City supporting campaign on local control

Mayor Bob Kelly told fellow commissioners during their Jan. 3 that he wanted the city to support an educational campaign on the importance of local government.

Kelly said that the Montana League of Cities and Towns is creating an informational campaign about the importance of local control going into the new legislative session.

He said the league is asking the city to contribute $5,000 to the project.

City Manager Greg Doyon said that funding would come out of the commission budget.

Kelly said the league is trying to encourage the public to weigh in on legislation and say that local control is better in many instances.

“Can we make our own rules please,” Kelly said, and especially not enact more unfunded mandates.

He said that Butte, Bozeman and Helena had already signed on to the project.

Over the last two legislative sessions, the league has opposed legislation that removes local control and those instances have ranged from guns and marijuana to taxes and zoning.

During their October conference, the league adopted a resolution of general principals that are guiding their efforts during the 2023 legislative session.

Those include:

  • opposition to any measure that limits or diminishes municipal authority as provided by the letter and spirit of the Local Government Article of the 1972 Montana Constitution;
  • recognition of the contribution of cities and towns to the history and culture of our state and a better understanding of the fact that all public policy should begin and end with those special places a majority of Montanans call home;
  • strategically sponsor and support legislation or policies that maintain and strengthen local decision and authority and oppose legislation or policies that seek to undermine or weaken local decision-making and authority;
  • support or sponsor legislation, policies, and funding that improve governments to provide public access to the their deliberations, decision-making, and records.