Originally published in the Yellowstone County News print edition on 4/1/16.
BILLINGS — A relatively simply action to approve a $3,000 change order erupted into a heated discussion among Yellowstone County Commissioners on Tuesday.
Commissioner Bill Kennedy was opposed to approving the change order for a utility shed that is being built at Riverside Cemetery, which is where the county buries indigent citizens who cannot afford to pay for their own funeral costs or when no family steps forward to do so.
Kennedy said, “I have a hard time spending money to house a lawnmower.”
He went on then to sharply criticize Commissioner Jim Reno for attempting to save the county money by “blatantly” going forward with a policy of having the remains of the deceased cremated rather than buried, at a cost savings of only $300 per individual, but then be willing to build a $30,000 shed.
“You seem to care more about a building than the people involved,” said Kennedy.