Unseemly: adjective
1. not seemly; not in keeping with established standards of taste or proper form; unbecoming or indecorous in appearance, speech, conduct, etc.: an unseemly act; unseemly behavior.

Now that I have finally seen most of the events that occurred at the last City Commission meeting, I think my original impression sticks:

In fairness, though, there is no question that Mayor Stebbins articulated the three minute rule:

Three minute rule, or not, is it really necessary to use force to remove a citizen for speaking 60 seconds longer than allowed at a public meeting? Especially when she wanted to address an issue near and dear to her that was placed on the consent agenda foreclosing public comment.

Think about this for a minute. This woman works in a particular industry, and the City Commission was considering an issue involving her industry. She was clearly incensed about what had happened, although she generally remained respectful. She put in time to prepare cogent, if pointed, remarks.

It's sixty seconds over the limit. Or, my goodness, a hundred and twenty. We don't have one or two extra minutes to hear her out?

Don't we want increased citizen participation in government?


Anonymous said...

Jumpin JAYsus! PrimaDonna was right on one thing. It is TIME TO REMOVE HER!.........Donna that is! I mean, have you EVER seen such a smug, arrogant (I'm searching for a word geeguy will let me print) poor excuse for a "people's mayor" in your ENTIRE life? And ya know, I heard SUSAN repeat over and over and over again, "please don't touch me, sir". But ya know, I NEVER heard one copper identify himself as one of GF's finest! Did you?? Where IS it on the tape?? Maybe he mumbled it under his breath! Maybe he told her in ASL, American Sign Language! Maybe he wrote it on a piece of paper and handed it to her! Who knows?! But he DAMN SURE didn't say it out loud! Look, mayordonna CAN be smug and arrogant all she wants, 'cause she knows that she's got her goons at her beck and call. Well, one thing I know is that MOST people don't pay attention until you wack'em in the pocket book. I hope to GOD Susan gets herself a lawyer who's a real knife fighter, and he bleeds these morons to death! Maybe then, PrimaDonna and her trained monekys will realize that democracy DOES matter. Hey, if ya want democracy, you gotta DEMAND it! And that's where we're at, folks. Time to ratchet up the head 'til we get our city government back!

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Anonymous said...

Ooops! I meant ratchet up the "heat". My bad.

david said...

I'm pretty shocked by this; not at all what I had expected. "Unseemly" may not be adequate.

Anonymous said...


Many people don't get involved in politics until something effects them on a personal level.

What one person thinks as wacko behavior over an issue tends to change when that person goes wacko-obsessive about an issue of personal interest.

The commonality in alleged wacko feelings/behavior seem to be:

1. Shock and then outrage over how few others see the issue as a threat to personal liberty.
2. Focused attention in gathering facts on alleged miscreant behavior.
3. Activism to educate others on reasons to abhor reprobate behaviors.
4. Clarion calls for others to become involved with the same passion or concern.

And then the cycle of political involvement begins again.

People who thought I was wacko over my issue relating to government employees serving in the Great Falls area now repeat much of what I have complained about for years. I hear the same intensity, the same frustrations coming out of their mouths but now it is different because it affects them.

The impetus for my interest in their issues stems from the same principles: rights are being violated by taxpaid servants who should uphold the law but choose to ignore facts and the wrongful demonization of good people to save bureaucratic face.

Ratcheting what works best for your personal style may not work well for the rest of us. It doesn't make the rest of us less passionate or less concerned over unseemly behavior in Great Falls.

Anonymous said...

Anon, just to be clear, please don't miss my point. I'm talking simply about CITY politics. I, personally, have been involved in politics a looooong time, including many, many trips to Helena to testify, etc., just not CITY politics until now. I guess that I would place my activism up there with ANYONE'S! So, save the lecture for newbies. For you see, you forgot one more point. And that is that because I'm not a regular a city council meetings, you think that I'm new to this game. Big mistake. Try google sometime.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Anonymous said...


I did not miss your point. Unfortunately you missed mine.

Smug and arrogant comments about trained monkeys or bleeding morons with a real knife fighter and "gotta demand" is equally offensive to me as Ms. Stebbins' actions seem to be to you.

"Don't we want increased citizen participation in government?"

Yes, according to the law.

But when judgments are void of magnanimity it is usually wise to take a breath and remember "it's not what you say, it's what people hear" no matter where one falls an issue.

Dona Stebbins said...

Geeguy, had Susan Overfield requested more time in a civil fashion, I would have given it to her. Instead, I believe her words were, "NO, you are going to hear this!"

I reiterated the three minute rule before opening the public comment period. And she chose to ignore it.
She was belligerant and combative, as well. Again, had civility prevailed, there would have been no reason to remove her.

