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Dornix Park; A Personal Timeline

Dornix Park; A Personal Timeline

Dear Reader,

In late July as the new Big Timber City Council addressed the issues before it, a prudent and brave city councilman raised the issue of Dornix Park, its direction and funding.  I received a call from someone to come to a council meeting and learn more.  I didn’t make it but I read about it in the Big Timber Pioneer and I read about this brave woman by the name of Robyn Roberts who dared to question the sensibility and prudence of the scope of the Dornix master plan.  Then Bob and Judy Faw gave me a CD of the Master Plan and encouraged me to check it out.  I did and I was more than a little taken aback by the scope and cost along with the affiliations with so-called green organizations that have as their goal to relieve citizens like you and I of our independence.  More on that in a later post.

This is when the SGCCI group gelled and came together around the issue of Dornix Park. We have a group of like minds sharing the purpose of defending the Constitution and holding government accountable to us-not the reverse way as it has evolved; the government holds us accountable.   Just a little research and digging provided some serious questions as to the ethics and fiscal sensibility of the Dornix Park plan.  Then came the now infamous City Council meeting at the library on August 16th, where the Dornix supporters showed up in force with signs and a very rude disrespect for anyone with an opinion opposing theirs.  One called City Councilman Kevin McCauley a paranoid schizophrenic or some such thing and as SGCCI members made their comments we were heckled, hissed, booed and generally harassed by what seemed like a seething bunch of old SDS activist hippies at a peace rally in the 60’s.  It was quite a show.  The council tabled the Dornix issue.

Two work sessions evolved from the August 16th meeting; one with the Dornix folks and the public at the park site on September 1st and one with the SGCCI and the public at City Hall on September 15th.  Now keep in mind, SGCCI members attended the Dornix onsite work session meeting with the City in good faith, open minds and no disrespectful behavior.  To the contrary, the Dornix supporters showed up en masse to our work session meeting on September 15th.  SGCCI’s intent was to formally introduce our group, share our mission and purpose, share our concerns about the viability of the Dornix Master Plan and offer our support to the Council because they were clearly struggling with the viability and scope of the project.  We were ridiculed and vilified by the Dornix supporters in general (like one of our members being called an “f”ing bitch by a Dornix supporter and a veiled threat by another supporter to “be very, very, careful”). But the crowning jewel of the evening was the tongue lashing the SGCCI received by the City’s very own attorney, Bill Frazier who spoke on behalf of and in defense of the Dornix Park project.  Mr. Frazier said our group had caused a great division in the community, made Big Timber the laughing stock of the state and said our group had caused at least two people that he knew of planning on moving to Big Timber not to move because we have poisoned the town with our ways.  Keep in mind the group SGCCI had formed only two weeks before this.

We have pledged to the Council, those present and to the community at large that we will keep the high road in this debate but this was nearly more than I could stand.  Being attacked by our own City Attorney for expressing my and my fellow SGCCI members’ concerns was grounds for dismissal as far as I am concerned.  It surely seems like government out of control to me.  Anyway, our current Mayor, Mark Stephens, asked if there was room for compromise between the groups and I answered yes.  When pushed by the Mayor to respond, Former Mayor Taylor said no, the plan has been approved by past Councils with the input of many people and should stand as presented.

Mr. Frazier’s comment begs the larger question of just what exactly was his role in the process leading up to the approval of the Dornix Park plan and of course one can’t ask this question with out wondering about the conflict of interest created by Mayor Diana Taylor serving both as Mayor and on the Dornix Park Citizens Committee (DPCC) along with her husband Tom Biglen.  It calls for a smell test.  We will leave all of that for you, the citizens of Big Timber and Sweet Grass County to decide.

We intend to remain resolute and publish the facts along with a little background information as time and energy permit.  Thank you for your interest and remember, it’s your government-it can’t work properly without your participation.  YOUR participation will help to protect OUR  community.

Doug Lair

SGCCI

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