I'm impressed. I really am. Mayoral Candidate Susan Kahn, who has been less visible than I had hoped, recently emailed me her responses to Joe Briggs' numerous questions. Maybe instead of flitting around on the blogs, Ms. Kahn has been busy working!

Ms. Kahn, thank you for your participation. And we really appreciate all of the time you put in on these questions. Definitely an "A" for effort.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your enjoyment:

1) How much time PER DAY will you be able to devote to the commission should you be elected?

Effective time management and productivity are what is important, not numerically how much time is devoted per given day. My daily time involved with the commission work will depend on the issues at hand.

I will be available when the members meet to work on city business. As duties mandate I will use my time effectively.

I will also not rely on a stopwatch at the public meetings.

2) What experience do you have in the analysis of complex situations and what problem solving techniques do you employ?

Business is my chosen field and I have a 4 year degree. Throughout my professional career, I’ve encountered some situations perceived as problems only to find a predicament without a solution. Trouble comes about when you try to apply solutions to predicaments. Problems have solutions and are challenges to find opportunity. When it comes to problem solving, I put cards on the table, draw input from all sides and work–out solutions.

3) Can you read and understand financial statements?


4) What experiences do you have that you believe have prepared you for this position.

People often know what they want but often have trouble communicating their needs in a clear manner. Procurement and sales taught me to work with and listen carefully to people to identify the pertinent details.

I build relationships and work to focus on common ground. Even with diverse backgrounds, the relationship will move difficult negotiations forward with some common ground among the parties.

I worked with pesticide labeling requirements which required attention to details and technical knowledge. As a licensed insurance agent I dealt with contracts, confidentiality, regulations and stayed current on ever changing policies.

I believe these skills are necessary to be successful in this position.

5) Would you vote to set a maximum contract term for the new city manager? Why or why not and if so, what length of time would you set?

My first concern is we have three commission seats that could change and we are rushing to fill this position before the election. It is not acceptable to replace this position before the new commission is seated.

The city manager could be limited to a term with a renewal option but understand this limits the pool of perspective candidates so some balance must be struck.

More important is oversight. We need to have measurable goals and the metrics in place to effectively monitor performance of the city manager. This is a prime responsibility of the commission and without proper oversight any form term limits would be irrelevant.

6) Would you support City Commissioners having a shared office and scheduled office hours within the Civic Center? Currently, no office space is being made available for use by the commissioners.

Sure, a conference room would be valuable.

7) Would you support the creation of a single staff position reporting directly to the commission rather than the city manager to assist in research and responding to citizen concerns and complaints?

No, we don’t need to duplicate the structure that is already there. The city is reportable to the commission; sometimes it appears it’s the other way around.

There is a lack of oversight with the present commission and further separation is not the answer. Commissioners must be firm when requesting follow up to citizen concerns and hold the city manager and staff accountable.

8) What do you believe is the role of the City Manager in the policy setting process?

The City manager does not set the policy; he may advise, but this is the sole responsibility of the commission.

9) What do you believe is the role of each Commissioner in the policy setting process?

In determining policy, the city commissioners are expected to represent their constituents.

They should listen carefully to the people and seek guidance from internal and external sources as necessary.

This is a primary commission duty and they need to engage more actively. No more rubber stamping everything without adequate review and public interaction.

10) As a Commissioner, what methods would you employ to monitor whether or not city policies are being enacted correctly, consistently and effectively?

Three methods: follow up, responsiveness and accountability.

11) If elected would you be willing to step back and review the initial assumptions involved in the city’s decisions regarding ECP and SME to examine whether or not they remain valid today? If yes, can you do so in a balanced and unbiased manner based on standard business practice and models?

Yes and yes

12) The city’s charter grants broad power and latitude to the city government. Please describe any areas where you feel there needs to an adjustment made to the powers granted by the charter.

I’m open to ideas for improvement or change to the charter. My focus will be first on doing a better job overseeing the city manager position and the boards that are set up, like the ECP within the boundaries of the current charter.

Most of the troubles today stem for lack of oversight by the commission. I believe that with better management some issues perceived as problems will be fixed. Once we remove the background noise, the real problems will stand out and we get to the business of adjustment.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding Ms. Kahn. Bravo!

Geeguy keep up the good work getting the word out. You are providing a valuable public service.

Overfield Kennel said...

Good answers. Concise, clear and responding to the questions. No rhetoric, no nasty attitude, no hyperbole. I, too, offer a Brava, Ms Kahn.

ZenPanda said...

Very well stated, Mrs. Kahn. I see my vote swaying.


david said...

Well done, Ms Kahn! Thank you for taking the time to respond thoughtfully.

Anonymous said...

Nice shot across the bow Ms. Kahn. Can you hear her now Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Dopey and Grumpy?

Doc and Happy, well you figure it out.

Let make Great Falls great again!

Anonymous said...

GeeGuy... is this really a fair statement?

Maybe instead of flitting around on the blogs, Ms. Kahn has been busy working!

How can you be sure other candidates aren't busy working on answering these questions?

Is there a reason you didn't choose to post the answers to Joe's questions side by side as you did your own?

Just Wondering

Anonymous said...

Hey, here's my campaign slogan for Susie Kahn. VOTE FOR SUSIE, SHE'S NO FLOOZY................or primadonna! Like it? Me too.


Anonymous said...

Any word from the other candidates?

I assume this was poised to anybody running for commission seats and not just the mayors role on the commission?

Please respond folks.