Tea with the Mayor

Photo by Lizzie Blumenthal

(From left to right) Chopper Bitterman of Red Lodge, Jeannine Olson of Swanky Fork, Mayor Ed Williams, Gary Robson of Red Lodge Books (back) and Amber Enos of Sagebrush Sirens talk business during the first of many ‘Tea with the Mayor’ events. On Feb. 20, there will be another Tea with the Mayor at Honey's from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

The first of its kind, Tea with the Mayor brought together local businesses and community members to discuss openly current and upcoming issues, activities and events pertaining to Red Lodge. Enabling businesses and residents a chance to ask questions and engage in frank conversation, items on the Feb. 5 agenda included: the 212/78 Highway project; Airport Road project; improving communication through various media outlets; resort tax; and other issues.

In regards to the Highway projects, Mayor Ed Williams explained, “Based on everything we are hearing these projects will happen this year. We have invited MDOT to come to Red Lodge on March 11 and discuss the plans with the public between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and to make a presentation to the City Council that evening.  This is tentative, as they want to have everything in order before they come to talk with our community.  We will let everyone know when this important meeting is confirmed.”

Through Facebook, websites and google groups, the group further discussed and suggested ways they “...can make additional improvements in our communications efforts.”
According to the group, the resort tax has had a positive impact it has on the community and sewer/water rates.  Williams said, “Without the benefits we received from resort tax these rates would be much higher.”
The group also discussed progress with the Capital Improvement Plan with hopes toward completion later this year.
On Feb. 20,  they will have Coffee with the Mayor at Honey's from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.