Changes Underway at Hartman Cemetery

By Laws or Board Members?  What’s Needed First for Hartman Cemetery? 

Who sets the by-laws, who enacts the by-laws, who controls the by-laws are the main questions regarding the East Prowers Cemetery District and specifically, the Hartman Cemetery.  The Prowers County Commissioners discussed how involved they should be with the Hartman Cemetery board of directors during their Thursday meeting.  They’ve stated in the past that they don’t want to have to micro-manage how the board functions. They will appoint, but the board will self-regulate under the scope of the bylaws for the district. 

A group of concerned citizens recently met with commissioners to air their grievances with the way the current board has handled maintenance at the cemetery, calling for the firing or resignation of Mark Bagley, the cemetery caretaker and all members of the board.  Some members also called for a full audit of the district’s finances.  The commissioners don’t believe they have the authority to clear the board, and are determining what steps they can take in developing a system that works.  Jennie Marston, the newest board member, submitted her resignation to the commissioners in a letter claiming she can’t make any headway for improvements under the current conditions.  Another board member, Annalee Crum, has verbally indicated she was going to resign, but hasn’t submitted an official letter at this time. 

One option discussed at the Thursday, October 27 meeting was to start advertising for interested persons who wanted to serve on the board, but wait until a full set of governing bylaws had been developed, under which the new board could properly function.  The new members would probably serve six year, staggered terms.  Commissioner Schnabel asked county attorney, John Lefferdink if the board could be replaced for cause, specifically not fulfilling the obligations of the bylaws.  Part of the problem is finding the existing bylaws.  “Who will decide what has and hasn’t been done,” Schnabel asked.  Schnabel said, “We have no authority,” once the board has been appointed, but if they don’t do the job, then the local citizens look to us to set things right.  Lefferdink cautioned that the commissioners don’t want to become that involved to that great a degree.  Lefferdink also suggested going to DOLA, Department of Local Affairs, for guidelines on special districts, and make sure each cemetery board has a copy for future reference.  Schnabel said all candidates should undergo an in-person interview with the commissioners to make certain they understand all the requirements of the position.  This would be similar to a situation this summer, when the commissioners advertised for board members for the Granada Cemetery, and accepted the resignations of some members, replacing them with new members.  Commissioner Millbrand said he’d like to find some people who have no personal agenda for any one cemetery, but who want to improve matters for the entire district.

By Russ Baldwin 



Jo Dorenkamp
Prowers County Administrator  

The Prowers County Board of Commissioners is accepting letters of interest from persons who are residents of Prowers County to fill two (2) positions on the East Prowers Cemetery District Board. Appointed members serve as volunteers for a term of six (6) years.  

The letters of interest should be addressed to the Prowers County Board of County Commissioners, 301 South Main Street, Suite 215, Lamar, CO 81052. Letters must be received by 5:00 p.m. on November 14, 2011.


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