By Christopher Sheridan, Stevensville
For anyone not keeping up with local Town business, now appears to be the perfect time to grab your popcorn and start paying attention.
Our last council meeting was quite the spectacle – not only did many of our citizens prove they can’t sit quietly to politely listen while others are speaking (one individual in the audience was actually asked to leave the meeting following her outburst), but our own Council President, Bob Michalson, displayed a complete lack of professionalism, laughing at a fellow councilperson during the meeting and, at one point, walking out of the meeting. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior, though it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone following Bob’s well-documented tenure on the council.
Remember the email scandal? The February 26, 2018 Bitterroot Star detailed the email exchange between Council members Robin Holcomb and Bob Michalson, in which Bob stated, “Unless you talk to the press (Brian’s response) not much we could do, unless we went to the press and slandered Brandon. Since we are elected officials, not much we can say in an official meeting. We will just keep making his life miserable… Back to the Ludington era. haha.” Openly admitting to not only targeting our current mayor, but also admitting to making a concerted effort to drive out a former Mayor? Wow.
Fast forward to last year’s rollercoaster ride of resignations leading up to the November election. On July 16, 2019, Bob Michalson and Jim Crews submitted letters of resignation. In a July 17, 2019 Bitterroot Star article, Bob explained his resignation: “I can no longer sit idle and watch the Criminal Activity being carried on within the Town Hall of Stevensville, Mt.” Despite his resignation, however, Bob never withdrew his application for re-election. When questioned on social media, Bob’s responses included: “It’s to keep curious mindless people like you guessing? It’s my decision no one else’s. Maybe you should worry about your own damn business instead of wasting your valuable time on mine which you know nothing about” and “Thought I’d just take a few months off!” Bob ultimately won this election by the narrowest of margins, beating write-in candidate, Patrick Shourd, by only 8 votes.
Bob’s distain for non-Town residents participating in Town politics is palpable. In a July 29, 2019 social media post, he stated: “People outside of city limits have no business telling people who pay city taxes what to do. Go cry to Chilcot. I live in town, you don’t. What gives you the right to tell people in city limits how to run its affairs? I don’t tell you how to run your property I made Dewey’s life miserable many times because of his lack of oversight.”
Bob’s behavior is unbecoming of a member of the council, especially COUNCIL PRESIDENT! Bob needs to get his priorities straight and focus on gaining back the trust of the hardworking folks in our community.