Commission to study local government on ballot

On Sept. 10, the City of Red Lodge will hold a poll election regarding the government study question. It is a one-question ballot. The precincts involved are only Precincts 8, 9, & 10. The polls at the Red Lodge Civic Center will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. This is a hand counted ballot election and the unofficial results will be posted at the Red Lodge Civic Center and the Carbon County Administration Building along with a faxed copy of the results to the Carbon County News that evening. Absentee ballots were sent out Aug. 21. If you have any questions you may call the Clerk & Recorder’s Office at 446-1220. The two questions are: •FOR the review of the government of the City of Red Lodge and the establishment and funding, not to exceed Two Thousand Five Hundred dollars ($2500.00), of a local government study commission consisting of Three (3) members to examine the government of the City of Red Lodge and submit recommendations on the government. •AGAINST the review of the government of the City of Red Lodge and the establishment and funding, not to exceed Two Thousand Five Hundred dollars ($2500.00), of a local government study commission consisting of Three (3) members to examine the government of the City of Red Lodge and submit recommendations on the government. The Montana Constitution requires that local government, every 10-years, ask residents if they desire a change in their local government. It has been 10-years since Red Lodge has performed the required review. If the current measure (Create a Study Commission) passes, the cost to tax payers will be $2,500 and will come from the City General Fund. Startup costs associated with a new form, or major changes to the existing, form of government can be costly. In order for this to happen, the Study Commission must recommend a change and the voters approve said change. If the voters desire a change in their government the cost to deliver what the people want is irrelevant and there may be benefits from the change that would save money over time to offset the initial expenses/increases. For the City of Red Lodge there really are only 3 forms of government that can be used: 1. Commission/Manager 2. Mayor/Council – our current form with a Charter 3. Consolidated – City County merger With the Charter being a component of all 3 the permutations of what the government is at the end of the day is almost limitless. Here is a complete list of the options available to the Review Committee: 1. amendments to the existing form of government.
2. recommend any form of government authorized by Montana law.
3. draft a charter.
4. recommend municipal-county consolidation.
5. recommend disincorporation.
6. submit no recommendation.