Tryon Raises Refugee Resettlement Letter At Commission Meeting

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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. But….but….but, on a more important note, when will the city take a stand on the proposed slaughter plant? The mayor’s letter was small potatoes, advocating for a small number of war refugees that our country created. The slaughter plant will bring in annually thousands of third world immigrants that we will have to accommodate and subsidize through or taxes. I don’t get it. If they don’t understand the situation by now, they should NOT be in city government. They need to represent the vast majority of city residents are vehemently opposed to this atrocity. Will they really not speak out on our behalf?

  2. This has been standard operating procedure for the city commission. Last March, the commissioners and the mayor authored, signed and sent to media outlets an anti-gun rights letter which opposed MT House Bill 325. HB 325 would have prohibited local governments like Great Falls from passing more restrictive firearms ordinances than what is on the books as the state and federal law. It passed the Legislature but the Governor vetoed it. The city commission letter also opposed the companion referendum bill, MT HB 357, which did pass in the Legislature and which the Governor couldn’t veto. By opposing this legislative referendum, the city commission showed they didn’t even want to give you, the voter, right to vote on this yourselves. Isn’t that nice?

    So, despite the city commission’s efforts, we will get to vote on this matter this November as Legislative Referendum 130 will be on the ballot. If you value the Second Amendment, vote yes on LR-130.

    I like the idea of being able to go to any place in Montana and be assured that I’m not breaking some locally passed, ill-conceived firearms restriction that I didn’t know about because I don’t live in that community. Apparently, the GF City Commission doesn’t feel that way and, Second Amendment rights be damned, wants as much local control as possible. Apparently, the city commission “feudal lords” want to maintain ultimate control over their “fiefdom.”

    I go to most every commission meeting, and those that I don’t attend, I read the minutes and watch the videos. I DID NOT SEE THE CITY COMMISSION BRING UP THIS ANTI-GUN RIGHTS LETTER FOR A VOTE AT A PUBLIC MEETING BEFORE THEY AUTHORED, SIGNED AND SENT IT! So they must have decided in private amongst themselves, which to me, amounts to a private meeting of our elected government. So much for sunshine laws and open government when the city commission can make decisions like this privately.

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