Local Government Review Election is Fast Approaching

City of Great Falls Montana





DATE:          May 19, 2014

CONTACT:    Jennifer Reichelt, Deputy City Manager – 455-8417



GREAT FALLS, Montana – Every ten years voters in Montana have the option of keeping, amending or changing the form or structure of their local government. This review process is mandated by the Montana Constitution. The Local Government Review is an opportunity for citizens to review the form or structure of their local government. On June 3, 2014, voters of Great Falls will have the opportunity to vote on Resolution 10051 and determine if they want a Local Government Review and establish a Study Commission. The purpose of the Study Commission is to study the existing form and powers of the local government and the procedures for delivery of local government services and to compare them with other forms available under the laws of the state.

Resolution 10051 establishes funding for a five member Study Commission not to exceed $125,000 (equivalent to approximately 1.6 mills). That amount will increase property taxes approximately $3.96 on a home with a taxable market value of $100,000 and approximately $7.92 on a home with a taxable market value of $200,000. If a majority of the electors vote against Resolution 10051, there will not be a Local Government Review or Study Commission. The opportunity to review the City’s form of government will not be offered again until 2024.

If Resolution 10051 passes, the next step will be to elect a five member Study Commission at the November 4, 2014, election. Those interested in serving on the Study Commission, will then have until 5 p.m. on August 11, 2014, to file declarations of nomination with the Cascade County Elections Office. Candidates must be electors of the City of Great Falls and cannot be elected officials of the local government. There is no filing fee, and the race is nonpartisan. Persons elected to the Study Commission serve without pay.

Currently, the City of Great Falls operates under the Commission-Manager form of government established by Charter with self-governing powers. The City’s legislative body is the City Commission. The Mayor is elected to a two-year term, and

City Commissioners are elected to four-year terms. The members of the City Commission are elected at-large and the elections are non-partisan. The City Commission appoints a City Manager to direct the day-to-day operations of the City and carry out the policies of the City Commission.

A final report of the Study Commission would be presented to the registered voters of Great Falls for approval or rejection no later than the 2016 general election.

For more information regarding the upcoming Local Government Review Election, visit the City’s website at www.greatfallsmt.net or contact Lynn Deroche, your local election administrator, at (406) 454-6803, or the Office of the Secretary of State at (406) 444-2034.