Commission concerned about tax audit deadline

On Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, the Lander County Commission listened to updates from the County Treasurer concerning the audit and a point of a sale card reading system for fiscal year 2016 and 2017. The board also approved cooperation with the greater sage grouse plan in Nevada.


Lander County Treasurer Gene Etcheverry updated the commission about getting the data prepared and completed before the upcoming audit deadline. Executive Director Keith Westengard asked for a deadline extension but was denied by the state.

Etechverry said that a majority of the data would be downloaded for the auditors that day. The rest would be completed by the following Tuesday and arrive to the auditors by Nov. 15. 

Westengard said he was concerned that the deadline for the information transfer was Tuesday, not Wednesday. “If we don't have the information in, there may be other issues that will come up during the audit,” he said.

Etcheverry also expressed concerns. “It’s been a rough year and past 10 months. What could go wrong has gone wrong, with I.T. problems, to system problems, strange posting or no posting at all. Some of this is how our office has operated and that type of operation is not going to happen any longer.”

Commissioner Doug Mills expressed his concern over next year's review, saying, “We certainly do not want to be in this position again next year. If you need anything from the county commission, money for training or something, we certainly want to help you.”

“At the end of the day, I am the treasurer. It rests on my shoulders. And I am not saying we need to be at a better level but different level than before,” Etcheverry said, “Our former treasurer did this job 24 years, elected, and she did an outstanding job. But sometimes when people have been there a long time, they know a way to do things. Once again, I am the treasurer. It is up to me and we will get there and get this office operating more efficient in the future.”

During public comment, Lander County employee Tammy Dimitroff stated, “The girls in the office now have been wonderful to help me get payments posted by my department. I am a little upset with Mr. Etcheverry because his employees have worked very hard to get this information posted.”

Sage Grouse

Another notable agenda item was the approval to cooperate with the upcoming land use plan amendment process with regard to the complaint about the declaration and injunctive relief filed by Western Exploration. 

The commission approved cooperating agency status with the BLM, to designate a point person (Westengard) for communication between the county and the BLM and to designate a team to compile the information. The team would consist of Rex Massey, Mills and the district attorney. 

The commission recommended that Lander County work with the other counties and hire a consultant for the sage grouse issue. The discussion of the sage grouse item was held during a scheduled closed session at the commission meeting. Commissioners only returned to approve what was discussed during the closed session.

The next commission meeting has been moved, due to upcoming holidays and will take place on Thursday, Nov. 30. The commission will hold only one meeting in December. The board will return to their regular schedule after the holiday season.