Commission attendance record of Mix
Chairman defends incumbent candidate
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
When Blaine County Commissioner Mary Ann
Mix came under attack last week for her relatively poor meeting attendance,
Commission Chairman Dennis Wright was quick to come to her defense.
"To my knowledge, Mary Ann has not missed
anything of a critical nature," Wright said. "It’s not, ‘How many meetings did
you attend?’ It’s, ‘Were you there for the important decisions that truly have a
long-range effect on the people of this county and the well being of county
Last week, commission candidate Tom Bowman
released numbers indicating that Mix, in part or whole, missed 26 percent of the
board’s meetings in 2002 and 2003. According to Blaine County Clerk Marsha
Reimann, who unlike Bowman did not include in her tally the number of meetings
Mix departed early or arrived late, Mix missed 19 percent of the meetings in
2004 and 11 percent in 2003.
Her four-year average equaled an 88
percent attendance record. In 2002, she missed 20 percent of the meetings. It is
clear that, overall, she has missed more meetings than her peers, Wright and
"It’s factual. It’s not related to rumor,"
Bowman said in explaining his decision to bring attention to the issue.
Former County Commissioner Tom Blanchard
also took note of Mix’s attendance record. "Would you continue to employ a
person who was absent 25 percent of the time?" he asked in a letter to the
editor this week.
Mix, however, brushed off the allegation.
"That dog won’t hunt," she said. "I don’t
think that dog’s going to hunt because I don’t think you can question my work
ethic. I truly do believe that it would be difficult for anyone to have a
greater work ethic than I do. I do work greater than 80 hours per week for the
Mix said she was offended by criticisms
about her attendance record, in part, because she went through some difficult
family-related struggles during the last four years.
"I’m offended at the incredible lack of
compassion," she said. "They’re obviously questioning my work ethic. It defies
logic that he thinks he could out-work me, that he has a greater work ethic than
Though she did not defend Mix as
vehemently as Wright did, Michael, who is publicly supporting Bowman, said all
three commissioners work hard.
"I personally feel like we all try to be
there as much as possible," she said.