Flashback: Bob Kelly Falsely Takes Credit For Implementing City Cell Phone Ban

Leadership. Experience. Integrity.

These three words billboard Mayor Bob Kelly’s political persona in Great Falls.

Is there anything more obnoxious than politicians telling you what great people they are?

They aren’t words anyone else has assigned to Kelly. No, those are his words.

Which begs the question, then: is taking credit for something you had no involvement in an example of integrity?

Back in 2012, before Bob Kelly was on the City Commission (just by a few months), commissioners passed an ordinance banning the use of cell phones while driving. The ordinance passed 4-1, with then-mayor Michael Winters and then-commissioners Bob Jones, Bill Bronson, and Fred Burow voting in favor. (Mary Jolley cast the dissenting vote.)

In 2017, Rep. Jeremy Trebas sponsored a state bill that would have reversed the municipal ban. The Tribune reported on it, and an opportunity for Kelly to pat himself on the back proved to be too much to resist.

“I’m very much in favor of it,” he said. “My goal in putting it in place was to alert the community and others who visit Great Falls that we insist on safe driving habits.” [emphasis added]

According to the minutes of the meeting, though, Kelly was not even on the City Commission yet, nor did he speak in favor of the ban at any City Commission meeting.

But he “[put] it in place”?

Leadership. Experience. Integrity.

Philip M. Faccenda
Philip M. Faccendahttp://www.straymoose.com
Philip M. Faccenda is an AIA award-winning architect and planner. He is the Editor-in-Chief of E-City Beat.


  1. Let me say right of the chutes–It was I who brought the cell phone ban to the front–NOT Bob Kelly– I take no credit for any thing, we acted as a commission team to provide traffic safety for our community. I take great umbrage in anyone trying to steal our thunder, that of a very successful commission. Our commission worked very well on the cities most serious problems, we met each challenge head on and brought solutions to the table. We listened to the public and worked with the City Attorney James Santoro temporary city attorney, who should have been hired). and no one was any better than anyone else. We did not take credit for anyone else’s work. We were outstandingly transparent in we accomplished.


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