Anonymous said...

I am disgusted by dona stebbins, in my opinion she is a bully and power monger.
In regard to her saying, had Susan asked her in a polite manner. . . I think is a bunch of bull. I'd suggest she (dona) take an inward look and become a better person. Power for some people is not a pretty thing.

Anonymous said...

A grown man who calls himself "the environmental ranger?" He has some issues I don't even want to think about!

Anonymous said...

"She was belligerant and combative, as well. Again, had civility prevailed, there would have been no reason to remove her."


Arrogant crock.

Anonymous said...

How dare the public think they have rights to speak up. Thats the message I got hearing and seeing the mayor in action. The mayors facial expressions, her belligerent and combative tone are very clear in this.

Come back down to earth mayor and apologize to Susan and the public. Your defensive attitude is an insult to the public. You need to be be humble and do the right thing.

WolfPack said...

I think the video can be used to prove either side of this argument. Overfield clearly announced that she had no intention of following any rules as to how, what or when she was going to give her comments. She followed this up by punching a cop who was only doing his job. She explained this away by saying she didn't know he was an officer and presumably she thought she was only punching a regular city employee. Is punching a city employee OK by the rest of you? Does the evidence not show she is an unreasonable person? Would you conduct yourself in this manor? Overfield clearly was trying to highjack the meeting by taking over the general comment period at the end of the meeting. This was not a public comment hearing on the animal shelter. Is it reasonable for a citizen to expect to be able to at the last minute add topics of unlimited length and unknown nature to the agenda for the commissioners? If there is going to be a public discussion of some importance it needs to be announced so all can participate, not just Overfield’s one sided rant. The 3 minute rule is clearly needed for the no topic section at the end of the commission meeting. The video of the gentleman wanting to hold the commissioners accountable for state lottery spending is evidence of how nutty some tax payers are and what a waste of time public comments can be. If Overfield new the rules going in and defiantly said she would not follow them, what would be the point of negotiating with her for control of the meeting? Overfield acted like an ass and was treated like one. She isn’t exactly the poster child for citizen involvement in government.

Anonymous said...

Who's right? Who's wrong? Who cares?

The issue is the allegation of impropriety and conflicts of interest in the bidding process.

But I can see how that could get lost in the smoke and mirrors of the discussion.

Hey Ms. Stebbins: How about commenting on the substance of what Ms. Overfield presented.


GeeGuy said...

Wolfpack makes legitimate points, and I think he makes them so emphatically in order to demonstrate that for every Larry K there is someone on the other side who believes just as strongly and can articulate a reasonable basis for that belief.

I don't like the 3 minute rule; our city survived for a hundred years without one.

And I don't think the 'infraction' of talking too long really merits physically removing someone from a meeting.

But, oh well, that's what open government is all about, right? We're free to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Overfield is neither a City resident nor a City taxpayer. She cannot vote for City Commissioners. They are not her elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Yes but, she IS a very active memmber of the Human Society! And you see, unfortunately for donna, the Human Society really KNOWS no boundaries! (city, county, doesn't matter!) So, Susan has EVERY right to make her concerns known. It's called democracy! Sides, ALL them people downwind of the stinky, pollutin' monstrosity known as lawont's folly sure as HELL have a say in the matter!......or did you forget?? This issue is just a wee bit bigger than dumb soundbites!


Anonymous said...

Boy, am I dumb. I thought her comments were about the City's animal control contract. I didn't realize the coal fired plant was part of her conspiracy theory as well.

Ever told your students to stay on task? Stay on task!

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Ms. Overfield is neither a City resident nor a City taxpayer. She cannot vote for City Commissioners. They are not her elected officials.

5:07 PM, June 28, 2007"

The next time the commission brings in outside consultants to speak they should just shut up! They have no business here in Great Falls according to you anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Punching a cop is a great way to prove your conspiracy theories, Susan.

And good luck pleading 'not guilty' when there's a half-dozen or more creditable witnesses to your shameful actions.

Lorehunter said...

Let's get to the real heart of this, folks; Stebbins is the worst mayor this city has ever had. Our budget is as screwed up as the national budget, crime is on the rise, the only work being done on our roadways is the high-visibility stuff--the woman needs to go back to whatever she did before the rest of us were foolish enough to give her the mayor's seat. Nobody has any business being in office when they're as incompetent and arrogant as Stebbins; she seems to have forgotten that she does NOT "rule" Great Falls and she is NOT the entity in charge; she works for US and needs to do what WE want done and remember that WE are in charge. And I hope next election WE have enough sense to teach her this.

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