Commissioner Grades – District Eight

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 8 Commissioner – Jason Helwig

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

Helwig doesn’t say much during meetings. Which, we are generally thankful, since meetings can last 7 freakin’ hours. But, generally he takes solid positions and shows rationality. He can be pushed around and talked into changing his mind, though. He has also expressed opposition to building new facilities, and prefers kicking the can down the road, or slapping a band aid on the current problems.

Rating: 1

EFFECTIVENESS

Helwig serves as a liaison to the Conservation District, and also is part of the capital improvement committee. He generally serves his district well. However, he went along with Politician Jarris Rubingh’s stupid and meaningless reduction in the operating millage.

Rating: 1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Helwig avoids the political nonsense. He does not offer pithy one liners, nor does he interject irrelevant talking points. He focuses on the issues that affect this county.

Rating: 3

COMMUNICATION

We don’t hear much from Helwig. Sometimes his position is a mystery until he votes. He stated publicly that Rubingh’s original steep reduction in the operating millage would require a reduction in services, and he opposed that. He then turned around and voted for the second, less steep reduction. Why?

Rating: 1

ENTERTAINMENT

No entertainment. No good content from Jason Helwig. Ho Hum.

Rating: 1

OVERALL RATING – SEVEN

Commissioner Grades – District Seven

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 6 Commissioner – Dawn Lavanway

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

LOL. No Not all. She was told that a particular type of election audit was illegal, and then made a motion to do it anyway. She appears to get much of her news from Ted Nugent’s Twitter feed, which she browses while laying on a MyPillow. She drank the Kool Aid on 😮 election fraud 😮 early, and has never spit it out.

She worries that the county might house immigrants in the county’s non-existent housing program.

Once while discussing a staffing issue, she decided to announce “I am against bigger government.”

What a wacko!

Rating: 0

EFFECTIVENESS

Lavanway is so ineffective that she almost stands in the way of the Board doing their jobs. She regularly brings up bad ideas, derails productive conversation, and loves to play to the crowd.

Rating: 0

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

One of the worst on the Board. On her website, she offers updates for constituents. She stated on one that she is running for Commissioner again because she wants to “stand up for our constitutional rights and individual
freedoms”. She’s a Commissioner, not a cop!

Her social media is full of MAGA stuff, and conspiracy theories about 😮 election fraud 😮 vaccines, and whatever non-sense Newsmax is pushing out.

Scrolling through her social media feed was about as pleasant as spooning with a shirtless Steve Bannon.

Total Wacko. And it definitely affects her performance on the Board.

Rating: -1

COMMUNICATION

Lavanway nit picks, micro-manages and frequently berates staff in open meetings.

Rating: 0

ENTERTAINMENT

Lavanway is actually great for this blog. Every time she chimes in, it is wonderfully nuts. All her craziness and shenanigans are great content. We love her. Total wacko, but we love her.

Rating: 3

OVERALL RATING – TWO

Commissioner Grades – District Six

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 6 Commissioner – Brenda Ricksgers

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

She has about as much common sense as any of our grandmothers. Which, of course, means she has a LOT of common sense. Yo, my grandma was really smart and very sensible. If you disagree, I will fight you. I mean it. Don’t talk about my grandma.

Rating: 3

EFFECTIVENESS

Ricksgers tries. But, there is only so much that she can do. She is very active on her committee assignments, and engages with citizens at events and online. The majority of commissioners are on a speeding train to Wacko Land and people like Brenda need to be there to put a stop to it. So far, stopping that train has not happened very often.

Rating: 1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Ricksgers is a conservative Republican. That does not show up often in meetings and public events, because she stays focused on local issues and challenges. She does not seem to let silly talking points affect her decision making.

Rating: 3

COMMUNICATION

She tends to get tamped down a lot when she confronts some of her loud-mouthed colleagues. The Chairperson lets her get interrupted and sometimes her valid points get lost. She interacts with the public well, and states her positions.

Rating: 2

ENTERTAINMENT

Brenda is wonderfully boring. She does not participate in the nonsense political games on the Board and does not show off for the crowd. Thank God for that. We have enough of that going on.

Rating: 1

OVERALL RATING – TEN

Commissioner Grades -District Five

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 5 Commissioner – Terry Van Alstine

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

As many issues as we have with this Board, Terry is generally reasonable. We may disagree with his reasoning quite often, but he tends to avoid the political show boating, and useless rhetorical games that other Commissioners play at. He refused to rescind his appointment of Karen Bargy to the Health Board under extreme pressure to do so. But, then again, he also refused to re-appoint her to that Board. He did, however, reappoint Poitician Jarris Rubingh who used his position on the Board to break the law. So, mixed bag with ol’ Terry.

Rating: 1

EFFECTIVENESS

Van Alstine keeps up on the County’s business. He is generally prepared for meetings and tries to keep them moving. However, he allows a lot of useless chatter during the meetings. The meetings are long and much of the extra talking are just people playing political games. Do we have to listen to all of Jarris Rubingh’s bullshit?

