Wednesday, November 9

Election is Over, What Does it Mean for the Electric City?

It's all over, the fat lady has sung.

Dona Stebbins is our new mayor, and Beecher and Rosenbaum won re-election.

Great Falls was in the mood for change, but not too much change. Less than 10 thousand people voted, and Gray bore the brunt of a backlash of concern about recent spending by the city. Surprisingly, that backlash did not extend to the other incumbent members of the city commission; they were granted additional four year terms.

I am very disappointed that Ryan Burke did not win a seat on the commission. Although he did not get his message out well (his campaign ads just featured pictures of his family with generic statements), he was really running on a platform of greater emphasis on public safety and community policing.

Especially during the summer, out town has a real problem with crime. I am not just talking about petty crime, though that is a constant problem. Meth and other drugs are really destroying many families in our community. I hope that our new commission understands that stemming those problems is one of their most significant priorities. Unfortunately, no one but Burke spent much time on the campaign trail talking about what they would do to enhance public safety.

As the only voice for change on the commission, Stebbins has her work cut out for her. I found it telling that when Rosenbaum found out that Stebbins had won, he responded that Stebbins' criticism of Lawton during the campaign "somewhat concerns me." But, he added, "she's just one vote among the rest of us." (quotes taken from Tribune story, here.)

So, will we see change? Will the city commission be chided by the voters and redouble its efforts to be conservative stewards of our dollars? We will see.


GeeGuy said...

I, too, would have liked to have seen Burke win. I don't know how one can expect to win against an incumbent if one basically agrees with the incumbent. Dona Stebbins challenged them and won. Burke/Stevens didn't.

I agree with you about the meth problem. We need a multi-pronged approach, but I think more cops, more aggressive cops, and accountability for cops, is a more important element than 'community task forces,' 'community forums,' and lots and lots of meetings.

We need to adopt the broken window approach like NYC did under Rudy. All crimes are prosecuted. None slip under the radar.

"Community policing" is fine, but I would like to see more "police policing."

Treasure State Jew said...

More police policing was actually what Burke was proposing. However, you had to listen real hard to understand what he was saying (which is probably a significant factor in his defeat).

I wish he had started his campaign talks by saying that he was going to try and increase the size of the force by 25%. Me, I am just inferring that by an offhand statement that he made the the GFPD should be 100 officers.

Getting tough on all crimes, including minor offenses, would go a long ways toward getting rid of the problem.

As it is, we have commissioners that brag about the fact that they put in unbreakable flower pots on Central Avenue (a $10 thousand expense!!); without mention that that the vandals that broke hundreds of dollars worth of ceramic pots never answered for the crime.

There will be another city election in two years ...

GeeGuy said...

Aaron for City Commission!

Treasure State Jew said...

G-d forbid -- even in jest.

Besides, I don't work for free.