This is likely to be the final post about Todd Crossett on this blog. Crossett’s last day as Polson’s city manager was April 30, although his contract would not have expired until June. Is it possible he left early because he got some “paid time off” from his lawsuit against the city of Polson? According to the Flathead Beacon (5/4/13), “Mayor Pat De Vries said the matter was settled out of court.”
Would Crossett have won his lawsuit? Did the city officials just want to make the trouble go away? The fact is that Crossett and city attorney James Raymond asked for an amendment to his contract in order to receive the money in question. The money was clearly never part of his contract. The matter was discussed in public at a city council meeting in October 2012 and was tabled.
The Flathead Beacon also reported that according to the December 3, 2012 minutes, on the evening when Crossett’s contract was not renewed, members of the public and city employees came out in support of Crossett. What the Beacon failed to notice in the minutes was that Mayor De Vries silenced the opponents in the room that night. The minutes stated, “She cautioned speakers not to be overly negative by going into explicit details if they were speaking in opposition.” There were plenty of opponents present, but why bother when only proponents could be explicit. It was absurd.
So Crossett moves on as town manager in Crested Butte, Colorado. Did they ask Crossett to explain why (a) Polson no longer wanted him and asked him to explain (b) his lawsuit? If so, it appears they bought his explanation whatever that was. Did they fail to learn about other examples of Crossett’s temperament? Did they learn about his attempt to keep a citizen out of public meetings with a ridiculous restraining order, which was not upheld by Judge Wall? Crossett failed to prove there was ever any danger whatsoever.
There are things that would not have been revealed to Crested Butte because they are not part of any public record, although they did occur in public. Crossett was asked to be civil one evening after a city council meeting. He made some personal remarks and charged off. Another such event occurred at a Lake County Commissioner’s meeting. Crossett wanted to interrupt a citizen who had the floor, but Commissioner Brower kept him in check, at least until the citizen completed his remarks. Then, Crossett had an outburst and stormed out of the room, much to everyone’s surprise.
Many are glad Crossett is leaving for valid reasons. Hopefully he can manage the town of Crested Butte better than he has managed Polson. Crested Butte citizens should remain alert and maintain a healthy dose of scrutiny.