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Elections 2017

Red Lodge Ward 3 Candidates
Bruce Owen

What qualifications and background do you have that will help make you a good City Council member?
I was born in Red Lodge and have lived here for most of my life. I am not a politician but I have paid attention to Red Lodge politics for the past 40 years.
I am a Red Lodge homeowner and taxpayer and I have a genuine concern for the future of our community.
I have been self-employed during this entire time so I know how to work within a budget.
What makes a good City Council member is addressing the concerns of Red Lodge residents with common sense solutions.
I will do just that.

What are the biggest challenges facing the City and how would you resolve them?
The biggest immediate challenge to the City is to balance the budget. We have a huge deficit due to wasteful spending and misappropriation of tax dollars. Our infrastructure needs repair. That was the purpose of the proposed resort tax 21 years ago, but that hasn't always been the case. Instead we have water rates that are skyrocketing. Rent increases will likely follow as will increased property taxes.
I propose we stop wasteful expenditures, follow the Bylaws of the City's Charter and use tax revenue the way it was intended.
We need to fix the mistakes of the past and make better decisions for the future.

How would you develop relationships: a. among city agencies and the people b. between the city and the county?
Good communication is the key to good relationships. This means transparency: keeping people informed of what is happening in government though public forums, news letters (emails) and publications.
I would encourage people to participate in discussion and debates and to contact me personally with their concerns and opinions.
It is important to keep an open mind and listen to all parties involved, especially your best critics.

How would you like to see the City run?
Short answer: Efficiently. Long answer: Over the last twenty years the city government has grown disproportionately to the population growth, the private business sector and other public sectors. For example, the average city employee earns twice what our average school teacher earns. This doesn't seem right to me.
Our residents aren't getting what they are paying for.

Where would you like to see Red Lodge in five years?
Red Lodge is already a great place to live, but if we continue on the path we're on, few will be able to afford it. I would like to see our community as a place where young families can afford to settle and our senior citizens are provided for, while retaining our rich diverse history. I would like to see Red Lodge with better streets, sidewalks and utilities, a balanced budget and free from lawsuits.

Glory Mahan
Glory Mahan

What qualifications and background do you have that will help make you a good City Council member?
Going on 20 years experience as a Councilperson. This enables me to strive to prevent the same mistakes of the past; such as, raising water rates just as the summer season sets in. Caring about our Community is not enough; we must be actively involved in a positive manner.

What are the biggest challenges facing the City and how would you resolve them?
Finances are always the biggest challenge. Costs keep rising faster than income therefore we must be prudent with our dollars and work to keep the Resort Tax in Red Lodge.

How would you develop relationships: a. among city agencies and the people b. between the city and the county?
Communication is the most important, especially between the City and the County.  We both have similar situations and should understand each other's issues. Designating a Councilmember to attend the Commissioner's Meetings, as we do the Chamber of Commerce meetings for instance, on a regular basis, would be helpful.  After all, we're all in this together.

How would you like to see the City run?
The current City structure works well, however,  more idea sharing, listening and cooperation is always advisable.  A better understanding of the problems being faced by each department can and should be fostered.

Where would you like to see the Red Lodge in five year?
I see expansion and growth happening in Red Lodge.  We need to get the Addressing Project completed for safety reasons and to handle this expansion in an appropriate manner.  The Planning Board must be brought into the process as well as Fire, Ambulance and Police/Sheriff  organizations. We are well on the way but must give it a priority to complete as early next year as possible.   
Thank you to the Carbon County News for providing this opportunity to speak out.

Red Lodge Mayoral Race
Incumbent Mike Schoenike

What qualifications and background do you have that will help make you a good Mayor?
I have been Mayor since July of 2016. Before taking over as Mayor I served for 5 ½ years on the City Council including 2 ½ years as the Council President. I had also served for about 9 years on the City Planning Board. During my time as Mayor I have dealt with both the challenges of cleaning up some situations that were left behind by my predecessor as well as extensive criticism regarding a variety of issues. I have admitted my mistakes when I made them and have tried to maintain calm professionalism through unsupported accusations. I believe that I have shown that I can keep the City moving in the right direction even despite adversity and challenge.

