A First Commission Meeting

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I read once, long ago, in our local blogosphere, that there had been, or were, too much unanimous voting going on in our City Commission meetings.

After attending what I could of tonight’s City Commission meeting, I can come to understand why the commission would be voting in such a way on various ordinances and the like.

Watching the meetings on TV would be fine I suppose, but that sort of limits any potential input. Seeing the commissioners in action tonight, up close and in real life, sort of put a different spin on some of what I’ve been reading in the blogosphere over the months.

The realtors and the landlords that were there tonight absolutely didn’t care about the proposed passing of the City Budget. They were much more concerned with not wanting to be “too” responsible for the folks they rent to instead, and once their proposed ordinance was tabled, they all lit out of there as if they had a bug up their butts.

I guess that City business isn’t all that important … well, it’s important enough to complain about … but not important enough to be an active participant in the process. I mean, after all, realtors must not care that their property taxes just went up 3% on all of their rental properties … no one stuck around long enough to provide any input on the matter. So the next time I hear one of our landlords bitch about property taxes, I’ll just remind them of tonight’s meeting.

Our Mayor and our Commissioners need to get a medal. Sitting there for hours, having to listen to the same old stuff, the same old off-cocked statements … every other week, there’s the same old people presenting the same old tired irrelevant arguments.

” … So? Are you for or against the City Budget? …. wait a minute, I didn’t ask you to show me all of those silly little graphs and charts … I mean, who cares about dated materials anyway? … “

” … What is it about this tax hike that makes you think it shouldn’t be passed? And, no, I don’t care if you are from hell … just provide me with your statement, either supporting it, or not…

I don’t think that landlords should be let off the hook so easily. So we’ll give the tenant 3 strikes? How about giving the landlord 3 strikes. In that if the premise/apt/residence is cited 3 times in 90 days, then write the landlord up with a citation. Landlords are responsible for their own properties … They take the risk, by renting, to someone who “isn’t” them … risk comes with the territory in any business … Landlords are in business, are they not? So let them carry some of the risk.

Oregon has a law that puts the parent in jail if the juvenile is a delinquent and gets arrested … Juvenile Delinquency in the state of Oregon dropped 90% in one year because of that law … Landlords need to be held accountable in just such a fashion as this. Drug houses would disappear over night, and our law enforcement wouldn’t have to be working so many long hours as a result. It would be a “Win” “Win” for Great Falls.

Don’t cut ourselves off at the pockets. Lose the golf courses, sell them to private interests, and save DARE and our law enforcement officers.

Match funding with the private sector, dollar for dollar for things like Riverfest and fireworks for 3 years at least, and approve a tourist tax, at restaurants and department stores … whoever doesn’t have a Montana drivers license with an address inside of Cascade County gets to pay the 4% sales tax. (the tourist tax would cure a lot of budget shortfalls all on it’s own) Let’s use a little bit of OPM (other peoples money) to make up for our budget shortfalls by a 4% tourist tax.

Raise parking meter rates to 50 cents, and raise our curbcut permits from $30.00 to $50.00 …

There are a ton of ways to make money here, all are easily administered and applied.

I don’t mind having to pay a little more for permits, or parking, especially if it would benefit Great Falls.

And, for as many as there are that “don’t” show up at commission meetings … these things shouldn’t have to worry much about being “tabled”.

There are those around here that would piss and moan their entire lives away because they somehow feel that our City Commission isn’t doing their job … Really though, the way it works is that “no one” ever bothers showing up to the commission meetings, thus, in the end, leaving our commissioners with very little, or no, input from the public at all … The job of running this city is only half finished until folks realize that showing up for these meetings is what makes the job complete.

I’m at a loss here … How can our City Commission go all on about the business of the day when nobody ever bothers to provide them with any “real” input?

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