Former mayor BobRice met with the Pachyderm Club at the Duck Inn to give a casual speech to members about his candidacy and his life.
“I’m going to be more vocal than I ever have been,” Rice said. “I’m going to work for votes.’
Rice gave much praise to Andrew Brekke, Ward 4 councilman and Hill County Republican chair.
“Andrew is a promising young man and smart as a whip,” Rice said.
Rice also spoke of what happened after the last time he ran for mayor to explain why he “disappeared.” He said his mother developed Alzheimer’s disease and did not want to go to a home. Rice’s sister took her to Oregon, and Rice said he followed to be with his mother.
“It was a constant flow or worry and stress,” Rice said. “And during the course of my mom’s demise, I had a stroke.”
Rice said he has made a total recovery and that he is on medication.
He also spoke of his divorce; how though he and his wife are separated, he still maintains his Christian beliefs and faith in God and still takes care of her.
When the Republican Party of Havre was looking for a candidate for the upcoming election, Rice said he was not interested in running again. But, he said, it got down to the wire and they could not find anyone to run against Democratic Mayor Tim Solomon, so he accepted Brekke’s invitation.
“Nobody will run uncontested in this town while I’m still alive,” Rice said. “I gave you a choice. Whether you like it or not, the ballot will tell.”
Rice said he never got to finish what he started in his last term. He voiced his animosity for the short public meetings City Council has been having lately, saying he would stretch them out to really address issues that need addressing.
“After taking a look at how the City Council meetings went, I’m going to be a better listener,” Rice said.
He said he would push for community involvement with Havre government if he is elected.
“I’m going to try to get more kids involved,” Rice said.
Rice plans to restart the program in which kids get to be mayor for a day.
He also wants city council to start recognized local heros, citing his charity to Kade Lanier, a Boy Scout who saved a classmate from choking.
“Had I been the mayor, he would have come before the council and we would have started a ‘Kade Day’,” Rice said.
He also addressed his refusal to give the Havre Fire Department a 13 percent raise.
“I did not disapprove the increase because they were doing a bad job,” Rice said. “It just wasn’t in the budget.”
Rice also spoke of his Jeep he fixed up to the “Republican Jeep,” where he found old campaign posters of past GOP candidates. He said he became “choked up” when he found Terry Schend’s campaign posters.
Schend was Ward 2 councilman during Rice’s tenure as mayor.
Andrew Brekke gave his thanks to Rice after his speech.
“I appreciate you stepping up,” Brekke said. “No one can deny you live, eat and breathe this town.”