- Your Town
Dillon Mayor candidates discuss philosophy & ethics: Incumbent Mayor Marty Malesich
Question 1 on philosophy – The mayor election is nonpartisan and yet both of the candidates in the past have claimed to be Republicans. A good tactic since in any given election, the electorate in Beaverhead County will vote 75 to 80% Republican. The Republican philosophy of small government and low taxes seems at odds with City of Dillon actions in recent years in which water and sewer rates have been raised twice, the street maintenance fee has been doubled and the number of city employees has dramatically increased.
How do you as a Republican, reconcile the actions of city government with your personal GOP philosophy? (up to 500 words)
Let us deal with the facts. The water rates have been raised once since June 1, 1995 from $.88 per 1000 gallons to $1.45 per 1000 gallons. Because of increasing regulatory demands, raising utility, labor and other operational costs make it necessary to increase water and sewer rates to operate and provide for continued improvement of both water and sewer systems. The increase you are talking about is the $23.52 monthly construction charge for the new $9 million Waste Water Treatment plant required by the State of Montana. The City of Dillon was forced to comply with this requirement. I am proud to add that currently the Waste Water project is $1,000,000 dollars under budget and two months ahead of schedule. I need to remind you that I don’t get to vote unless there is a tie vote on the council. There are two very important tie votes that I had the opportunity to break. One was to accept a $500,000 CDBG Grant to remove 60 septic tanks and hook up 60 families to the city sewer. The second tie was to complete reconstruction of Montana Street (five blocks from Helena Street to Reeder Street). I think the voters would be very interested in who voted against these projects. Yes, we doubled the street maintenance fee. This enabled the city to complete the reconstruction of Glendale Street. As for the “dramatically increase” of city employees, I don’t know how to answer that. There have been no significant increase in personnel over the last twelve years. My personal philosophy is to leave the city in better shape than when I was elected Mayor. I could leave tomorrow and be very proud and take great pride in what my administration has done for the City of Dillon. I believe that for Dillon to survive we must grow in population and invest in our infrastructure (streets, water and sewer). This means that we must be prepared for future growth and if we take pride in our city, people will want to work and live here. I believe that the majority of the citizens are very proud of Dillon and want to move forward and not to become stagnant. Please look around the city and make note of all the improvements that show the pride that the citizens of Dillon have in their town. Home Town Pride!
Question 2 on ethics – At the insistence of two councilpersons (one of whom lives on the street and the other his relative), the City of Dillon approved a speed limit change on Thomsen Avenue from 25 MPH to 15 MPH. The Dillon Tribune continually pointed out at the time that the city did not follow state regulations in adopting the new speed limit and yet it still stands.
If elected, will the City of Dillon follow the laws and rules of the state as the citizens of Dillon are expected to do? (up to 500 words)
I see the need to explain the structure of the City of Dillon Government. It is composed of three branches, Executive Branch – Mayor, Legislative Branch – City Council, and Judicial Branch – City Judge. My first duty as Mayor is to: “1. enforce laws, charter, ordinances and resolutions.” The council voted to establish a speed limit on Thomsen Avenue. My Chief of Police also has a duty to enforce the speed limit. As for the two councilpersons, I know they voted for what they felt was right. I will not question their ethics or integrity without reason nor should you. If one does not agree with an ordinance or resolution then everyone has a right to challenge it through the courts or through the city council. I will continue to follow state and federal laws, to include city ordinances and resolutions. The city has been challenged by approximately 16 lawsuits and I am proud to say we have won them all. There are three lawsuits pending and I am very confident we will prevail. I have been challenged personally by a group trying to recall me twice. I went to court and the charges were found to be erroneous and unfounded. My values have been demonstrated by 12 successful years as mayor. I told my employees that there are two types of people I will not tolerate, one is a thief and the other is a liar. If you find one, you will find the other. I am very proud of my staff and employees. If you really want to know about me, ask my employees. I have lived here all of my life and worked to fulfill the needs of the citizens of Dillon. That is “Home Town Pride”.