Poll: Should Mayor Kelly Remove His Name From The “Refugees” Letter?

To recap a wild week here in River City, Mayor Bob Kelly took significant heat for unilaterally inviting refugees to Great Falls. (He has since apologized.)

While some of the comments on E-City Beat and elsewhere have not been particularly receptive to the mayor’s mea culpa, I think it’s possible that some of us have been too hard on Kelly — though I say that with a caveat.

I agree with those who say that the mayor’s apology runs on the “virtuous” side. For me, though, that doesn’t change the fact that Kelly sincerely deserves credit for issuing a clear apology:

“While I stand by this support of the group in Missoula, I must at the same time apologize to those in Great Falls who felt that I was making a commitment to house refugees in Great Falls without consulting the community. Refugee resettlement is a complex and apparently divisive issue that each community must consider in its own way. It requires community input and consideration. I now realize that by using my title of Mayor alongside my signature , I implied a larger sense of community support than I had intended.”

He continued:

“By implying your inclusion in my concern, I misrepresented you. For that, I am sorry. As Mayor of our wonderful community, I try very hard to navigate only toward local issues or state issues that affect local communities. The national issues that currently divide us deserve little, if any, role in our decision-making process at the local level.”

I couldn’t agree more. Kelly did misrepresent us, which brings me back to the aforementioned caveat.

Kelly misappropriated community support for his pet project, acknowledged that he did so, but the letter he signed still bears his signature and title as Mayor of Great Falls. Apologies are great, but they must be followed up with action.

If Kelly is truly sorry, he should contact his leftist friends in Missoula and see to it that his name and title are removed from the WelcomingRefugees2020.org letter. Then, we should all accept the mayor’s apology.

What do you think?

[poll id=”19″]

Posted by Philip M. Faccenda

Philip M. Faccenda is an AIA award-winning architect and planner. He is the Editor-in-Chief of E-City Beat.

Reader interactions

6 Replies to “Poll: Should Mayor Kelly Remove His Name From The “Refugees” Letter?”

  1. Yes, at least remove his title on the letter. He can support the letter as a private citizen but, not as the representative of Great Falls!!


  2. He needs to respond back to the president that the citizens of Great Falls have said no to this folly.


    1. This would be a far more interesting scandal if there was any chance whatsoever of President Trump acting on that letter, but there isn’t.

      4th generation Montanan, 5th generation American, descendant of economic refugees.


  3. Remove absolutely and respond he does not speak for this community on this matter


  4. In his apology he says the he is going to focus on local issues not stated or national that Great falls can’t control. Yet they just set client change as one of the top 3 issues for the up coming year


  5. I beleive we should recall him since he was just reelected and over stepped his boundaries.


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