Stillwater County Primary Election 2020

Stillwater County Commissioner
Thursday, May 7, 2020
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DUTIES OF A COUNTY COMMISSIONER

The job of a county commissioner was once explained as being a jack of all trades, and master of none.

Commissioners are responsible for exercising the County’s administrative, executive and legislative powers as outlined in the Montana State Constitution and state statutes. This includes appointment of department heads and members of supervisory boards and committees. Commissioners supervise the administration of county government, approves the county budget, levies taxes, issues bonds, investigates claims, administers subdivision review and approval, and supervises road and bridge construction and maintenance.The commissioners also set policy, invest county funds and authorize and sign all contracts.

TERM: 6 years

NAME:

Theresa Comfort

OCCUPATION:

Stillwater County Claims Clerk— Finance Department

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Comfort is the eldest of nine siblings. Her father worked as a teacher and building contractor. Her mother had her hands full as she stayed home to care for the children. After high school graduation, Comfort moved to Montana in search of more space with a love of horses at the root of it all. She is a mother of two, step-mother of three and will celebrate 26 years of marriage with her husband this year.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:

Comfort earned an assosciate of arts degree from the College of Great Falls, followed by a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Rocky Mountain College. She notes it took her 22 years to pay her student loans.

She began working for Stillwater County in 2000 in the Clerk and Recorders Office. At that time, claims and payroll were processed through that office. When the Finance Department was created, Comfort became part of that department.

“Paying the bills and watching the budget over the years has provided me with an indepth understanding of what it takes financially to keep the county running smoothly,” said Comfort.

WHY ARE YOU SEEKING OFFICE:

“I feel, I could serve the community in a positive manner. I have a good working relationship with the department heads and employees,” said Comfort.

Utilizing employee expertise, along with listening to the input of the community, Comfort believes much would be accomplished.

“Making sure the county provides its services to the public in an efficient and effective manner is a team effort,” she said.

WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE OFFICE:

Twenty years worth of history and experience would be two of the biggest factors Comfort said she would bring to the job.

“The knowledge I have gained over the years would be an asset in achieving the community goals and objectives, in a fiscally conservative and responsible manner,” said Comfort.

She added that she possesses a “very broad knowledge of the county offices, as we work closely with one another.”

Comfort said she would also bring a willingness to listen and do the research necessary to make informed choices; while keeping in mind the rights of the citizens and the responsibilities of the county.

NAME:

Steve Riveland

OCCUPATION:

Owner/Operator of A-Plus Hydroseeding and Never Thirst Water Service. Riveland also manages Enerparc, Inc., which owns six solar facilities in the state.

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Riveland and his wife, Barb, have been married for 28 years and have two children — Eric and his wife Joslyn of Midland, Texas, and Alexa, a student at MSU Billings pursuing a degree in nursing.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND:

Riveland graduated from Harlowton High School and was employed with the Wheatland County Sheriff’s Office for 20 years. He served as deputy and then undersheriff for nine years, followed by an 11-year stint as the sheriff. As the sheriff, Riveland was responsible for mantaining the department budget, directing daily operations, running a 6-bed jail facility and oversaw the operation of a 24/7 dispatch and 9-1-1 center serving Wheatland and Golden Valley Counties, and supervised 14 employees.

Upon retiring from the Wheatland County Sheriff’s Office in January 2005, the family relocated to Park City. “We chose Stillwater County because of the communities, quality of education available through the schools, and the abundance of outdoor opportunities available in this beautiful area,” said Riveland.

While in Park City, Riveland served on the school board for six years — three of which he was chairman of the board.

WHY ARE YOU SEEKING OFFICE:

“I am pursing the county commissioner position because I believe in serving the community in which you live and wish to be a part of Stillwater County becoming an even better place to live and raise a family,” said Riveland.

Riveland also said that he believes in a conservative government with a vision to the future, a plan of action, and operating within a budget. “I believe those elected have an obligation to be diligent and responsible in tax dollar expenditures. I believe we can be proactive in pursuing the betterment of the county and communities we serve while at the same time living within our means.”

WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE OFFICE:

“My experience with budgets, supervising employees, knowledge of county government, and a willingness to listen and openly discuss the Issues will be a great asset to the citizens of Stillwater County,” said Riveland.

NAME:

Curt Robbins

OCCUPATION:

General manager of Silvertip Propane, general contractor

PERSONAL BACKGROUND:

Robbins is a 5th generation Stillwater county resident and Absarokee High school graduate.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: 

After receiving a degree in ag business, Robbins worked in banking for a short time before starting a 28-year career at Montana Silversmiths. Robbins said his position was eliminated when the business sold in 2017, at which time he focused on his construction business. Robbins spent approximately a year at Bridger Steel in Billings before being offered the general manager position at Silvertip Propane in Columbus.

Robbins is also the current chairman of the Columbus Rural Fire District Board and is heavily involved in FFA and the Beartooth Stockgrowers and has been heavily involved in 4-H for decades.

WHY ARE YOU SEEKING OFFICE:

“I have always admired and respected the position of the county commissioner. I was asked to run six years ago, but the timing in my life was not right. My family and I now feel the time has come,” said Robbins. “I am confident that my experience, skills, commitment and longevity in the county will be an asset to the commission and the residents of Stillwater County . ”

WHAT DO YOU BRING TO THE OFFICE:

“As your next county commissioner, I fully intend to listen to the questions, concerns and ideas of the citizens of Stillwater County. With their input, we can come up with solutions to the challenges facing our county. We can encourage economic development and build community resources that we all can take pride in for years to come,” said Robbins.

ABOUT THIS RACE

Because all three candidates are running as Republican, the race will be decided at the June primary election.