For those Great Falls citizens who don’t attend city commission meetings, I thought it would be enlightening to provide a little window into the May 7 meeting along with some of my own observations.
First up is Mayor Kelly explaining why it’s just business as usual for city commissioners like Moe and Robinson to negotiate possible mergers between non-profits and our city government without the benefit of a public record or public input:
This also raises an issue that I and many others have been concerned about for some time now – the focus of our city commission on supporting and emphasizing non-profit and social services programs above private business development.
Kelly: “We go to lots of meetings in tandem, never as three because that’s a quorum and that requires all different types of things, and with a lot of situations around town to find out things about homelessness, about child abuse, about women against violence and about some of the other agencies that are operating in this town.
If we can bring assistance to them from our positions we’ll bring information back to the commission.”
Homelessness, child abuse, and violence are all things we should all be very concerned about. And public resources at various levels are allocated to professionals to address these problems, resources which won’t be there in a stagnant economy which doesn’t maintain a vibrant private sector business environment.
But are these the kinds of things we want our city commission engaged in?
Do we have a city government whose primary responsibility should be to babysit and take care of social services agencies? I don’t think so.
Perhaps Bob Kelly missed his calling and should have been a social worker or a pastor rather than a mayor. Nowhere in his lecture did I hear Kelly mention going out and doing “lots of meetings” with local businesses or with the many folks working three jobs to make ends meet in Great Falls to “bring assistance to them”.
In fact, this current city commission has not just ignored local private business but has actually intentionally run at least one of them out of town – M&D Construction.
In this clip the mayor continues to scold a taxpaying citizen, defend the overtly inappropriate secret meetings with a non-profit held by Robinson and Moe, and inform us that these are “the types of meetings we do every day in this community”. Really?
Why so defensive? Why so offended that you were previously “not questioned to this extent as to the purpose and intent” of the actions you are supposed to be taking in the interest of the citizens and taxpayers of Great Falls?
And finally, here’s the icing on the cake – well Suzie Q. Citizen if you don’t like it go talk to our lawyers.
We deserve better than this.