City Commissioners take stand against hate

By: 
CHARLIE DENISON
Reporter

Lewistown’s City Commissioners sat united Monday afternoon, speaking out in support of their sister city, Whitefish, and speaking out against “plagues of anti-Semitism, ethnic and racial hatred remain a stain on an otherwise decent society.” “It is the province of good government to speak out against such evils, and to remind those most vulnerable that their lives and interests are especially protected,” City Commission Chair Dave Byerly read from Resolution no. 3926. Byerly read the resolution in its entirety Monday, which included a poignant quote from George Washington. “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support,” Byerly read. The resolution that these said dark forces are “a mockery to the memory of, and sacrifices made by, World War II veterans, living and dead, who gave their all so that the twin evils of Nazism and fascism might never again hold a free reign in this world.” “We join our Montana Congressional Delegation, elected state leaders, the Whitefish City Council, our Jewish neighbors, representatives of the broader faith community and all citizens in denouncing hatred, bigotry and threats of intimidation against religious liberty from extremists of all kinds, whether from the left or right and that we express our solidarity with anyone who struggles to free this world of ideas, conduct and actions that undermine a free, open and virtuous society,” Byerly concluded. City Commission discusses potential contract for city manager • During Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday evening, the seven City Commissioners discussed a potential three-year contract for the City Manager position, led by City Attorney Monte Boettger. The hour-long session hammered out the City Manager job description and employee agreement. It was an inconclusive discussion, as questions remained regarding wages, responsibilities/duties and other topics. Boettger will make any modifications deemed necessary by the commissioners. While discussing which commissioners should consult with Phelps, City Commissioner Beth Putnam recommended Byerly not meet with her alone. “I am arguing about the responsibilities and the duties of the chairman of this commission, which do not include private negotiations with the city manager,” she said. “We won by six votes to not have a mayor. We cannot allow the chairman of the commission to act as a mayor. I think it’s very important we watch that or safeguard it.” City Commissioner Frank Gremaux will talk about wages and two line items with Interim City Manager Holly Phelps before the document goes back to Boettger. “Frank has the experience to do it and will do a great job,” Byerly said.

The Save the Barns Committee has nominated the mill building on East Main Street to the National Register of Historic Places. Interim City Manager Holly Phelps sent a letter to the Register opposing the nomination. • Adele Longfellow and Toni Gies were reappointed to Lewistown’s Design Review Board. • Carol Woolsey was reappointed to the City County Planning Board/Lewistown Zoning Commission. • Bill McLendon and Lynn Gies were reappointed to the Lewistown Board of Adjustments. • The City Commission approved Chris Cooler to take place of Greg Clarks term on the Tax Increment Financing District Board. TIF Vice Chair Charlie Pfau said he and the trustees feel good about this decision. • Some community members came to the meeting to express opinions against the proposed soccer fields at Brewery Flats. A neighbor of Brewery Flats who came to express her thoughts had also written a letter to commissioners. She was thanked for her input and was told by commissioners they want more time before making any kind of decision. “It was the intent of the city commission in delaying the decision to try to make the best decision,” Byerly said. • Phelps and Parks and Recreation Director Jim Daniels met with Make a Difference representative Jason Stephens about a potential skate park in town. The skate park is looking into a location in Symmes Park near the Lewistown Chamber of Commerce building.

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