Tuesday, October 30

Great Falls Citizen Council Agenda and Minutes

TSJ's notes:  Does anyone find anything interesting about the list of attendees at the last meeting?  Or rather, by who is not on this list?
Council of Councils Meeting

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Gibson Room—Civic Center—7:00 p.m.

Please note:  The Great Falls Citizens Council 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.

CALL TO ORDER—Chairperson Ron Mathsen—Neighborhood Council #1

 Approval of minutes from the last meeting

Disaster Preparedness—Asst. Fire Chief Steve Hester & Emergency Preparedness Officer Sarah McCafferty (15 minutes)
One-way conversion—Sr. Transportation Planner Andrew Finch 
(15 minutes)

Council information sharing

Great Falls Citizen's Council
Council of Councils Meeting Minutes
May 29, 2007

Delegates and voting members of the Council of Councils present were: Ron Mathsen, Neighborhood Council #1; Phyllis Hemstad, Neighborhood Council #2; Tim Austin, Neighborhood Council #3; Tawny Newth, Neighborhood Council #5; Matt Ott, Neighborhood Council #6; Aaron Weissman, Neighborhood Council #7; and Gary Schoenthal, Neighborhood Council #9.  

Others present were Brandyce Berg, Emily Costea, Shelby Lilley, Ashley Lilley, Shannon Newth, Betty Stimac, Larry Stimac, and Patty Cadwell.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by acting Chairperson Gary Schoenthal, Delegate for Neighborhood Council #9.

The one order of Old Business was a discussion, and subsequent consensus of opinion, on the proposed Neighborhood Council boundary changes.  All delegates present agreed that leaving the boundaries as they are would be best and several commented that "if it's not broken, let's not try to fix it."  All agreed, also, that a goal of trying to match Council boundaries to voter precincts would be unattainable, now and in the future.  Matt Ott, NC #6, and Phyllis Hemstad, NC#2 both expressed their concern about the already small size of their Councils.  Gary also reminded everyone that the County has decided to have the single voting location at the Montana Expo Park, but for those who can't or don't care to vote there, absentee ballots are available for any reason.  Aaron commented that he believes the single voting location will present a hardship for many of the citizens in his Neighborhood Council area.

The only item of New Business was a presentation by General Deltoro, Commander of the Montana Air National Guard (MANG).  He was accompanied by and introduced Colonel Mike McDonald who will soon become the new Commander of the 120th Fighter Wing of the Guard.  He stated that MANG also oversees the 219th Red Horse Squadron.  He explained that MANG's responsibilities are to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to uphold the Constitution of the State of Montana.  The members of the Guard are local people who stay here to protect the citizens of Montana.  They all have been or will be deployed to Iraq, acting to protect the Constitution of the US, but they work for the Governor of the State of Montana all the time.  He pointed out that concern for new missions at Malmstrom may not be GF citizens' highest priority—that building on the capacity of both MANG and Malmstrom would be the best benefit locally.  Currently, MANG is working to implement a program where experienced MANG pilots will work with inexperienced Air Force pilots for the benefit of both.  Other things MANG has done recently include development of a wireless system that enables MANG, GFPD, and Great Falls Fire Rescue to communicate, and chemical and biological detection and containment systems for disaster response.  Future training for the Guard includes a train derailment exercise in August and a FEMA level exercise next year.  General Deltoro also made a recruitment call to anyone in the audience who might be interested.  Ron Mathsen and Phyllis Hemstad addressed the General on their concerns around the airplane noise containment issue which affects both of their areas.

In Other Business, the Council Delegates commented on their thoughts concerning the upcoming Animal Appeal process and their involvement in same.  Aaron Weissman offered his displeasure with the City Commission for "dropping this in our laps," referring to each Neighborhood Council's option to hear the appeals of Neighborhood Council area citizens denied or revoked the permit to own multiple animals.  Gary Schoenthal saw no problem with the appeal process but did have concerns about the fee schedule that goes with the new Animal Ordinance.  Ron Mathsen pointed out that each Council has the privilege of opting out of hearing appeals.  Tawny Newth was concerned that the Council members would not have clear instructions on how to hear the appeals and Tim Austin also wants training.  Patty Cadwell mentioned that Kory Larsen did indicate that he would do a training prior to the Animal Ordinance's effective date.  Aaron Weissman anticipates problems with hearing some appeals and not hearing others.  Ron Mathsen thought that hearings at neighborhood levels would be positive measures.

Also in Other Business, the Council Delegates expressed concern over the City Commission's lack of response to their February letter requesting that the Commission put in place funding for capital improvements to the City parks.  Patty said she would follow up on that.  Tawny talked about the New Neighbor Packets that were being developed by the members of the ACTION Team.  Also mentioned was an upcoming Leadership training opportunity and the Councils' involvement in Riverfest.

Gary adjourned the meeting at 8:35 p.m.    


a-fire-fly said...

Why, Aaron, there does not seem to be a single member of our City Commission in attendance. How curious.

Treasure State Jew said...

Why FireFly, you are right! Imagine that?

You know, I just got back from the Council of Council's meeting. No incumbent members of the city commission where there tonight, either.