10/22/2007

Ms. Hensley and her job at the City

Below I posted a City Directory showing that City Commission candidate, Elna Hensley, worked for the City of Great Falls and shared a telephone number with Coleen Balzarini, the Executive Director of Electric City Power.

Several people I respect pointed out in comments and through the back channel that I was somewhat unfair in my questioning of Ms. Hensley's motives. I have to agree; the fact that I distrust some of the people she worked with should not serve to imply that her motives are anything less than honorable.

Thus, I have stricken what I believe to be the unfair portion. I didn't remove it all the way, because that looks too much like I am covering my tracks. Let the strikeout be a reminder of the error of my ways in making unfounded suggestions about Ms. Hensley.

I do not agree, though, that the fact that she worked with Ms. Balzarini as late as this year is wholly irrelevant. Come on, people. We do not have to be ignorant to be fair.

The coal plant/city utility is the most significant issue in this election. It is simply not reasonable to suggest that we must ignore the fact that one of the candidates worked closely with a key player in this debate. The relationship is fair game; the baseless implication that she is a shill or a plant is not. I apologize for the latter.

7 comments:

WolfPack said...

Not sure what Hensley's employment with the city means about her candidacy. Of the people I know who worked under Balzarini they generally like and respect her. However, they also think the whole power thing has left a management vacuum in the finance department while Balzarini attends to power matters.

Anonymous said...

OK so if not this: I wonder if anyone in the City Staff urged her to run in order to get a friendly ear on the Commission? Does anyone know?

Then how about this:

Who urged her to run? Does anyone know?

carol said...

OT GeeGuy - do you think it's a conflict to have a spouse of a city employee on council/commission?

Just asking..

GeeGuy said...

No.

GeeGuy said...

Let me expand on that. Do I think it is such a conflict of interest that it should preclude anyone married to a City Commission candidate from running for office? No.

Do I think it could give rise to potential conflicts of interest on a day to day basis? Yes. The Commissioner would simply need to recuse himself or herself.

Anonymous said...

They don't and won't recuse themselves.

Anonymous said...

No one on the city staff urged Hensley to run for the commission seat. Has anyone asked her why she resigned her position at the city? She was a witness to the day to day happenings in the fiscal department. Could it be that she was unsatisfied with the way things were being managed so she quit because she was fed-up? (Remember: City Employees are hard workers, homeowners, and tax paying citizens too!) Is it possible to think that she is really trying to make things better for Great Falls by using her "inside information" to improve city government? It is possible that management doesn't want her on the city commission because she knows the truth.