Ticket sales at the Brown County Fair are once again sparking controversy at the courthouse. After complications with issuing tickets and reporting sales last year, the Brown County Commission moved online ticket sales to an independent online vendor. At this week’s Brown County Commission meeting, county treasurer Sheila Enderson reported that the new system still isn’t providing her with the timely reports she needs to report and pay sales tax for the county on fair proceeds. Even more remarkably, Enderson said that, after she made an on-the-spot decision to sell paper tickets to alleviate long lines for the Tuesday night rodeo, new fair manager Derek Ricci blocked her access to the online ticketing system mid-fair:
Despite being unable to get a go-ahead from Ricci, Enderson said she made the decision to use numbered, paper tickets during the second night of the Dacotah Stampede Rodeo.
The next day, Enderson said there was a meeting at the fair office with which she was not involved. After the meeting, she said she attempted to access the ShowClix ticketing system several times, but could not.
She said an official at ShowClix told her that Ricci had revoked her access to the system because of the decision concerning selling paper tickets [Shannon Marvel, “County Treasurer Upset with Ticketing System, Fair Manager,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.08.31].
Fair manager Ricci apparently feels treasurer Enderson overreacted. He told the commission that “when you show up to an event at seven o’clock, and the doors open at seven o’clock, I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you wait in line for seven to ten minutes.” Ricci confirmed that he blocked Enderson from the ticketing system as retribution for her doing what he told her not to. He also says the sales reports are all just fine:
“I would also like to bring to the commission’s attention that there was a meeting that was held regarding the arbitrary decision that was made to go to paper tickets on (Aug. 16 at the rodeo) despite the fact that the treasurer and I had the conversation on Monday where it was expressed how that was not going to happen,” Ricci said.
“I did shut down reporting access because she failed to use it. But as you can see, these reports are pretty detailed,” he added [Marvel, 2016.08.31].
I don’t know what the technical problem may be with the reports. But there’s a pretty clear management problem when we have an appointed county employee blocking an elected county official from performing her duties just because he doesn’t like an administrative decision she made to solve a customer-service problem.