Future Of The Falls Requires Action, Not Words



Today someone directed my attention to a KRTV Facebook post and news story about the next “Future of the Falls Forum”.

Here’s how the KRTV story describes the Forum events:

“The next “Future Of The Falls” forum will be on Monday, December 3rd, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm at the Civic Center.

Focus topics will be:
1. City Government: Help or Hindrance?
2. Economic Opportunities
3. Downtown

Young adults in Great Falls had an opportunity for their voice to be heard by community leaders, and brainstorm ways to make it better though conversation at the first “Future of the Falls Forum” in early October. Now, forum leaders are focusing on feedback and what comes next.”

This effort is organized by Connect Great Falls which is described as an organization of local young professionals and is an “affinity group of United Way of Cascade County”.

This seems like a sincere effort with admirable intentions, but after reading the article and digging a little deeper I have some questions regarding the involvement of the City of Great Falls and a couple of our city commissioners.

Who is paying for the use of the Civic Center and City resources for these events? Is the City charging regular rental fees for the use of the taxpayers facilities to host the forums? If not, why not? I was going to call and ask about this today but City offices were closed for the Veterans Day holiday. Stay tuned.

More importantly, I would ask why Commissioner Mary Moe seems to think we’re stupid?

More importantly, I would ask why Commissioner Mary Moe seems to think we’re stupid?

“How can we attract entrepreneurs, how can we bring higher wage jobs into the community, and we want to make sure we talk with young people who have done just that,” Moe said.

Really? Is that why Moe voted along with the rest of the Great Falls City Commission to deny a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to locally owned and operated M&D Construction even though City staff, the City Zoning Commission and Neighborhood Council 7 all voted unanimously IN FAVOR of the CUP?

As a result of Moe’s actions in part, M&D Construction which employed about 30 people here in Great Falls, is now gone from their close-to-downtown location. Why should anyone believe Moe’s empty words about “attracting entrepreneurs” and “bringing higher wage jobs into the community” when her actions resulted in the exact opposite occurring?

More from the KRTV story:

“One specific idea that came out of forum was for a bike-loan program on the River’s Edge Trail. Commissioner Moe, along with Great Falls City Mayor Bob Kelly, already met last week with a committee to pursue this idea and talk about ways to implement it.”

A bike-loan program? Really? This is the kind of nonsense that passes for vision and real results for our town from these so-called leaders. Do Kelly and Moe really think that they can vote to drive real entrepreneurs who provide real jobs out of our city and then make it all good by meeting with a committee and palavering about a “bike-loan program on the River’s Edge Trail?”

I applaud the effort by Connect Great Falls and their young professionals (an increasingly rare breed in Great Falls) to reach out, collaborate and try to find solutions to the urgent problems here. Kudos to them.

What I object to and will continue to call out as BS is the phony and dishonest attempts by city commissioners to cover up their incompetence and neglect with glossy words and busywork which accomplishes nothing.

What I object to and will continue to call out as BS is the phony and dishonest attempts by city commissioners to cover up their incompetence and neglect with glossy words and busywork which accomplishes nothing.

“We have such talented young people in our community and they have great ideas, and what they don’t realize is that those of us who have been here for a long time, can’t wait to turn them loose. I’m just really excited about what we heard and the enthusiasm there,” said Moe.

The condescension and arrogance just drips from Moe’s statement here. Folks “realize” much more than Moe gives them credit for and no one needs to wait for her, Mayor Kelly or anyone else to “turn them loose”.

Real leaders don’t hide behind committees and forums or engage in pantomimes designed to give the false impression of results. Real leaders make hard choices and take actions that match their words, and we desperately need those real leaders in Great Falls right now.



Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

Reader interactions

3 Replies to “Future Of The Falls Requires Action, Not Words”

  1. Real leaders lead, and from everything I saw and heard….I was happy Moe and Kelly put this together. People (especially young people) were energized and eager.

    This kind of drivel from e-city beat is exactly why everyone knows the people associated with this blog (who never show up to meetings or work to make the community better) are not worth listening to. Until you do something more than complain, no one is going to listen.

    If you have ideas and position papers, post them on here….until then, this is just garbage.


  2. Philip Faccenda, Architect November 13, 2018 at 8:26 AM

    Brad, You are right about one thing, “Real leaders lead”, but Great Falls hasn’t had any “Real” leaders in a long time. Real leaders are defined by innovation, creativity, honesty and a lack of self interest. Great Falls has been plagued by cronyism, corrupt practices and a failure to create an environment that encourages innovation. Brett Doney’s Expostulation that, We need to “retain and recruit young talent” falls on the deaf ears of our supoossed leaders of Great Falls and the school district who discourage creative thinking and innovation. Great Falls is the last place talented young people would come to.
    What you call “drivel” and “garbage” shows how little you really know about Great Falls and its prospects for real ideas.


  3. I have an idea, Brad: Why don’t you give us your last name and manner of employment so we can know who we’re reading and a basis for what we’re listening to coming from you? And why don’t you encourage conversation rather than to try to dominate and abuse it? You are mistaken in your assumption that “no one is going to listen” to E-City Beat writers and their positions, and that “this is just garbage!” “Real leaders [do] lead.” What are you leading, Brad, or are you a leader of any kind, at all?


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