Lake County, Montana

Meet the Commissioners
Lake County is governed by an elected Board of three Commissioners who represent one of the three Lake County districts. Currently, Bill Barron represents the North District, Gale Decker the Middle District and Steve Stanley the South District. Although each Commissioner represents a District, all voters in the County elect the Commissioners. The only legal requirements for running for the office is that the candidate must be a citizen of the state of Montana, be of voting age, and reside in the district they represent for at least 2 years immediately preceding the general election. Terms of the Commissioners are six years. County government is the most accessible of all levels of government to the citizens of the United States. Lake County is unique in that it is the only Montana county seat on an Indian Reservation, which brings a very interesting and diverse set of challenges.

The Board of Lake County Commissioners oversees the providing of essential services to the citizens of the County. They work with other elected county officials and department heads to provide some of the following services: Road maintenance, public safety, land planning, environmental health, tax collections, recording of legal documents, courts, and emergency services.

District 1 Commissioner Bill Barron

Bill is a lifelong Montana Native. Bill worked over 30 years in Law Enforcement, graduating from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, the FBI National Academy, and has previously been elected to two terms as Lake County Sheriff. After leaving the Sheriff Office, Bill was elected to County Commissioner and is currently in his third term. Bill brings common sense, vast knowledge of county government operations, people management skills and the ability to work together.
Bill Barron 

Steve Stanley  District 2 Commissioner Steve Stanley

Steve was born and raised in Montana. He stepped into the County Commissioner role with a long history of serving the citizens of Lake County through emergency services dating back to 1978. His careers have spanned 22 years as Facilities and Building Services Director at Polson’s St. Joseph Hospital to over 30 years with Lake County Disaster and Emergency Services. He committed 20 years of volunteer work with the Polson Fire department and was a vital employee in the early years of Polson Ambulance’s beginnings. Steve brings to the table a significant understating of Lake County’s government operations within the federal, state, local and tribal frameworks. He enjoys the challenge of maintaining and enhancing Lake County’s infrastructure.  

District 3 Commissioner Gale Decker

Commissioner Gale Decker and his wife, Susie, live in the North Crow area east of Pablo. Mr. Decker was born and raised in Lake County. He earned his Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Montana before going on to teach in the Ronan School District for 33 years. Following retirement from the school system, Mr. Decker served as Lake County Superintendent of Schools for six years before being elected to the Commissioners’ Office in 2012. Mr. Decker’s particular interests in County government include land planning, environmental health and property tax relief.
Picture of Gale Decker

Picture of Kate Stinger Kate Stinger - Executive Administrative Assistant

Kate is a lifelong resident of Lake County, Kate is married and has 4 children. She worked various jobs before settling in at Lake County. For almost 5 years she worked in Justice Court and was instrumental in streamlining processes and procedures along with her coworkers. Kate was selected as the Executive Administrative Assistant in December of 2016 as a new position. The goal of this position is to assist the Commissioners with high level projects and to be active within the County.

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