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Helena voters are demanding change, and not the kind we’ve been seeing from our city leaders lately.

Earlier this week, voters elected Sean Logan and Emily Dean to replace the two city commissioners running for re-election.

It’s no coincidence that the two successful candidates have been critical of the current administration's newfound lack of transparency and respect for constituents, and this should serve as a wake-up call to all city leaders who have shrugged off the community’s concerns.

The people of Helena are paying attention, and they are not pleased.

We don’t mean to imply that outgoing City Commissioners Ed Noonan and Kali Wicks are responsible for all of the problems with our city government. We respect both of them for their many accomplishments and contributions to our community, and we want to thank them for their tireless dedication and service.

But it will take leaders with a different attitude and skill-set to lead us through this rough patch in our city’s history. If Logan and Dean are able to live up to their campaign promises, Helena should have a bright future ahead.

Congratulations to Logan and Dean for your successful campaigns.

The people of Helena are trusting you to make tough decisions that will affect our families, our homes and our livelihoods. Please don’t let us down.

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A recent survey found that almost 1 in 5 state workers say they have seen state resources being wasted, and many of them did not previously report it.

This should be concerning to the Montana taxpayers who are entrusting their hard-earned money to the state government, especially after witnessing all of the problems caused by state budget cuts in recent years.

The most common violations reported in the survey were nepotism, conducting personal business during work hours or with state resources, falsified time cards, and not complying with hiring or recruitment laws and rules. Many of the state employees who were surveyed said they declined to report the violations due to fear of retaliation or because they didn’t think anything would be done.

This demonstrates the need for more oversight over state spending and more outreach to the state employees Montanans are relying on to expose financial abuse, and we are glad to see that the Legislative Audit Division is now investigating the problem.

People can anonymously report misuse or theft of government money or property by phone at 800-222-4446, by text at 704-430-3930, or by mail sent to LAD Fraud Hotline, Legislative Audit Division, P.O. Box 201705, Helena, MT 59620-1705.

This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board. 

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