Mayoral Forum-Part II


As you know, I run a local weblog, the Electric City Weblog. Since you are a candidate for Mayor, I am writing to you to ask you to participate in an informal candidate forum. Following you will find a series of questions. I am asking that you submit your answers to me, in writing by return email, no later than 5:00 p.m., August 9, 2007. (If you are unable to meet this deadline, but intend to respond, please advise.)

When I receive answers from all candidates, or when the deadline passes I will post the questions and each candidate's answers on my blog. I might well comment on the various responses. Likewise, I assume the various members of the public will comment as well.

The questions:

1. Is Great Falls' City Government broken? Why or why not? If so, what do you propose to do to fix it?

2. Should the City of Great Falls be in the electric utility business? Why or why not? If not, what will you do as Mayor to extricate the City from the utility business?

3. Should the City of Great Falls continue its investment in the Highwood Generating Station? Why or why not? If not, what will you do as Mayor to extricate the City from the Highwood Generating Station?

4. What, if any, role should City Government play in economic development?

5. How, if at all, would you govern differently from the present City Commission.

6. Please comment on the Land Use Code and the Sign Code, including their conception, adoption, and implementation.

7. Is 10th Avenue South ugly? Why or why not? If so, what would you do as Mayor to improve it?

There will be some basic 'ground rules' for this forum. First, a candidate who fails or refuses to respond to the questions will be precluded from commenting on the responses of other candidates. Second, I will patrol the comments to avoid vulgarity, libel, and personal attacks. Finally, I (and my readers) will prefer direct and specific responses to the questions.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation and participation. Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments understanding, of course, that anything you write will be subject to 'publication' on the blog.

Thanks again!

P.S. If you don't mind, please respond to this message so I can be sure you received it!


Anonymous said...

Can I play too? Just kidding. I promise to be on my best behavior. But I really like what you've done here, Gee Guy. You've provided a great forum for getting the views of the candidates out there so that we can see them. If they fail to respond, I wouldn't even consider them a viable candidate. In my estimation, this is the most important city election we've had in a long time. If the candidates are serious about running, they MUST respond to your queries! (is that a word, "queries"? sounds kinda gay) Hey, good idea! Ask them if they're gay too!.......just kidding.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again LK, for another vulgar and unnecessary commentary.

GeeGuy - When is it enough of this guy already? Please, do something already. It is not enough to ignore him anymore.

GeeGuy said...

Did you really think his joke about "queries" sounding "gay" was that vulgar and unnecessary? I didn't.

And, in fact, I think everything prior to the first parentheses is completely acceptable in tone. If he writes like that, he's welcome to participate in the forum.

Anonymous said...

Mocking the discussion process with "can I play" and then ending it with "ask them if they're gay" is the tone set for your mayoral forum discussions?

Such vulgar joking does not induce best behaviors nor edify the discussion process.

Your standard seems set and clarified. It is good to know what behaviors you encourage.

Anonymous said...

"Your standard seems set and clarified. It is good to know what behaviors you encourage."

Good golly anon, loosen up. You are wound up way to tight.

If a cartoon frosty the snowman can ask the presidential candidates a question during a national televised debate, LK can make what was clearly a joke on this local blog.

According to your standards anon, the presidential election process is a toon... well on second thought, you may be right.

I think the standards here are much higher.


GeeGuy said...

I am guessing that "can I play" was a reference to earlier suggestions that LK be excluded from the process with the Mayor.

I don't know the Mayoral Candidates other than our present Mayor. Trust me, she can handle Larry Kralj without a problem. Whether you agree with her or not, she is smart and tough and I sincerely doubt she would shrink from a discussion with someone who makes silly jokes.

And, if you think LK sets the tone for discussion around here, I recommend that you spend a little more time in the comments. He is but one (often obnoxious) commenter. Maybe you ought to take off the white gloves.

If I sound offended, I have to admit that I am. I find your approach nearly as offensive as the average LK comment. He makes a joke that doesn't measure up to your "standard" so you feel the need to take snide and elitist shots at me.

Maybe this little blog does not exist to "induce" proper behavior or "edify" the process.

I suggest that you go back and reconsider the notion of freedom of speech. Much damage to the concept has been done in the name of tone, civility and propriety. You want me to censor speech for jokes? That's not going to happen. Excessive vulgarity and personal attacks, sure.

Finally, allowing open discourse, and allowing people to express themselves in a way with which they are most comfortable (within reasonable limits) does not "encourage" bad behavior anymore than doing so serves to "encourage" the pompous and arrogant.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe this little blog does not exist to "induce" proper behavior or "edify" the process."

That's unfortunate.

Sorry for my pompus and arrogant understanding your Mayoral Forum to be so.

Anonymous said...

Just ignore Mr. Strauss, GeeGuy

GeeGuy said...

Mr. Strauss? I don't get it. Do you mean the guy from the Tribune?

I doubt he would deign to edify our process.

And Anonymous, I'm sorry that you find my response "unfortunate." I am sincerely sorry.

Your point is a valid one, but it is delivered in a way that, perhaps, clouds the message. Why don't you reveal yourself so that we can see that this is truly a substantive issue and not a personal dispute with LK.

Then we can talk about the possibility of bringing some more decorum to the process.


Anonymous said...

"Your point is a valid one"


And yes, pointed comments are difficult to hear. I don't much like them either.

A pompus and arrogant truce -

GeeGuy said...

I didn't call you pompous and arrogant, you merely misinterpreted my rapier-like wit.

So, reveal yourself and cast all doubt asunder.

And no, I am not sure why I am talking like Errol Flynn in a bad movie.

big sky husker said...


Thanks for doing this. It'll be interesting how Mayor Stebbins answers it.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I can't even make a joke without getting hammered! (and no, I'm not a gay basher. Wait, that didn't sound quite right either. Here. I'm not a basher of gays! There. Ooops! I think somebody's gonna be mad at me again! Gosh darn it. Seems that I was just born under a vulgar star!) But one thing I've noticed is that if you don't have a little fun with a blog, NO ONE READS IT! Ya just can't take yourself too seriously. I want a mayor with a sense of humor! Someone who can face the odd assortment of humanity that stumbles and bumbles before the council week after week and see the humor in it all. I think that would do wonders to lighten the atmosphere at the meetings. And yes, if Donna decides to show up on this blog, I would treat her very respectfully since she is the mayor. If she wants to make bad jokes like I do, I say great! I think like gee guy says, we all need to lighten up.


Anonymous said...

Gosh, anonymous and the mayor sound suspiciously alike.

As for everyone else, go for it. You're all staying within bounds and this may be the only place the people of this city can really speak what they think and feel. That falls under freedom of speech.

Anonymous said...

I have just recently found this blog, and I want to thank those of you who are encouraging "real" discussions on important topics that the newspaper just skims over.

Discussion by way of sharing ideas, opinions, facts and answering questions are all very important in keeping ourselves well informed. Thanks Geeguy for taking the time to share your knowledge. As for your profile comment on not having a life, I am glad you devote time and energy into Great Falls.

Also, thank you for putting up with LK. I know he's vulgar at times, but his opinion that it keeps people reading is accurate. I enjoy a bit of rousing now and again.

The mayoral forum is a great idea.