Great Falls: Common Sense Prevails

It was great to see the folks in Great Falls approve the $1.6 million levy request last night. The elementary levy was approved 54% – 45% and the high school levy was approved 54% – 46%.

I supported the levy. Congratulations to the pro-levy folks.

The levy will cost the average homeowner $14 per year. In my opinion, it’s a pretty easy way to show support for the kids in Great Falls – it’s an investment – and this time common sense won out.

Voters also elected Jan Cahill, Don Ryan, and Jason Brantley to three seats on the school board.

Candidate Cyndi Baker finished fourth out of seven candidates – 286 votes behind Brantley.

Readers may remember that the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices ruled, “Baker violated Montana’s campaign practices laws” during this election. The commissioner submitted his findings to “the Cascade County Attorney for his review for appropriate civil action.”

The whole levy election could have gotten really nasty (or interesting) if the levy had failed and/or Baker had been elected. That did not happen, but action still must be taken. I previously wrote, “When campaign violations are discovered, the penalty must be severe. It must be severe enough that it sends a message to anyone wanting to cheat during an election. The Cascade County Attorney needs to take this case – and make a statement that cheating will not be tolerated.”

As for the future, first year Great Falls Public Schools Superintendent Tammy Lacey told the Great Falls Tribune the district has tried to improve communication and transparency with the community.

That is a good thing. It looks like it’s also a winning formula.


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