Remember when Conrad Burns flew in Dick Cheney to a private fundraiser in Whitefish? Well, it cost the city about $1,400 dollars in overtime, extra security, and ambulance costs. Despite the fact that Cheney and Burns were unavailable to the public in this private fundraiser, the people of Whitefish wereleft holding the bill.
A motion before the Whitefish City Council to bill the Burns campaign initially passed, but was reverse for an interesting reason–the city council became afraid that Burns might stop the gravy train out of spite:
City manager Gary Marks, who has been out of the country, said he wasn’t sure if he or mayor Andy Feury were designated to write the letter. But he also had some comments to make about the idea.
“I think there’s a big downside to doing this, but I will write it if you want,” he told the council.
Marks said all three congressional delegations help the city, providing Whitefish with “big bucks.”
“If this is a political point, then fine,” he said, “but there could be some subtle impacts later on that would be detrimental to our community. Our first duty should be what’s best for our community.”
That says a lot about Burns…and perhaps even more about the patronage state his approach to governance creates.