Letters to the editor for May 15, 2018

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Kalispell Chamber takes stand against Egan Slough zoning initiative

On recommendation from its Government Affairs Committee, the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce is taking a “no” position on Flathead County Initiative 17-01.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce believes it is fundamentally unfair to spot zone a small area for an otherwise allowed and legal use, after a property owner has received their government approvals. Businesses and individuals rely on the consistent application of zoning laws to make good investment decisions, as zoning laws inform the public about the uses that a governmental jurisdiction will allow on a specific property. If a citizen seeks to prohibit a specific use there are established procedures for amending zoning laws. The Kalispell Chamber believes it is fundamentally unfair to change zoning to prohibit a use after the necessary government approvals have been given.

Additionally, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the governing body for water rights permitting, has held hearings, taken testimony, and determined the water permit requested for the subject property will have no significant impact on adjacent property owners.

For the reasons stated above, the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce opposes Flathead County Initiative 17-01 and urges voters to vote “no” on June 5. —Joe Unterreiner, Kalispell Chamber president

Krueger won’t get vote after OK’ing loan funds

Two of our county comissioners have decided to go into the banking business by loaning out $8 million of the taxpayers’ money to develop the rail project. This should have been funded with loans from private investors and banks, not the average hard working taxpayer.

This money is now gone and this $8 million can be recouped only by increasing taxes while unknown individuals will profit personally by using our taxes for their own use. This is a dangerous shell game and Commissioners Krueger and Mitchell should he held accountable.

I personally asked Gary Krueger what happens to this money as it is repaid. I asked if it would be put back in the jail fund or if the county would use the money to fund unrelated “pet projects.” This hit a sensitive nerve with Krueger and when he became loud I ended the phone call. Commissioner Mitchell never returned my phone call.

I will not vote for Krueger this election cycle or ever again. Maybe he can get a job with the rail project. Krueger needs to be fired. It will be interesting to find out who will benefit from this questionable transaction. —Ronald McCormack, Bigfork

Vote to stop bottling plant

Vote FOR the Egan Slough Initiative! By now I think most residents of Flathead County are at least somewhat informed regarding the potential for a water-bottling plant to operate in Creston. And most people seem to understand that there is a potential for this plant to consume a huge amount of water from the aquifer, potentially drawing down neighboring wells, that this plant could sell to a large water-bottling corporation, like Nestle, that this plant will discharge rinse water from the plastic bottles it produces into the river, that this plant will require large tractor trailers to be operating on dirt roads with a hazardous highway entry on Montana 35. I think most people in our valley are aware, and most people do not support such a travesty taking place in our pristine Flathead Valley.

What I’m not sure people understand is that you can help to stop this travesty by voting FOR the Egan Slough Initiative on June 5. So, please, please, please, VOTE! If the initiative is passed, the Egan Slough Zoning District will be expanded to include the water-bottling facility, limiting their ability to have a negative impact on the aquifer, the river, the roads, the neighborhood and the valley.

It’s easy to assume that other people will take responsibility, that your vote doesn’t matter, but it absolutely does. You can make a difference. You can help to preserve the Egan Slough community and our valley. I am confident that the people of Flathead Valley do not want this, so please use your vote to say YES to Flathead farms and water! —Amy Eller, Kalispell

Brodehl for commissioner

Randy Brodehl is a man of character, who leads by example, and possesses true statesmanship skills. I am confident that he would make a great county commissioner in the Flathead. By observing him over the years, I have seen how sharply he administrates his construction and cabinetry business, the manner in which he treats everyone with dignity and respect, and is a humble, authentic public servant (as a state legislator). Randy will lead the Flathead to a better place for family and business … not as a politician who promises utopian ideals … but as a hard-working man with two feet firmly planted in the Flathead. —Curtis Bartel, Kalispell

