Libby Council Tries to Work Through Divisions

Two city councilors have raised concerns over meetings canceled by the mayor

By Beacon Staff

Two city councilors are frustrated with how Mayor Doug Roll is conducting the town’s business and said that it is negatively impacting the community. But the mayor said the councilors are new and are still learning the ropes of city government.

Dejon Raines and Brian Zimmerman have both raised concerns about Roll’s leadership style in recent weeks, specifically how he has single-handedly canceled meetings. For years, the council has had a meeting the first Monday of every month and a second work meeting toward the middle of the month. However, since last year, Roll has frequently canceled that second meeting.

“There is a feeling amongst some members of the council that we’d like to have a second meeting every month because we have a lot of city business to address and it’s tough to fit it all in one,” Raines said.

Even after Roll has canceled some meetings, Raines and a few other councilors held them anyway, although they are not official meetings.

Among the issues Raines said need to be addressed are the fire department’s sagging roof and the confirmation of Libby’s new city attorney (who was appointed by Roll earlier this year on a temporary basis). Raines and Zimmerman said these are pressing issues but Roll told the Beacon that he believes they can all be addressed at the regular meeting. He also said that while the city council meeting at the first of the month is a requirement, the mid-month meeting is not.

“They don’t really understand the process because they’re new,” Roll said, defending his decision to cancel some recent city council meetings. Raines and Zimmerman both joined the council within the last year.

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