Brown County Treasurer Solves Fair Ticket Delay, Fair Manager Responds by Blocking Treasurer Access to Records

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.

11 Responses to Brown County Treasurer Solves Fair Ticket Delay, Fair Manager Responds by Blocking Treasurer Access to Records

  1. Mrs. Nelson

    You have this bass ackwords. This is an elected county official being upset she doesn’t understand technology, taking it out on “the new guy”.

    Stop dragging Aberdeen people thru the mud when you don’t even know them or the WHOLE story, Cory. You’re really not doing yourself any favors lately. The shouting match at the meeting, the article about 4H and now this.. keep it up. You already lost my vote ages ago.

  2. Darin Larson

    Mrs. Nelson, you refer to the “shouting match at the meeting.” I assume that you are referring to the Branstner hate group meeting. If that is the case, do you expect hate groups to be welcomed with open arms in Aberdeen? Is that the type of town where you live?

    Furthermore, if the hate group that visited Aberdeen was misusing information that you had provided, would you not have the right to confront their lies in a public meeting as Cory did?

    Are you as irate with the hate group coming to Aberdeen and spreading lies and distortions as you are with Cory?

    FYI, I saw the video of the Branstner meeting and it was not a tribute to Aberdonians that a hate group can come to town and pack a room with people and then shout down anyone that dares confront their hate speech. On this issue, you should be thanking Cory for standing up for American values and nondiscrimination.

  3. Mark Remily

    Mrs. Nelson, “You have this bass ackwords. This is an elected official being upset she doesn’t understand technology, taking it out on the new guy.”
    You have the first amendment right to share your opinion. Just as I do to inform you that B.Co. Treasurer Sheila Enderson has had to endure the onslaught of new technology for 23 years. She has also survived a county commission who has tried unsuccessfully to eliminate her job. The same county commission which hired Mr. Ricci. I don’t know who you are, as there are 30 nelsons in the phone book, but I feel the need to defend my good friend of 40 years and devout public servant. And Trust me, She understands technology.

  4. Mrs. Nelson, you appear to proceed from the mistaken assumption that I write these blog posts in an attempt to get votes. That’s not my goal here. My goal is to get people talking about local and state issues. The votes will fall where they may.

    On this topic, the problem does not appear to be too much technology. It appears to be not enough technology: the ticket office didn’t have enough technology to handle last-minute sales, and then when the elected treasurer adopted the technology necessary to serve those last-minute customers more efficiently, the appointed fair director took away her access to the technology she needed to do other key parts of her job. There’s my central question in this post: can we justify a county employee revoking a county official’s access to a computer system necessary for carrying out official county duties? Was that revocation justified in this situation?

  5. David Newquist

    The people who brought you EB-5 and Gear-Up have laid claim to the Brown County Fair as their minions have taken over the Brown County Commission. This is a local replay of when Bill Janklow refused to tell elected state treasurer Dick Butler how much money, where it came from, and where it was deposited when the state made itself safe and lucrative for usury. And then Janklow had his legislative henchman Mike Rounds push a gag law that criminalized any state official who reported any investigations into the state-corporate relationships.

    The technology director and the fair director are crony representatives put in place after the local GOP-boys got control of the county commission. Recall that those positions have both been the occasion of political manipulations and petty treacheries on the part of the commission. The discords of the last few years are the sounds of what was once good government going bad.

  6. Mrs. Nelson

    Darin, I do not support the hate speech that Mr. Branstner has decided to spew (then and upcoming) to people here – it was disappointing behavior on behalf of everyone, Mr. Branstner’s false research and the people who believe him, and Cory shouting back. Absolutely we shouldn’t support the hate. But the way it was handled on both sides was shameful.

    Mr. Remily, my apologies if I have insulted your long time friend. From an outsiders perspective, that is my opinion.

    It seems every year, no matter who the fair manager is, they always seem to catch a lot of hell from the same folks who appointed them. Every. Year. Something is “wrong”. Maybe they need to communicate better? I don’t know. All I know is every year someone complains about someone else and it’s getting old.

  7. Douglas Wiken

    Maybe the complaining would not get old if problems were actually solved instead of just creating a new slop trough for connected hogs.

  8. Robert Braun

    I would have to say that the fair was not enjoyable as everyone seems to say. Ticket prices for the rides are high enough, then to find out there are mandatory service fees, then a fee for using your debit card. I tried to buy tickets early for the rides, only to wait in line at the local grocery stores, they took forever to do a ticket, rides, shows it didn’t matter. the midway itself was not up to par either, several rides that were not working properly but still used, bumper cars were down to 5 working ones, ride attendants actually sleeping before during and after a young child had a safety problem in the spinning barrel. For my money I will take it else ware next year.

  9. If Brown County can’t play nice at the fair, perhaps it shouldn’t get to have one.

  10. (I’m off topic, but Mrs. Nelson, I wish to correct you: I wasn’t simply shouting back. I was making a comment, after asking for the speaker’s permission to do so. As individuals interrupted and shouted over me, I attempted to make my voice heard and complete my factual statement correcting the falsehoods stated by the speaker. To equate hate speech and false statements with a loud expression of fact is… unfair.)

    The main authority question still has not been addressed: how do we justify a county employee revoking access to online systems that an elected official needs to carry out the duties we have elected her to do?

  11. Thankfully you ask these pertinent questions, Cory.