Pro-life David Dunn for House District 9

As president of Montana ProLife Coalition, I endorse pro-life Republican David Dunn for House District 9. Exuberant about being a born-again Christian, loyal and honest, a constitutionalist, unwilling to compromise core principles, determined to lower taxes, David Dunn will do a stellar job in Helena. Many of us rejoiced when David filed for this race, because his opponent in the primary, Warren Illi, believes in the right for women to choose to destroy their unborn children, perhaps with the exception of partial birth abortions which are already illegal. I get this information straight from Mr. Illi himself. We have not had a pro-abortion Flathead Republican since Bruce Tutvedt left office. Let’s keep it that way. I urge you to vote for David Dunn for House District 9. —Annie Bukacek, Bigfork

Tester works to get things done

Sen. Jon Tester isn’t someone who would throw his hands up and do nothing when he realizes a system needs improving. He actually works to fix that system, and he is willing to team up with anyone — yes, even with folks from across the aisle — to get that done. But I do know, Jon will not stand for any legislation that would take health insurance away from the folks who need it the most. I’m glad we have Jon fighting for us in the Senate on this important issue, and I’ll be voting for him again in November so he can continue his work.

Republicans in Congress have spent years railing against our nation’s health-care law, but when it came time for them to actually fix it, they didn’t have a replacement health-care plan ready. I’m for cutting health-care costs, but you can’t pull the rug out from under people’s feet and leave them without any options. Jon Tester knows that there are ways to make the system better — and he has introduced seven bills in this Congress alone to try and reduce health-care costs. But for all Mitch McConnell’s talk about wanting to improve our health-care system, he and Republican leadership have refused to move those bills forward.

It seems to me like there are solutions that could be helping us with our health-care costs right now if members of Congress were willing to sit down with Jon and get to work. Jon’s done the hard part — he has come up with some fixes to a less-than-perfect system. Now, I hope his colleagues back in Washington can put partisan politics aside and help him get the work done. —Judy Rosenfeld-Cox, Kalispell

Vote for Jay Scott for Commissioner

I have known Jay Scott for many years and know he would be an outstanding commissioner. Jay is a business man and fully understands how Flathead County should operate. He is a hard worker and would be a full-time commissioner. —Don Hendrickson, Bigfork

Kier is only candidate who can beat Gianforte

Having attended the recent U.S. congressional candidate debate in Columbia Falls, it is clear to me that Grant Kier is the only candidate that can win the election against Greg Gianforte. This is why I encourage you to vote in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, June 5, and vote for Grant Kier, Democrat, for U.S. Congress.

Kier has a good sense of balance working across the aisle whether it is negotiating the U.S. Farm Bill on behalf of Montana ranchers, or successfully piecing together land trusts in the Bitterroot with a wide variety of stakeholders without sacrificing access to public land that is so dear to all of us.

Grant is a scientist, a geologist, a conservationist and a consensus builder. You can trust Grant to represent Montana well. —Joan Vetter Ehrenberg, Whitefish

Jay Scott knows how to serve his community

When I head to the Expo building at the fairgrounds to play pickleball, or to watch my grandkids fly model airplanes, I keep making mental notes to thank Jay Scott for helping to develop this county asset in ways our forefathers could never have imagined.

Sure, I’ve enjoyed the fair and rodeo, competed in horse events and taken my children to 4-H clinics there, visited gun shows and quilt shows, helped staff art shows — but who could have foreseen that I’d be playing ball there in the depths of winter?

That’s the kind of forward thinking that leads me to cast my vote for him for commissioner. He obviously understands the current concerns of our community, has experience working with the county’s department heads, and has the imagination and team spirit to help make plans for future needs that we can yet barely envision.

It was my pleasure to work beside Jay for a couple of months on a fairgrounds project, and as I did, I witnessed how he dealt with the public and his employees. I found him to be a fair and compassionate family man, with an open door and a heartfelt understanding of the needs of hard-working people who are the backbone of our community.

I have observed his work ethic, his integrity and his connections to the agricultural community. When he says that he will work full-time for the people of Flathead County, I think we should elect him to do just that. —Anne Feast Clark, Kalispell

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