From a Commission Candidate:

Letter to the Editor

Taxpayers unite! Halt Lawton’s folly!

At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, I called for a BLUE-RIBBON COMMISSION to investigate the City’s involvement with SME and for tabling the City’s placing $1.4 million ($1,400,000.00) in a SECURITY FUND accessible by SME / PPL. My requests were ignored.

The City, through its energy company ECP, has been buying power from PPL via SME and selling it to its customers for less than it pays for it. The City covers these LOSSES by giving SME a credit for water the city would sell SME if the coal plant were built.

Can this SECURITY FUND be tapped to cover water credits when the plant is not built??

Is this the true purpose of the FUND??

When the plant is not built, will the city ask ECP’s customers to cover the shortfall?

Have ECP'S customers agreed to cover the shortfall??

If so, why don't the CUSTOMERS cover their share of the deposit?

If not, why has the city not told its taxpayers that it expects us to pay some of the electric costs of its major businesses???

The financial crisis surrounding the City’s involvement in SME falls on us!! As taxpayers, we have a right to know exactly what the City Commission and Manager Lawton have agreed to, and to VOTE on whether we approve!

The upcoming city election is a referendum on the coal plant. It is an opportunity for voters to make major changes. REGISTER, LISTEN, VOTE!

Stuart Lewin
Candidate for City Commission


Anonymous said...

The time is way past due to stop this craziness! Out dated dirty technology, outdated dirty politics! Who's getting greased?


Anonymous said...

Didn't Lawton tell us all during the last commission meeting that the 1.4 million had nothing to do with the coal plant?

You mean he lied to us? Well I'll be.

Anonymous said...

I just can't WAIT for Stuart to get on the city commission! That oughta end Lotten's Folly for good. For you see, with Stuart on the commission, they have NO choice but to answer his questions. How can they NOT answer the questions of a commissioner? Will they hold Stuart to the three minute rule too? Will they arrest Stuart for being "impertinent and off point"?? Will they have Chief Cloyd sit on Stuart to keep him quiet? What WILL they do if a commissioner wants some friggin' answer?? If we can get Stuart and a couple'a others on there, it'll be game over! And Lotten's Folly will be relegated to a historical footnote! Go get'em, Stuart! (and Mary and Ed and Susie!)


Anonymous said...

Stuart Lewin does, can, and will ask the hard questions, He will demand answers and not sit there like a nodding head as most of the present Commissioners now do. This fall elect Stuart Lewin and Mary Jolley New Commissioners, replace our inept present Mayor Donna Stebbins so that we the taxpayer may finally find out what is going on down there at Silly Hall and wrest control back to the people!


Anonymous said...

Stuart and Mary Jolley, a one two punch! Ya know, I realize that we need a new mayor too, but don't ya think it would be kinda fun to have primadonna in there as mayor with Stuart and Mary on sitting in commission section!!! I think it would GREATLY increase interest in the proceedings! We need to work like hell to get these two elected for the good of our fair city!.........and CLEAN AIR! I'm psyched!


Concerned Citizen said...

This GF budgetary process raises many flags, at least for me as a taxpayer in this community. They apparently do not operate on a true calendar year basis (Jan 1 through June 30) If they did the books would be balanced and closed June 30th for all practical purposes. I realize there are year end carryover's and those should affect the new budgetary year and be known. I do not understand how they suddenly found (apparently not budgeted in any fiscal year) a spare 1.4 million laying around in the middle of July. I do not understand why (if ECP is not a real part of the city financial picture, as it should not be according to their charter) the taxpayers of Great Falls are still supporting ECP instead of ECP customers supporting ECP, first off with the water credits and now with this "cover their butt's fund" to the tune of 1.4 millions of our tax dollars? As I understand it their charter states they will be self supporting, right?

I realize that all cities carry a contingency fund for very special needs and disasters, etc. Is this where the money came from? If so what is the justification for taping these special funds, to cover ECP customers, in light of the ECP charter to be self sufficient?

Is there an unknown contract somewhere that states the City of Great Falls and ECP's responsibility to SME in regard to these "cover their butts schemes"? If so lets see it........

I would also like to make sure that this new special "cover their butts (ECP) fund" remains within the cities budgetary control and reporting processes and, someday soon, be released back into the general fund, along with adequate interest, to lower our future taxes. This fund should be carefully watched and monitored and the city made to account for it at least quarterly. It must not go to pay for ECP water credits and other ECP debt, nor any other debt incurred by ECP, when the HGS plant finally goes away.

All this HGS debt should be the the responsibility of ECP and its business customers, some whom are well out of the cities "sphere of influence" and pay no taxes here. HGS/SME is here for ECP and its business customers only, It is not here for the general taxpaying, power consuming residents of Great Falls who derive absolutely no benefit from this (scheme)........