard Parks - Secretary/Treasurer)