Cronyism Continues In The Great Falls City Commission


There’s really no other way to say it – Great Falls city commissioner Owen Robinson should not be voting on any issue regarding a proposed City of Great Falls partnership with the Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center. But he did anyway.

Robinson’s actions as a city commissioner stink to high heaven and anyone who is familiar with this matter knows exactly why.

  • Robinson is a former president of the center’s foundation.
  • Robinson donated a quarter of a MILLION dollars to the foundation.
  • Robinson is a long-time advocate for the Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center and the creation of a partnership between the city and the center.

At the April 2, 2019 city commission meeting, Robinson along with Commissioner Moe and Mayor Kelly voted to postpone the decision on a $462,000 contract for a cattery at the Great Falls Animal Shelter. Not only is this a major conflict of interest for Robinson it’s also another boneheaded commission decision potentially costing taxpayers another pile of hard-earned money and further delay in order to re-bid the addition at a later date.

To add insult to injury Robinson revealed that he and Moe have been secretly meeting with a group called Animals First to discuss plans for a partnership between the city (taxpayers) and Maclean Cameron Animal Adoption Center.

What??? Two city commissioners secretly meeting with a non-profit to discuss a “partnership” without any public scrutiny or input?

This is outrageous and totally unacceptable. And it appears that including only two commissioners in these meetings was intentional so as to avoid a quorum which would require public participation and the necessity of an official record.

Do these people never learn? What in the world makes Robinson and Moe think they can go behind OUR backs and meet with MCACC to discuss plans like this? What arrogance and total disregard for transparency.

The cronyism and good ol’ boys and gals nonsense continues unabated right here in River City. Regardless which side you come down on with the animal shelter issue itself there’s absolutely no way Robinson should have voted or be voting in the future on this issue given his past involvement with and his official position as president of the MCACC foundation.

And where is Mayor Kelly’s leadership here? Why didn’t anyone on OUR city commission insist Robinson recuse himself and that he and Moe immediately stop their secret negotiations with MCACC?

The damage to public trust here is significant.

No wonder Great Falls has the reputation of being run by the good ol’ boys’ and gals club. Better wake up fellow citizens, and soon.

You can view the city commission discussion and vote on the issue here starting at about 1:40:00.





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 “Cronyism Continues In The Great Falls City Commission”

  1. Michael J Winters April 9, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    OK!! Now where will this go ? Is there any one interested in this issue ? OR are we falling in line with the old adage Hello GOOD OL’ BOYS ruling the roast! Doesn’t ANY ONE ELSE CARE??


  2. […] launches a scoldy, pointy little diatribe against Great Falls taxpaying citizens concerning the secret meetings Commissioners Robinson and Moe were having with the GFAS MacLean adoption center about a possible private-public […]


  3. […] When pressed on the issue Mayor Kelly was not entirely honest or forthcoming about the secret negotiations, saying it was an “example of the types of meetings we do every day in this community”. […]


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