What are the biggest challenges facing the City and how would you resolve them?
The City’s biggest challenges, infrastructure improvement and finance, are very important issues. The infrastructure problems resulted from decades of a “doing things the way they have always been done” mentality combined with a fear of some past leaders to take on tough questions that often have answers that nobody likes. The City’s relatively new department heads and I have worked over the past 15 months to change that mindset. I sometimes remind folks that yesterday’s bad decision does not justify the same bad decision today and I try to never pass the buck on a tough issue that would force a future Mayor to deal with an issue that should be addressed now.
I will continue to work with the Council to address the tough issues regarding funding of our Capital Improvements Plan. I will also continue to work with the Montana League of Cities and Towns, the Montana Infrastructure Coalition, and the Montana Department of Commerce among others to find creative ways to fund projects with a minimal impact on locals. I will also be proposing language for a renewal of the resort tax which would guarantee more direct funding of infrastructure projects and defray tax costs to locals.

How would you develop relationships:
1.) Among city agencies and the people
The key to good relationships is good communication and while public communication has improved over the past few years we must continue to do better. I intend to continue the “meetings with the Mayor,” and expand the scope of the meetings to include an opportunity to meet with each of the six department heads as well as the Mayor. I think this will allow the public to better understand how the City is run on a day to day basis. I understand that people also want regular opportunities to meet with the Mayor at City Hall so beginning October 23rd I will be having office hours: Drop-In - Tuesdays 9 a.m. – Noon and by appointment - Mondays after 4 p.m., Tuesdays 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., and Fridays after 4 p.m..

2.) Between the city and the county?
Again communication is key. We have continued to improve communication and cooperation with the County in the past few years. In order to improve relations with the school district, I asked the City Council earlier this year to appoint a liaison to periodically attend school board meetings and keep the Council apprised of opportunities for collaboration. I intend to ask the Council to appoint a similar liaison to the Board of County Commissioners while continuing to periodically attend commissioners’ meetings myself.

How would you like to see the City run? 
I believe that the road to success for the City of Red Lodge includes collaboration, public input, and appropriately recognized employees. Since taking over as Mayor I have re-instituted monthly department head meetings to keep all departments on the same page. I have allowed extensive opportunity for public input at City Council meetings and will continue to allow for far more public comment than is required by state law. Finally, we have begun twice a year gatherings for all of the staff to get together, share a nice meal, and hear about each other’s accomplishments. Staff members have told me, to my surprise, this has never been done before.
I also believe that City services are customer services. I have encouraged employees to understand that our jobs all involve customer service and that we must strive to address our customers’ (the citizenry’s) concerns. I have pushed to increase the education and training portions of each department’s budget so that each employee can learn to better serve the City. I will continue to drive for ongoing improvement.

Where would you like to see Red Lodge in five years
I am very optimistic about where Red Lodge will be in five years. I believe that in some ways the City is going through some growing pains. We currently provide more public access to City information than has ever been available before. We provide agendas, minutes and supporting documents for all of the City Council meetings on the City’s website. We send out notices of upcoming meetings and City information on the website, a City information email list, the City’s Facebook page, and other outlets. We provide more opportunity for both comments and questions at our public meetings. The entire municipal code of ordinances is available and searchable online. These improvements have made it easier to access things that were hard to find in the past. It has made it simpler to see the things that we need to continue to improve, and I am glad to have people pointing out the things that still need work even if I don’t always appreciate the ways in which they do it. I know that with public participation and dedicated elected officials we will continue to address the City’s challenges and we will continue to improve the community where we all love to live, work, and play.

 

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Upcoming Events

  • Monday, April 22, 2019 - 6:00pm
    Paintbrush Piecers Quilt Guild meeting will be Monday April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Cody Sr. Center. After a short business meeting the program will be a trunk show presented by Betty Hecker, Audrey Clark and Sharon Kaeding from Red Lodge. Meetings are free and guests are welcome. For information contact Marybeth 754-5399
  • Monday, April 22, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.