Bigfork land-use committee has contested race

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A contested race has developed for two vacancies on the Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee, with three candidates vying for the positions.

Incumbent committee member Joyce Mitchell is seeking re-election. She has been a Bigfork area resident since 1989 and has served on the advisory committee since 2011. She also has served on the commercial committee for the seven-member advisory committee, has served as committee chairwoman and vice chairwoman and was involved in developing the Bigfork Neighborhood Plan. Mitchell is the broker-owner of Michell & Associates. Her term on the advisory committee expires May 31.

John Bourquin’s term also is expiring at the end of May, but he is not seeking re-election.

Other candidates include Timothy Kittle and Chany Ockert.

Kittle has been a Bigfork resident since 2005 and owns Bigfork Electric. He is a master electrician and has operated his own company for the past 25 years.

Ockert, a fourth-generation Montanan, moved to Bigfork in 2014. She is a certified fundraising executive, and one of only four certified fundraising consultants in Montana.

The election will be conducted using mail ballots, which were sent out this week. Ballots must be received at the Flathead County Election Department by 8 p.m. on May 2, and can be mailed to or dropped off at the Election Department.

The Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee is one of several such committees in Flathead County that make recommendations about land-use proposals in their neighborhoods. Those recommendations are forwarded to the county Planning Board for further consideration.

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