Susan Good Geise

Lewis and Clark County Commissioner Susan Good Geise is interviewed by a TV reporter at a recent event in Helena. Geise, who will not seek another term, is from Augusta.

Sun Times photo by Darryl L. Flowers

By Susan Good Geise

Lewis and Clark County Commissioner

& Augusta Resident

Attention Lewis and Clark County citizens who live in District 2, the part of our county extending from Winne at the south, Augusta to the North and west of Valley Drive to Green Meadow Drive. This message is for you.

While serving as your Lewis and Clark County Commissioner has been my high honor and privilege, it is my intention to not seek another term when my current term ends two years from now.

God willing, I continue to serve enthusiastically and diligently to the utmost of my ability and fully intend to do so until my successor takes the reins in January, 2021. Working day to day with Commissioners Andy Hunthausen and Jim McCormick is a genuine pleasure and I count myself most fortunate to be their colleague.

Why announce my plans so early? So that my unknown successor can make HIS/HERS.

I invite individuals who are truly, deeply committed to public service, be they Republican or Democrat, to thoroughly investigate the opportunity to serve a six year term as county commissioner.

Six years is a very long time that goes by in the blink of an eye. Believe me when I say that those exceptionally long terms serve a real purpose: there is much to do and even more to learn. The commissioner our county deserves will be “all in”. The work is strenuous, sometimes difficult and often stressful. But it is for certain, rewarding.

If done right, this position can be very much full time, and “business as usual” will be a distant memory.

My hope with this early announcement is that people can discuss this possibility with their family and friends to help discern if this avenue of public service is right for them. I hope prospective candidates can learn about the work, visit our various departments, and get to know their future colleagues, Commissioners Hunthausen and McCormick. Let them get to know you as well.

I stress this because commissioners must be able to trust each other, and be able to disagree honestly and robustly without sacrificing comity. Partisanship or gamesmanship has no place in leadership at the local level.

My aim is to see some prospective candidates show up from time to time at our public meetings, ask questions and meet our staff.

Lewis and Clark County is in great shape financially and relationships among other elected officials are in fine working order. Long standing challenges are being addressed in a thoughtful and positive manner.

Of course, any resident of the district could file for this office, on the last minute of the last day to file, perhaps knowing little about the demands or responsibilities of the office, and be perfectly within their rights to do so. But my hope is for a better informed group of candidates in order to tackle remaining issues. I really believe this could be a better approach to how we govern locally.

While I am leaving the door open just a sliver should the situation change unexpectedly, it is my hope to return to my home in Augusta, find ways to be useful in that great community and reintegrate there. I will have been mostly gone from there for seven and a half years upon my return.

Anyone who expects a “glide path, marching in place” posture from me as a “lame duck” are in for a surprise. The Commission’s goals for the next 24 months are challenging and ambitious, some long overdue. I am fortunate to be part of that effort.

It’s time.