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Fair board member to step down, skijoring considered as an event

Hiring process for fairgrounds manager discussed


December 19, 2018

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

Great Northern Fair Board chair Tyler Smith speaks during a meeting Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at the Timmons Room of the Hill County Courthouse in Havre, Mont.

Editor’s note: This clarifies the amount for starting wages for a Great Northern Fair Grounds manager.

Great Northern Fair Board member Scott Doney announced at the board's monthly meeting Tuesday night in the Timmons Room of the Hill County Courthouse that after his term, he would be stepping down from the board.

Doney said the last five years of being on the board were "a good learning experience." He added that he normally has a hard time quitting things, but in this case, it was about wanting to spend more time with his kids right now.

"We've come a long way in these past four or five years," he said. "I mean five years ago, things were looking pretty dire. Now I think we're able to focus on different things because we're not just putting out fires every meeting. We're planning next year and all that."

Board Chair Tyler Smith complimented Doney.

"I really do want to thank you, Scott," Smith said. "You are a big reason why this had turned the direction it is, and the community thanks you for the five to six years of service."

Doney said he is still willing to help out at various events that will take place at the fairgrounds, and his stepping down doesn't mean he will never come back.

"It's funny, but like, when your term comes to the end, it's really tough to quit things" Doney added. "That's what I'm having a tough time with is quitting stuff."

Hill County Commissioner Diane McLean said that the commissioners' office will be in charge of advertising and hiring someone to fill Doney's position.

The Great Northern Fair Board is also going to advertise for the open fair manager position, Smith said, adding that he consulted with the Hill County Attorney's Office and with McLean about the wording and how long they can have the ad up.

"The job description will not be the employment contract," he added. "But basically, what (the Hill County attorney) told me is that we can go ahead and advertise this."

Smith asked board member Chelby Gooch to write up an ad for the manager position. McLean asked Gooch to send her a copy of the ad to go over it before it goes out to the public.

Smith said he wanted the ad to make it clear that the position doesn't make the individual a county employee, that they would be an independent contractor, they would be responsible for their own taxes and would not receive any worker's compensation coverage from the county and would have to show a certificate as proof that they have their own worker's compensation coverage.

An ad will also be placed for a secretary position. Smith said the position would be more of a minute taker. McLean said similar positions start abput $12.50 an hour.

During the events portion of the meeting Gooch said they had some ideas for night shows that they want to discuss at the next meeting. Gooch asked that Smith add the topic of night shows to the agenda for the next meeting.

Havre Daily News/Ryan Berry

From left, Tyler Smith, Scott Doney and Ray Kallenberger sit and talk during a Fair Board meeting 18, 2018 at the Timmons Room of the Hill County Courthouse in Havre, Mont. Doney would go on to resign his position at the end of the meeting.

Gooch said she was looking at several other events as well including a ninja event and a comedy shooting act. She added that the comedy shooting act was "not cheap."

More information would be provided at the January meeting, Gooch said.

Board member Jack Solomon added that someone had reached out to him asking if the board would allow them to host a skijoring event at the fairgrounds. McLean was familiar with skijoring, but the rest of the board - and the guests in attendance - had not heard of skijoring.

"It's usually around a track," McLean said. "A lot of them have gotten to where they've built some jumps into it."

Solomon said skijoring is a race in which people on skis are pulled by horses, although multiple sources online say people can also be pulled by a vehicle or by dogs.

Smith said he was open to the idea of having a skijoring event at the fairgrounds, but the interested party would have to supply the equipment. He added that it would depend on the weather, too.


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