After a year serving the county, Commissioner Don Ryan makes it easy for you to contact him | ABC Fox Great Falls
GREAT FALLS, Mt. – In Cascade County, 3 commissioners are responsible for governing the community and guiding 11 different departments and offices.
For Commissioner Don Ryan, it was a special election that put him in his seat after former Commissioner Jane Webber retired and after a year of serving in that seat serving the community, he’s trying something again.
“I want to be a problem solver rather than creating a problem. So I want my door open and I want people to be able to come in and talk and see what’s going on,” Ryan said.
Starting February 17, every Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., it opens its door to the community for a coffee with a curator.
“That’s really where we become effective. I’m a government administrator, but I’m only one of 3. But I can’t solve a problem if I don’t know all the details,” Ryan said. .
This will be an opportunity for residents to discuss any concerns they may have without needing an appointment with a commissioner.
“I’m sure people will come and talk about road conditions, snow conditions, they’ll come and talk to us about zoning or planning issues, or floodplain issues. The number of people who come to talk about setting up a boat dock, how do I go about it? Or queuing at the treasure office and that sort of thing,” Ryan said.
Ryan says his favorite part of his job is hearing for you.
“I hope people will come in if they just want to visit and be comfortable. Because we are their government,” Ryan said.
Since Ryan became commissioner, a lot has happened, including a solution to some flooding issues in the Sun River.
Last spring, Sun River flooding again exposed an avulsion that directed Sun River water into Adobe Creek.
“There are so many different agencies that are involved in this. You have the conservation district, the plains district, the federal government, fish and game, and that kind of stuff – so how do you manage that? We had people in danger there,” Ryan said.
Well they found a solution, a project that will bring the Sun River back to its channel.
But this work is not without its share of challenges.
One of the things Ryan says he wished he could have fixed was the fair advisory board.
“It was a really tough decision to make to say we’re going to have to go in a different direction because I know those people on the fair advisory board were doing what they thought was the best thing… It was a decision hard to do,” Ryan said.
Regular meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month.
Regular working sessions take place on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. before the committee meeting.
“We want to make sure the government is working for them and not against them. Sometimes as an individual it might not work in your favor because what you want to do might not benefit most people in the county. from Cascade, it could be harmful and that’s why there are rules in place. But if a rule is wrong, let’s fix the rule. That’s what we can do,” Ryan said.
For a link to the calendars, Click here.