Candidate explains why she is running for City Council

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Why am I running for Ward 3 Kalispell City Council again? Yes, the 14 voters I did not get last time is a goal to reach but as important is the fundamental differences between me and the other candidates.

Voting records speak volumes. Do you think impact fees should be higher for residential customers than commercial customers? Jim Atkinson does and that is the way he voted. I believe growth pays for growth. This should not be on the backs of the current resident property taxpayer.

Kyle Waterman has no experience in Kalispell issues. His campaign signs have been staked on city property, which is not in accordance with the city ordinance. Knowing the rules and regulations for campaigning is important and the rules need to be followed for a fair playing field for all candidates.

Did you notice the increase in your property tax bill? Do you think Kyle’s suggestion of grants can solve the increased revenue demanded by the city which, in turn, increases property taxes as the answer? A fresh face with no experience or no knowledge of the job cannot be expected to be up to speed, and this position should not be an on-the-job training one.

The thing is — City Council is all about the details. The most recent airport lease agreement discussions must include language to protect the voters from the very thing they voted against — more noise, larger airplanes. The voters voted down a B2 type airport. The current lease presently does not address this issue; maybe it should. The length of the proposed lease at 40 years is worrisome and this alone will have an impact on Kalispell and its residents. This lease must be financially favorable to Kalispell.

Fair playing fields, doing your homework, stickler for details and listening to voters are necessary skills and my experience on Kalispell city boards like the Planning Board and the Impact Fee Committee are key to service on City Council. It was disappointing the City Council did not support the Impact Fee Committee’s recommendation on transportation fees. It has yet to find another means of paying for those costs except, of course, the already tax-burdened Kalispell property owners.

I have served and worked on many community projects and sat on numerous non-profit boards because I genuinely care about our town. I have fought for those projects I believed in and those neighbors I have believed in because Kalispell is my neighborhood. It’s been my neighborhood almost all my life.

I hope the voters will consider that a vote for either man ensures the re-election of Jim Atkinson. After 29 years of the incumbent, isn’t it truly time for another to serve? As for inexperienced candidates, is it too harsh to ask them to serve the community first on city boards before running?

Don’t sit this election out. It costs you each time you sit on the sidelines. Please go to the Election Office now or head to the Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Vote. I would appreciate your vote.

Karlene Osorio-Khor, of Kalispell, is a candidate in the Kalispell Ward 3 council election.

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