Friday, July 30, 2010

Aug 2010 ECP Meeting

When: Monday, August 2 at 5:30pm
Where: Gibson Room, Civic Center

Here is a draft copy of the agenda for the August 2 ECP meeting.

SME July 2010 Board Meeting Agenda

H/T: A.D.

City Manager Doyon recently wrote to Southern Board members that although the city has not recently sent a representative to its meetings, the city still needs to receive copies of its agendas. Note that after five years of doing business with the city, Tim Gregori lost the city's email address.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shoplifting Scottish Seagull

Advisory Board Openings

The city currently has these advisory board openings:


Two openings are available on the Advisory Commission on International Relationships for three-year terms through March 31, 2013. The Commission provides support, coordination and exchange of information for international programs in the community. Meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM. For more information contact Kelly Audet at 455-8440.

The Great Falls Housing Authority Board has one opening for a two-year term for a tenant member, representing the elderly, through June 30, 2012. The Housing Authority provides safe, decent, sanitary, and affordable housing for the community’s low income residents. They also set policy for operation and management of public housing properties; HUD-Section 8 programs, and other affordable housing programs. The Board also serves as the loan committee for the City’s Housing Rehabilitation Program. Expertise in the areas of finance, accounting, architecture and engineering are desired. Board meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at noon, for approximately two hours. For more information, contact Kevin Hager at 453-4311.

The Design Review Board has one opening for a three-year term through March 31, 2013. The Board reviews specified types of development proposals to ensure that the design and aesthetics conform to the review criteria contained in the municipal code. The current opening is for an architect. Members are appointed with an effort to achieve a diversity of expertise, background and interest. Board meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month if needed. Applicants must reside within the City of Great Falls. For more information, contact Kim McCleary at 455-8405.

Applications are available at the City Manager's Office, Civic Center, Room 201, by calling 455-8450, or by using the online, fill-out, print, and mail/fax Board Opening Application which is available in PDF format.

SME Told To Stop Construction

According to this article at KRTV, SME has been directed by Cascade County to stop construction activities at its site on Salem Road. This is response to last week's Montana Supreme Court ruling that the county illegally spot-zoned when rezoning agricultural land to heavy industrial in March 2008.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

West Bank Park Design Charrette

When: July 21 from 5:00pm-7:00pm and July 22 from 8:00am-9:00am
Where: Gibson Room, Civic Center - please enter through the northeast entrance.

Plan to attend a Design Charrette to give your input on the future of West Bank Park. A Design Charrette is a brief, intense design workshop to allow the public an opportunity to provide hands on input into the development of the West Bank Park Master Plan.

The goal of the Master Plan process is to solicit input from the public and create a roadmap for redevelopment of the park.

City staff and the consultants will be available to answer questions and take comments on what you want for West Bank Park. Refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, please contact Marty Basta, Parks and Recreation Director, 406-771-1265.

Neighborhood Councils - Week of July 19, 2010

Only one council is meeting this week:

When: Thursday, July 22 at 6:30pm
Where: Heritage Baptist Church

City assessment on property tax bills for Portage Meadows residents
Committee reports
Problem properties
Neighborhood concerns

Wednesday, July 21 - Ice-cream social from 6:30pm-8:30pm at Memorial Park. Free ice cream cones and root beer floats.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Work Session - July 20, 2010

When: Tuesday, July 20 at 5:45pm
Where: Gibson Room, Civic Center

1.River’s Edge Trail -- Trails Work Group – Doug Wicks
2.Downtown Plan – Mike Haynes

Friday, July 16, 2010

It IS Considered Spot Zoning

The Montana Supreme court ruled in favor (page 31) for the plaintiffs and appellants.

According to this ruling, Cascade County illegally spot-zoned the property for the coal plant when they changed the zoning from agricultural to heavy industrial.

Not surprisingly, Tim Gregori says that SME will ask the court to reconsider their decision, because it was based on "outdated and erroneous facts".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Volunteers Need Work

Carrie Koppy from NeighborWorks has 5 young volunteers who are looking for projects for this week. If you know anyone, disadvantaged or elderly, who might need some help with yard work or basement cleaning or similar, please contact Carrie at 216-3520 as soon as possible.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beartooth Bylaws Committee Suspended

Once again, Beartooth Co-op is being jerked around by SME. In the lastest go-around, their Bylaw Committee has been suspended (page 2).

Below is a response from co-op member and avid advocate for transparency, Arlene Boyd:

Beartooth Co-op Board needs to support open, transparent bylaw revision, now.

The “suspension” of the Beartooth Electric Cooperative Bylaw Committee is very disappointing. Without consulting members at-large or the members of the bylaw committee, the Beartooth Board of Trustees has stopped the committee’s work.

Bylaws are the contract between an organization and its members. Co-op bylaws define procedures for the organization and specify member rights and responsibilities.

Most of us do not understand the reported connection between a postcard sent out by the Stillwater and Carbon County Resource Councils and the board’s decision to suspend the bylaw committee. If the Beartooth Board objects to the councils’ postcard supporting mail-in elections they should take the matter up with the councils. There is no reason to shut down the bylaw committee, which represents Beartooth members, not the councils.

We have the highest electricity rates in Montana. Our wholesale supplier, Southern Montana Electric (Southern), a cooperative we established and finance, operates in bylaw-permitted secrecy. Southern spends enormous amounts of our money without informing us, seeking our input, or asking for our approval. The bylaws are much more important than an irrelevant spat about a postcard. They are even more important than mail-in balloting which is only one aspect of a fair election process.

It is time to thank the board and the committee members for their hard work and to insist that they reconvene and provide a transparent bylaw review process with open reporting and opportunity for member input. The bylaws need to be updated and revised with three objectives:

• To ensure that Beartooth has appropriate legal operating guidelines
• To provide strong support for transparent governance and democratic decision-making
• To require procedures for informing and involving members in all aspects of co-op activity.

Boards and committees can get caught up in controlling their process and forget what the process is supposed to do. Let’s not let that happen at Beartooth.

Arleen Boyd

Neighborhood Councils - Week of July 12, 2010

One council is meeting this week:

When: Monday, July 12 at 7:00pm
Where: NeighborWorks - 509 1st Avenue South

Johnny Walker, County Commission candidate
Priority updates
Problem properties
Committee reports
Neighborhood concerns

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Neighborhood Councils - Week of July 5, 2010

Only one council is meeting this week:

When: Thursday, July 8 at 7:00pm
Where: Campfire Office, 1925 2nd Avenue South

Committee reports
Neighborhood concerns

Saturday, July 3, 2010

ECP Debt

H/T: A.D.

Here you will find the ongoing debt calculations of ECP. The final tally includes the infusion (page 21) of $1.4 million of monies that was "borrowed" in 2007 from other city funds as a "security deposit" to SME. On page 37, the security deposit was supposedly released, but ECP has yet to pay back the city for the initial loan.

Posted debt as of May 2010 SME billing: ($2,018,250)

Actual debt, which includes the initial $1.4 million loan from various city funds that is still outstanding: ($3,418,250)

Work Session - July 6, 2010

When: Tuesday, July 6 at 5:45pm
Where: Gibson Room, Civic Center


1.Central Montana Defense Alliance Update – Dave Weissman
2.Business Improvement District Budget and Work Plan – Alison Fried
3.Tourism Business Improvement District Budget and Work Plan – Robert Dompier