top of page

"Commissioner Hansen hits ‘Foul ball’ in his final inning

By Leghorn Clemens Free Press Writer (This article may be passed around and shared as necessary)

"On October 19th 2022, according to the minutes of the board of county commissioners for Shoshone County, the board considered and voted to approve without important questions, an application for $20,000 of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money for the senior center in Wallace. Sounds like a home run for the seniors doesn’t it! Except it was a foul ball. The senior center board did not vote nor actually approve of nor fill out a request for any ARPA funds in spite of the fact that their name was on the application. You see, the senior center board does not own the building. Commissioner John Hanson owns the building and the senior board simply rents a room from him month to month. In many peoples opinions, they believe the entire application was written in Commissioner Hansen‘s handwriting, but it submitted under the name of the president of the Wallace seniors center, without their knowledge or approval. The application was written for over $24,000 (requesting funds for a T.V, chairs, windows, flooring, door) and it was approved for the amount of $20,000 of improvements (for windows, door, flooring) for his privately owned building. That is quite a property value increase, I am sure many of us would like to receive money for improvements for our homes and or rental buildings. Does this now set a new "precedence" as the commissioners voiced concern about, when they discussed in the meeting about the "privately owned" nursing home in Kellogg who requested funds for window upgrades as well? That request was "tabled", due to the nursing home being privately owned as commissioner Hansen's building is privately owned. If you listen to the entire meeting, you will hear of a $164,000 well being voted "yes" on. This too will also set a new "precedence", as the commissioners can not discriminate against privately owned buildings, rentals and activity groups. I personally would like these funds to go to our road repairs, (or anything that would save tax payers money!!), meals on wheels and other things that benefit a large percent of our community the most, especially ones in dire need.

Interestingly, According to a recording of the commissioners meeting on October 19th, neither of the other two commissioners who voted to approve this application had few legit questions about the application even though they had plenty of questions when other people applied for other ARPA funds projects. They didn’t even question when commissioner Hanson recused himself from the vote. The commissioners simply approved it without a much needed discussion. Could it be because they knew it was Commissioner Hansen‘s rental building and residence?

All of this was done in a public meeting and duly recorded in the minutes. But the foul balls kept going after that.

On October 28th, the Shoshone news press reported that this application mysteriously had "put a hold on it's request in order to fine-tune the upgrades....". Another foul ball? By law, it would require another public meeting to suddenly reverse the first decision and put this application on hold. And there hasn’t been another public meeting concerning this. Could it be that somebody got nervous when word got out that this was being looked in to and now they are trying to cover their tracks? Seems like another admission of guilt if the commissioners indeed decided to back off of their decision to approve the application, after people started looking into it and asking questions.

Any good umpire would call this whole fiasco a series of “foul balls“! Just a foul game overall with the commissioners handing out a $20,000 cash bonus to one of their own for personal gain, a elected official profiting off the backs of the voters and taxpayers, possibly receiving ARPA funds that were voted in by the other 2 commissioners.

Foul ball!

And you don’t have to take anybody’s word for it. It was all duly recorded in the minutes of the board of commissioners meeting for October 19th. The application is on file at the courthouse, in many peoples opinion, they believe it appears to be in Commissioner Hansen’s handwriting, ask for public records with his handwriting and compare for yourself, come to your own conclusion. The senior center has denied ever having written the application or having any knowledge of it and never voted as a board for these funds, so whom would stand to gain and whom else would submit the application for these funds?

So, If you don’t appreciate what the commissioners have done with your tax dollars… If you don’t appreciate them personally profiting from their positions as trusted government officials in this county… if you don’t like it when the good old boys take care of themselves at your expense… Consider speaking up. Consider going up to the courthouse and asking questions, attend hearings, get involved. I am attaching copies of the minutes and the application here to this story, but you can always go request that information yourself to see it firsthand if you want to.

At the very least we should all be “booing“ the players in this game. We really can’t afford not to.

Other then it being election year, why is spending so much of this 2.5 million dollars in ARPA such a priority now? They have until 2024 to spend it! I could understand, if it brought us much needed property tax relief with road repairs or something similar to that, which would benefit a large amount of our community or we really could have used it on the senior meals on wheels, which is always coming up short. For me this is strike 3 on all 3 of the commissioners. "

October 19th 2022 commissioner arpa funds meeting

21 views0 comments
bottom of page