Are they STILL going at it? Penn Co Comm is still crabby.

It looks like Scott Aust of the Rapid City Journal had to sit through yet another Pennington County Commission meeting where they bitched at each other over pizza and lobbying. (Still with no completed liquor tax petition in sight):
On Tuesday, the commission began discussing simply revising the policy governing how the petty-cash fund should be used. But as it has for the past two meetings, the discussion turned into an argument between Davis and Holbrook.

Holbrook said if his use of the petty-cash fund was being scrutinized, the lobbying expenditures Davis incurs should also be scrutinized.

“The petty-cash issue came up because I was accused of misusing county money. That issue of going to Pierre should be a concern to people who are concerned about using taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Davis said the five commissioners talked about and agreed that he and administrative assistant Ron Buskerud would go to Pierre to lobby legislators during the session, as they had done for the previous four years.

He said the commission agreed to sign a contract with the Ramkota Inn in Pierre for two hotel rooms that would be available as needed. He believes the expense of lobbying efforts saved the county a tremendous amount of money.

“My guess is the entire bill this year for lobbying would be in the neighborhood of $3,000 to $4,000,” Davis said.

Holbrook agreed that the commission approved the hotel rooms, but he questioned whether Davis was authorized to go to Pierre whenever Davis felt like it.

“I know we said the rooms would be there, but that doesn’t give you the authority to go whenever you want,” Holbrook said. “I think in the future if you feel you have to be in Pierre ... as it states in the petty-cash thing, we’ll talk about it the week before. If we feel it’s necessary for you to go we’ll authorize it.”

Davis said he didn’t appreciate being chastised for doing county business, especially because no other commissioner volunteered to take his place.

“I offered to let anyone go to Pierre that wanted to go, and nobody else on this board agreed that they had the time to go. I did,” Davis said.

Commissioner Mark Kirkeby disputed that Davis was given unanimous support to go to Pierre.

“I, for one, have never been included on a vote,” Kirkeby said.

“What?” Davis said. “Who voted to sign the contract at Ramkota? Who talked about Ron and I going to Pierre to lobby for Pennington County? Jeez, where was I at when I heard all this? Was my head in the sky someplace or in the sand?”

Kirkeby said he did vote to secure the hotel rooms, but, he said, “I never voted … to authorize specifically Ron Buskerud or Ken Davis” to go.
Read it all here. And stand back.


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