Today someone sent these pictures to me with the following note:
“Interesting pictures of the City parking their tractor/trailer on M&D’s vacant lot while they are performing asphalt patching on an adjacent street. The same lot that they ran M&D off of for parking the same type of trucks there.”
The ‘M&D’ referred to here is M&D Construction which has moved out of the city since our City Commission unanimously voted against a conditional use permit for the company which employed around 30 people.
This anti-business, anti-jobs unanimous decision by the five Great Falls city commissioners, Kelly, Bronson, Moe, Houck and Robinson, against the conditional use permit was made even though City staff, the City Zoning Commission and Neighborhood Council 7 all voted unanimously IN FAVOR of it.
Why deny the permit? Well, it appears to me the reason is that the Blewett family strongly opposed the conditional use permit because they considered M&D to be a bit of an eyesore in their neighborhood, which also happens to be Mayor Bob Kelly’s neighborhood.
In addition, the Blewetts made campaign contributions to three of the commissioners and several times at the meeting when the decision was finalized, at least two commissioners referred to Blewett as a “friend” or “good friend”. You can look at the minutes, video and further documentation here.
When the Blewetts said “Jump!”, your city commission asked “How high?” on the way up.
Do I believe there’s anything nefarious or improper about the City now parking tractor trailers on the old M&D Construction site while doing work on streets? No. But I do wonder if the Blewetts approve.
And it also raises the very interesting question as to what will happen to that particular piece of property now. Who will own it and what, if anything, will be built or developed there?
I intend to follow this issue very closely and make sure the public is aware of the situation each step along the way.