by Anne Marie Gurney, Stevensville
I am not a “political” person, but I wanted to let the community know about my personal experience with a candidate for County Attorney, Joan Mell.
My husband is the Town Attorney for Stevensville and part of his job is to prosecute misdemeanor cases in Town court. Right after he took over as Town Attorney he was put on a ventilator with COVID. He was literally fighting for his life. The odds were that he would die. It was the worst time of my life.
My husband knew Joan Mell from years ago but hadn’t spoken with her in six or seven years. Out of the blue, she called him while he was on the ventilator. I had his phone so I took her call. When she found out he was on the ventilator, she said she would do whatever she could to help. Lots of people say this – but Joan Mell proved she meant it.
I told her that my husband needed someone to prosecute his cases. She said she’d do it. I found out later that Joan Mell went to Town court and prosecuted his cases until he recovered. She didn’t send the Town a bill. She just pitched in when someone really needed it. It’s the Montana way.
I can’t tell you what a relief it was during that horrible time to know that my husband wouldn’t lose his largest client because his cases were being taken care of. I tear up with gratitude whenever I think about what she did.