One of the major goals for the County needs to be the facilities plan. This Board has been kicking the can down the road for TEN YEARS! Let’s go, already. We see no evidence that Terry has done a damn thing to resolve this issue.

Rating: 1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Van Alstine has been caught up in some wild political storms. The 😮 election fraud 😮 nonsense is still getting national press as the January 6th investigation continues. Generally, he has navigated this without getting caught up in it. He holds some political opinions that are far right, but he does not usually push them at Board functions.

Rating: 2

COMMUNICATION

It is hard to tell what Van Alstine is thinking much of the time. He asks good questions, and genuinely tries to find positions that everybody can agree with. So, that is good. But, sometimes he votes in surprising ways. Out of the blue! He has made no effort to explain to the public how he wants to proceed with the County’s most important projects – facilities, staffing, ARPA, etc.

Rating: 1

ENTERTAINMENT

Terry tries hard not to be entertaining. So, we can thank him for that. He generally sticks to business. However, he sure lets the clown show go on and on. Do we HAVE to hear Dawn Lavanway’s senseless bullshit on a certain subject for a THIRD time? Does Christian Marcus repeat himself on EVERY subject? We heard him the first time! Why does he allow commissioners to interrupt eachother? Why does he allow open arguments? C’mon, Terry. Enough of the clown show!

Rating: 1

OVERALL RATING – SIX

Commissioner Grades – District Four

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 4 Commissioner – Ed Boettcher

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

Mr. Boettcher is on his way out. He will be leaving the Board at the conclusion of this term. Boettcher served many years and was almost always rational and reasonable. He earned a lot of respect from his fellow Board members. So, his departure is a loss of a strong voice of reason.

Rating: 3

EFFECTIVENESS

Boettcher always got things done. While Chairman, he ran efficient meetings, and attempted to wrangle the Board in a better direction.

HOWEVER, he was a part of a few fiascos. Most notably, the infamous Bank purchase. He was also on the Board when the housing department had to return funds.

Rating: 1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Boettcher is a conservative member of the Elephant Party. He is VERY conservative. But, he rarely allowed for the distractions of national politics on the Board level. Such issues are almost always irrelevant and a waste of time.

Our only tweak was allowing political resolutions on the Board. He let too many of those hijack meeting agendas while chair.

Rating: 2

COMMUNICATION

Boettcher was a clear and effective communicator. He was excellent at gathering buy-in for important projects, and he worked hard at understanding the County’s business. Frequent jokes helped a lot.

Rating: 3

ENTERTAINMENT

Boettcher avoided the silly histrionics that other commissioners are addicted to. He would rarely hoot and holler at fellow Board members or show off for social media. He conducted business. One wonderful exception is during his announcement in 2020 that he would not seek the chairmanship. He chewed the Board out. Ripped into them and called them disrespectful. It was wonderful and correct.

Farewell to Mr. Boettcher, with our thanks.

Rating: 2

OVERALL RATING – ELEVEN

Commissioner Grades – District Three

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 3 Commissioner – Karen Bargy

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

Whew! What a term it has been for Karen Bargy! The Health Board nightmare, losing the vice chair to that bozo from Ellsworth, getting sued multiple times… It has been a rough ride.

Reasonable? Yes. Rational? Most of the time she embodies this to a fault. She examines every budget request and action item with a fine tooth comb. She points on mistakes, and asks clarifying questions.

Rating: 3

EFFECTIVENESS

Bargy works harder than most commissioners. She handles her committee assignments with seriousness, and she tries to mitigate some of the Board’s most serious errors. However, she is clearly on an island, and does not have many supporters on the Board.

Rating: 1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

We have to remember that Ms. Bargy is a VERY conservative Republican. SHe has argued for years on behalf of a fiscally conservative approach to taxation, expenditures, and capital improvement. When you serve on a Board that features Elephant Party cartoon characters like that Bozo from Ellsworth, it can alter perspective.

Generally, Bargy avoids getting into arguments that have nothing to do with local politics or county administration. Which is exactly what should be done.

Rating: 3

COMMUNICATION

Bargy comes across as a meddling technocrat. She is a stickler for the rules, and sometimes reminds the chairman of this policy or that parliamentary rule. People don’t always like that, but generally she is right. Better communication might win her more battles.

Rating: 1

ENTERTAINMENT

Bargy does very little grandstanding or showing off for social media. She generally is at a meeting to work. So, pretty boring. However, some of the fights that she has found her self in the middle of have been wild!

Rating: 1

OVERALL RATING – NINE

Commissioner Grades – District Two

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 2 Commissioner – Josh Watrous

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

None. Politician Jarris Rubingh once offered the Board a tirade of illogical nonsense and gibberish. Watrous responded to such lunacy with this:

“You took the words right out of my mouth.”

He regularly gets pissed off about political matters. He told an open meeting that he doesn’t have “enough rope” to fix all the problems in the state.

