By Michael Howell
The Ravalli County Commissioners decided last week to officially appoint Clerk and Recorder Regina Plettenberg to serve as Interim Treasurer until the November elections when the successful candidate would be installed. This decision pretty much memorializes the status quo for how the Treasurer’s Office has been handled since the departure of former Treasurer Valerie Stamey. One change to that arrangement was agreed to in a separate motion in which the Commissioners unanimously approved compensation for her work in the Treasurer’s Office at $300 per month.
A prior motion by Commissioner Suzy Foss to appoint tax office employee (and candidate for the Treasurer’s position) Dan Whitesitt to the office failed due to a lack of a second. The Commissioners asked Whitesitt at a previous meeting if he would agree to serve as Interim Treasurer. Whitesitt told them that he was interested in the job but that he did not want to gain any unfair advantage in the coming election by being given the job beforehand. He said that things in the office were running smoothly and he would advise not rocking the boat. Plettenberg advocated for giving the position to Whitesitt, but did say that she was willing to go on with the current arrangement until November if that was what the commission desired.
Whitesitt and Plettenberg both suggested that the Commissioners send one or two of their members to talk to the staff in the office about their feelings and preferences.
“Not because they would be making a decision for you, but just to get their input,” said Plettenberg at the time. The Commissioners agreed and Commissioner Jeff Burrows and Human Resources Director Robert Jenni held a discussion with the Treasurer’s Office staff.
Commissioners Greg Chilcott, J.R. Iman and Burrows voted to appoint Plettenberg as Interim Treasurer. Commissioner Suzy Foss voted no. Commissioner Ron Stoltz was not present.