Havre City Council may have voted to show its support for the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Foundation’s effort to have a roadside sign be placed by the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump mural on the hill by Murphy’s Pub, but that apparently does not mean the city actually has to.
Elaine Morse, the foundation’s president who came to request a letter of support from the council on Oct. 17, came to Monday’s council meeting to ask them why, almost a month later, the letter had not been written.
She was further frustrated that she had been told that, in a meeting two days after the vote of support, two representatives of the Havre city government, Mayor Tim Solomon and council member Bob Kaul, not only failed to convey that support but had told the Montana Highway Department that they had personal concerns about placing the sign on that hill.
Solomon said that he had indeed not written the letter and was concerned.
After the meeting, Solomon said he didn’t want to go into his concerns but stated simply that he did not agree with placing the marker on private property, which he said the state does not allow.
“If a public entity is going to be maintaining this, it needs to be on public land, ” Solomon said.
Morse said that there are actually a number of markers across the state that are already on private property.
If the sign did not go on the hill, there are a few other options that have been discussed, including on the Great Northern Fairgrounds, of which Solomon is manager.
Council member Andrew Brekke said that the council voted to support the placement and the letter needed to be written.
“I would recommend that the president of the council write the letter, ” Brekke said. “The letter should be written because this council approved it. ”
Allen “Woody” Woodwick, the council president, said he would get right on it.
Council member Gerry Veis said he could write a letter because “what these individuals are trying to do is better Havre however they can. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do. ”
While Solomon argued that the council voted to support the effort, but not specifically write a letter, Woodwick said he would get the letter to Morse and the foundation as soon as he could.