Thursday, August 21, 2014

Montana: Dillon Council recalls rejected for failure to meet Malfeasance Standard

The attempt to recall Dillon Councilmembers Derek Gore, David Spehar and Nils “Swede” Troedsson, was rejected by the City Clerk because the recall didn't meet Montana's "malfeasance standard." The petition claimed an open meeting violation when they signed a letter about civil cases involving Dillion outside fo a council meeting, but the City Attorney argued that this was not an intentional act. Petitioners had handed in enough signatures.

Apparently, the city council has been fighting with Mayor Michael Klakken, though no word on who is responsible for the recall.

Interesting ending to the letter from the City Attorney Jed Fitch:
At the end of Fitch’s letter to Scott, he struck a political tone, blaming the feud between the city council and mayor on a lack of candidates running in local elections and voter malaise.
“…This episode serves as a stark reminder that elections have consequences, and that local government requires citizen action and involvement,” he wrote. “No opponents filed for most of the Council seats. No one filed at all for at least one seat. Yet, here we are, within months of the election, looking at a potential recall. More involvement on the front-end would have prevented all of this difficulty on the back-end. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
“In summary, this is a question of politics. Politics, and certainly local politics, is often not pleasant. Here, it has been downright ugly. But this is still a political matter, to be decided at the ballot box, and not by way of recall.”

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