Mayor Bob Rice's slogan, "Get 'er Done Mayor Bob," may not have started out as the slogan for his campaign for re-election. But it undoubtedly will become that very thing in the public's mind.
So it's time to take the bumper stickers emblazoned with those words off city vehicles and any other city property.
And no taxpayer money should be used to pay the $800 bill for "Get 'er Done" T-shirts (the T-shirts apparently don't mention Mayor Bob) ordered by some overly enthusiastic but shortsighted city employee. And the T-shirts should not appear on city employees as they go about their work.
Kudos to Mayor Rice for admitting that he hadn't thought the situation through. Rice has decided to take the bumper stickers off of city vehicles. And he's going to pay for the T-shirts himself.
"Get 'er done" has had a brief but interesting evolution since it first appeared on city vehicles several weeks ago.
According to Rice and his friends, one of his chums, assistant city public works director Gary Schaub, came up with the slogan based on a headline of a story about Rice that appeared in the Great Falls Tribune. Another friend, Robert Floren, printed up the bumper stickers in hopes of encouraging other folks to follow the mayor's example by tackling problems around town.
Some suggested the slogan was inappropriate because it's so close to the "Git-R-Done" slogan of Larry The Cable Guy, a raunchy comic whose spiel is full of references to body parts and insensitive remarks about developmentally disabled people. Others praised the mayor and wondered why it was even worth talking about.
At the time, Rice said he was undecided about whether he would seek a second term as mayor.
Rice, a Republican, filed for re-election on Monday. He'll face Democratic City Council member Pam Hillery in the November election.
"Get 'er Done Mayor Bob" is on the back of city vehicles. Those bumper stickers suggest that the drivers of those vehicles are voicing support for the candidacy of their boss.
Such would also appear to be the case if city workers began wearing the T-shirts inappropriately ordered for them.
Rice said Thursday afternoon that he'd already removed the bumper sticker off his Mayor Bob mobile and will have them removed from other city vehicles.
He said he's paying for the shirts himself and will offer to sell them to city workers. The shirts are brightly colored and were intended to keep workers safe. The shirts will be sold to others as well.
We think city workers shouldn't wear the shirts on the job. Why put city employees in a situation where they'll have to decide whether they want to display public support for Rice the candidate, the guy who also happens to be their boss? City employees should be immune from political pressure.
And once the shirts are made available for sale, it might be a good idea for Rice to look into the legalities of whether the money spent and the income generated should be reported on Rice's campaign's finance reports.
After all, "Get 'er Done" has become nothing more than a campaign slogan.