Rating: 0

EFFECTIVENESS

Watrous only serves on committee assignments that are “as needed”, he does not offer much at all to meetings or decisions. But, at least he keeps his opinions to himself for the most part. He did vote to approve an increase for county veterans affairs. So, we will give him a point.

Rating: 1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

So bad. During COVID he would sometimes throw tantrums about mask mandates. He informed the Board that the government can’t make anybody wear a mask. He voted against a resolution supporting constitutional rights because it didn’t say enough about guns. He clearly buys the 😮 election fraud 😮 nonsense.

Rating: -1

COMMUNICATION

Mostly, Josh keeps to himself. Which we are all grateful for.

Rating: 0

ENTERTAINMENT

Not entertaining at all. He is actually a tiresome grump.

Rating: 0

OVERALL RATING – ZERO

Commissioner Grades – District One

Let’s evaluate how each commissioner is doing so far in their time on the Board. We will rate each commissioner on their abilities in five different criteria. The rating will be on a 3 point scale.

3 = Excellent | 2 = Very Good | 1 = Satisfactory | 0 = Not Good at all

Here are the criteria:

Reasonable/Rational. Does the Commissioner act in a manner that shows rational thought patterns, and does the Commissioner consider proposals is a reasonable manner?

Effectiveness. Does the Commissioner get things done? Do they move the Board toward accomplishment?

Political Perspective. Is the Commissioner focused on the local needs of the County? Do they avoid playing idealistic political games, and do they concentrate efforts on accomplishing county business?

Communication. How well does the Commissioner communicate with members of the public and with fellow Board members? Do they articulate their mission/vision for the County?

Entertainment. How crazy are they? Do they provide comedic content for the ARRRG blog?

Okay. Here we go.


District 1 Commissioner – Politician Jarris Rubingh

REASONABLE / RATIONAL

LOL. No. He is neither reasonable nor rational. He has a simplistic perspective that does not show a single shred of rationality. In fact, he responds to proposals with nonsense statements on a regular basis. Here are some of his greatest hits: “Do more with less”, Reefer Madness, Beetleshit, etc. etc. Negative points.

Rating: -1

EFFECTIVENESS

Politician Jarris Rubingh is not on the Board to get things done. He is on the Board to play defense AGAINST the Board getting things done. Negative one.

Rating: -1

POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE

Politician Jarris Rubingh is happy to give his political hot takes on all kinds of issues that have nothing to do with his job.

Rating: 0

COMMUNICATION

Politician Jarris Rubingh is terrible at communication. At a recent meeting, he tried to chew out the County Clerk. He accused her of not paying the credit card bill. In all actuality, there was no paperwork provided to justify a certain expenditure, so she rejected the purchase. And she should have. Why would Rubingh tackle this issue during a public meeting, instead of talking to her before handin private? What an asshole.

Rating: -1

Entertainment

Oh man. This guy is the best. Where would this blog be without Politician Jarris Rubingh?

Rating: 3

OVERALL RATING – ZERO

Next time, we evaluate District 2 – Josh Watrous.

Do Your Job

Is your commissioner actively playing defense against the county’s citizens? Are they trying to get to a point where services need to be cut?

Some commissioners see their primary responsibility as making sure the county is run efficiently and that it effectively serves the county’s residents. Other commissioners see their job as a stop-gap to keep the county from over spending. Finally, some commissioners see their job as a means of giving their dad a big tax cut.

The current board has some members that are interested in providing services to the people of the county. But, they are in the minority. Most of the Board follows Politician Jarris Rubingh around and does his bidding. Tax cut is a phrase that is never far from their mind. They are like trained parrot:

SQUAWK! Polly want a tax cut?

These so-called tax cuts have a minimal impact on normal people. They are meant to benefit rich people and large land owners. However, parrot commissioners brag about these stupid useless tax reductions like they are the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Don’t trust these parrots. Any commissioners that are running around squawking about tax cuts are either so simple-minded that they are unable to understand basic arithmetic. Or, they are cynical political snakes who utilize useless tax cuts as political propaganda to convince people that they are doing a good job.

They are not doing a good job.

These parrots are ignoring dilapidated buildings, failing to maintain staffing levels in important departments, and not sufficiently planning for the future.

Go look at the county jail. What is being done about it? Nothing.

At the same time, while ignoring pressing concerns, these parrots are sniffing around millages and programs trying to find possible reductions. A reduction in revenue will equate to a reduction in services. There is no way around it!

So, instead of attempting to find solutions to current problems, these parrots are trying to create more problems.

The job of a commissioner is NOT to play defense against providing county services. So, why are so many of them doing it?

Know Your District

Don’t forget that this year’s elections have a new map. Last year, the apportionment commission recommended a change to the commissioner districts, and a reduction of the number of commissioners from 9 to 5. So, many people in the county may be changing districts.

It is important that you check the new map and make sure that you know who you are voting for in the adjusted districts.

The Apportionment Map is here.

Of course, several commissioners are running against each other this year, and there are also several that are stepping down. So, check the map, do your homework, and get ready to vote.

August 2nd is the primary election.

November 8th is the general election.