Friday, May 18

Umm, Should't We Encourage Voting???

Here we go again.

Every couple of years, this seems to come up again. You know, the idea that we need to consolidate our polling places into one warehouse to make things easier for the County to administer election day.

While I am all for efficiency, I am not persuaded. Putting more tsuris on the voter is not the answer to declining participation at the polls. Instead of treating the franchise like an onerous burden, we need to remember that our democracy depends on its vibrancy.

Let me be clear; it was a mistake and a shanda to decrease the amount of polling places as was done several years ago. Neighborhood voting should be encouraged.

Our county clerk and recorder seems to want to push us all to mail ballots. While this would make her job easier, it is no good as an answer to her logistical difficulties. Over the past ten years, our country has been moving more and more toward voting-by-mail and as a result, the principle of the secret ballot has suffered. Your vote is your vote; there needs to be no question as to whether you were able to vote your conscience when presented with your ballot.

There may be no law requiring neighborhood voting. However, there is no law requiring common sense, either. Resigning our community to have to either wait in long lines in a confusing warehouse environment or to vote by mail will only decrease participation in the polls. It is a bad idea and deserves to be thrown out again.

Wednesday, May 16

An Open Question about "our" Ownership in the Coal Plant

For the past several months, I haven't been speaking about the Coal Plant much. Others in our local blogging community are doing a much more comprehensive job, and I haven't felt the need to insert my 2¢.

However, I was struck by the City's recent announcement that "our" share of ownership in the plant would be reduced to 15%. So, I have a few questions:

  1. As best I understand it, SME (a semi-private corporation wholly owned by the City of Great Falls) was to kick in 25% of the construction costs for the coal plant. Will "our" share of the capital costs also be rolled back to 15%?

  2. If not, how can the city possibly justify paying one-fourth of the costs of an asset when we will only own less than one-sixth of it?

Someone please explain this to me. Does the term fiduciary responsibility mean anything?

Monday, May 14

May Neighborhood Council 7 Agenda

Monday, May 14, 2007
Heisey Center, 313 7th Street North
6:30 p.m.

Please note: This agenda format allows citizens to speak on each issue prior to Council discussion. We encourage your participation. In the interest that all parties can be heard, please limit your comments.



Approval of April minutes

Community Policing
Guardianship & Gatekeepers programs—Jason Kindsvatter & Diana Meyers
Antenna on 9th Street—Denise Cardinal
Conditional Use—Willy Weaver
Summer meetings
Neighborhood Concerns

City Commission


Next Meeting – June 11, 2007