E-City Beat recently submitted three questions to each of the six Great Falls city commission candidates and published the responses from the four who answered our request. Tracy Houck and Jasmine Taylor did not respond.
We thought it would be helpful to post each question one at a time and include each of the candidates responses together so voters can compare.
Do you or any of your immediate family members, business partners, employer, or employees hold any positions, professional or volunteer, recent past or present, that would constitute a conflict of interest, or appearance thereof, for you while conducting city business as a commissioner? If so how would you deal with the potential conflict?
No, currently I am not sitting on any boards and have declined two offers since I filed as a candidate. Professionally, I lead the Realtor advocacy efforts with community projects related to homeless and disadvantaged youth. Currently, I am participating in the Converge task force comprised of various community members that is meeting to create a youth resource center under the direction of Alliance for Youth. My husband and step-son are on the MT Expo Park Board which is a board of the County not the City.
I have been a certified Professional Standards Administrator for the Great Falls Association of Realtors for 12 years. In this capacity, I manage the code of ethics complaint process between the public and Realtors, and complaints between Realtors. I think it’s unfortunate the city had to create an ethics board.
I have a clear understanding and responsibility to remove myself from any potential conflict of interest while conducting city business.
In a word, no. I have been retired for ten years and hold no particular allegiance to any of my former employers or coworkers. My wife, Roxanne, works for Easterseals Goodwill and my son, Sean, is a mechanic at Lithia. While I am proud of them and the work that they do, I hold no allegiance to their employers. Same holds for the boards of directors on which I served. I have resigned from the River’s Edge Trail Board of directors and from the EPA/DEQ Technical Advisory Group. I have chosen to remain on the Missouri-Madison River Fund Board based on assurances from the Great Falls City Attorney and the River Fund that doing so does not present any conflict of interest concerns.
Editors note: After Pollingtons original response it was brought to our attention by a reader that his wife, Roxanne Klose, is a past president of the Animal Foundation and that along with Owen Robinson she went before a city commission work session in October 2016 to advocate for a taxpayer funded partnership between the city and the MacLean Animal Adoption Center. You can find Pollington’s response here.
I have no potential conflicts of interest as a City Commissioner. In light of this if it were to come up, I would be honest beforehand, follow protocol and recuse myself.
I’ve been a community volunteer for many years and for different organizations and causes, including the following:
- Founder of the Local Artists and Musicians Project, for which I received the Bread Winner Award from Wheat Montana for volunteerism raising resources for the Great Falls Community Food Bank.
- Received the RSVP Presidential Silver Award for volunteering locally in the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
- Volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program.
- Volunteer reader for Great Falls Clinic’s Reach Out & Read program.
- Board member and Chair of the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts advisory board.
- First and several time volunteer performer for the Four Seasons Sports Foundation fundraisers.
- 2016 and 2017 winner of the Mighty Mo Charity Sing Off, raising the most money for the local Casa-Can and Make-A-Wish Foundation, Downtown Great Falls Association Christmas Tree Fund and the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation Bumble Bee Fund.
However, I’m not currently involved in those or any other organizations with business before the city commission.
I’m not a candidate because I have a personal pet project I want to work on, an organization or “special” part of town I want to “help”, or an agenda to accomplish for friends or family.
I’m running so that the average citizens in Great Falls who’ve been left out of the conversation for too long have a clear voice and a sharp pair of ears on our city commission. No special attention or treatment for anyone. Period.
I don’t foresee any conflicts of interest arising if I were to serve as a commissioner. But if a conflict were to come up I would deal with it by strictly adhering to the Title 2, Chapter 21 Code of Ethics requirements, going above and beyond in full disclosure before the matter is vetted, and by recusal from the issue if necessary.