Doing some research recently on the local CDBG funding debacle I came across a couple of interesting exchanges from the June 20, 2017 Great Falls City Commission meeting which illustrates why so many folks consider our current city commission to be so out of touch with citizens.
In this first short video Commissioner Bronson is in the midst of a long-winded legal explanation as to why it’s okay for him to not have to follow the clear, unambiguous rules that are laid out in HUD guidelines. The rub here is that Bronson then calls on City Attorney Sexe to publicly validate and corroborate his justification for engaging in a blatant conflict of interest regarding the allocation of taxpayer funds.
Now take a look at another exchange between a citizen, Mr. Haffner, and Mayor Kelly that occurred at the same meeting just minutes later. Here, Mr. Haffner attempts to ask Ms. Sexe a question clarifying a legal matter but is immediately corrected by the mayor and told to direct his questions to the Commission, not Ms. Sexe.
So a city commissioner can direct a city employee in a public meeting to inform the public how justified that commissioner is in allocating our money to an organization his son works for but a citizen can’t ask that same city employee a question?
Have these people forgotten who works for who? Maybe it’s because of some kind of silly protocol but it sure comes across as arrogant and unfair.
Mr. Bronson, Mr. Kelly, Ms. Sexe and all the others up there are servants not lords. Their Cadillac city health insurance, salaries, and even the big table and fancy black chairs they’re perched on are paid for by citizens like Mr. Haffner. Like you and me.