At Tuesday nights Great Falls City Commission meeting, Commissioner Rick Tryon brought up the “kerfuffle” surrounding the issue of Mayor Bob Kelly signing on as Mayor of Great Falls to a letter to the President expressing support for refugee resettlement in “our communities” and the Mayors apology and explanation.
Below is the video transcript from the exchange. You can view the meeting video on the city website. The portion of the exchange starts at about 1:04:25
Commissioner Tryon: “Your honor, just two quick things.
You know there was a bit of a kerfuffle last week on an issue concerning a letter that Mayor Kelly signed, concerning refugees resettlement here in Great Falls and I’m sure you heard a lot about, I know I did, people asking questions and so I, and I appreciate you stepping up and and doing an explanation and apologizing in a clear way I thought and it was very good and I appreciate that.
But the question has arisen and I would like to raise this, is that I wonder if, if we could find a way that we clarify or establish a policy that clearly sets forth where or in what circumstances a member of this and future city commissions can appropriately use their official title to endorse a cause or sign on to a public document or event if it has not been publicly vetted and voted on by the City Commission.
This is primarily for the benefit of the public so they can be assured that they are not being represented without their input or knowledge but also for the benefit of the members of the City Commission, both future present, to avoid any misunderstanding or inadvertent crossing of the line between public policy of the city and a private political or other position on an issue or issues.
And I’m just wondering how we can best, I’m looking for guidance on how we can best accomplish that I did look through the Charter and some of the ethics code and I didn’t see anything that was that gave clear guidance and I’m wondering if we might be able to find a way to address that.”
Mayor Kelly: “So if I can respond to that – we have a training with Dan Clark from the local government center and he is designed to teach us about specifically those things and trust me when I tell you I reached out to him for some advice for him to study this and to come to will help walk us through kind of the decision-making process we need to do that going forward.
So that’ll be on the 28th during the Commission meeting that we have which is open to the public and I look forward to having that discussion then.”
So stay tuned, Great Falls.