Great Falls: Owning a Home

On Friday in my weekly “Caught My Eye” column, I wrote about the Great Falls City Commission not approving one of the largest development projects (88 single family homes which is being called the Thaniel Addition) in Great Falls in 30 years. It failed on a 2-2 vote. The two votes against it were from Mayor Mike Winters and Commissioner Fred Burow.

The Great Falls Tribune reported that one of the concerns about the project was some residents were worried about the impact the self-help build homes would have on the property value of their homes.

I closed my commentary with, “Come on people, this is Great Falls, Montana – think about it.”

On Sunday the Tribune editorial board let their feelings about the project be known with an editorial titled, “Great Falls needs housing; commission should vote again” in which they called the project “well-thought-out.” They added that they were “disappointed in the votes by Winters and Burow, and in the not-in-my-backyard approach by some opponents.”

Amen to that.

The good news is that on July 21 the City Commission will reconsider the Thaniel Addition. I agree with the Tribune’s view that Winters and/or Burow should move to rescind the July 7 vote.

I’ve grown tired of the grumpiness and the cantankerous views from some on the Great Falls City Commission. I manage to catch several commission meetings via the local government access channel and the meetings are sometimes so comical that they could be a mistaken for the 80s sitcom “The Golden Girls.” We’d have to rename it “The Golden Boys” though, because there are no females on the commission.

Great Falls desperately needs some younger folks serving on the city commission – someone with a vision for the future and not stuck in the past.

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