Fourth graders learn about local government

If anything came from the Cavalier County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, it was the need for more time to hammer out details before calling for a vote on some issues.

Mrs. Freier's Class

Posted on 10/19/13

By Lee Coleman

In the last regularly scheduled meeting of October, county weight scales and a policy on inclement weather were tabled for another meeting.

In the matter of the weight scales, the issues were how many counties would participate in scale enforcement and at what costs.

“I can’t see why five counties cannot participate and make it economically feasible,” said Commissioner Rich Flanders. “I don’t see why five counties cannot share a position like that.”

As such, Flanders suggested manning the scales one day a month might be enough.

“That would not work,” Sheriff Dave Zeis said. “We want to go with more than that.”

Flanders agreed, saying the county has to commit for so much time every month.

Further discussion was tabled and a vote was not taken on the issue.

With winter weather lurking around the corner, Board Chairperson Elsie Magnus opened discussion on creating a policy to govern the closing of the courthouse during a bad weather event.

“We need a policy on closing,” she said. “I think it is a good idea to follow the school closings. If they are closed, we are closed. If they are delaying opening, we would delay opening.

“I like doing what the schools are doing. It would create a standard.”

Commissioner Tom Borgen agreed the standard would be good from a media and notification standpoint but said he did not agree with schools providing direction for the county.

Flanders echoed Borgen’s sentiments.

“I don’t like the idea of school closings dictating what county government does,” he said. “If Langdon and Munich schools dictate when county government is closed, there is something wrong with that.”

With opposition clearly ready to vote down the proposal, Magnus, appearing frustrated, quickly pulled the issue off the table and stated a vote would not be taken.

In other commission news, the fourth grade class of Amy Freier, from Langdon Area Elementary School, visited the commissioner’s meeting as part of their studies on government.

“We are your county commissioners. We take care of your county,” Magnus told the students. “We take care of the courthouse and make sure everyone has an office to work in.”

The students were scheduled to have a test last Wednesday and Freier said they had to be ready.

“They are required to know the five commissioners and other county officials as well including the county auditor, treasurer, recorder, sheriff and county attorney,” she said. “We do North Dakota studies and they have to know our county and how it functions.”

Freier said the studies are broken down into sections and her class is currently in the citizenship section.

“We are in the citizenship section so as part of that, we have been learning about county government and for them to fully understand it, they need to experience it first-hand,” Freier explained. “They have to know the names of the commissioners so a really good way to know them is to put a face with them.

“The kids were excited to see what we’ve been learning and to see it in action.”

A complete tour of the courthouse followed the student’s visit to the county commissioners.

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