Mahan and Owen in Ward 3 race

By: 
Alastair Baker
News Editor

Candidates for Red Lodge City Council Ward 3 incumbent Glory Mahan and challenger Bruce Owen took part in the candidate debate at the Beartooth Elk’s Lodge last week.
Mahan has served on the City council for 20 years and recently decided to run again because there were “a lot of problems at the City.”
“And as I know the history of some, I decided to run again,” she said.

Owen listed a number of issues facing the City as his reason behind running, from “a million dollar lawsuit, a chief of police asked to resign, a mayor who quit and a city budget which 75 percent goes to wages, retirement plans and union benefits.”
“21 years of Resort Tax. $16.5 million the city has received and it’s over $10 million in debt,” he said.

When asked about the police chief situation both agreed it needed to be sorted out quickly with Mahan explaining that the process needed to be methodical and Owen hoping the process wasn’t the same as last time when $18,000 was spent on the process.
They disagreed on placing rates on vacant lots, with Owen asking how can the City charge people for services they don’t get while Mahan responded saying that “raising rates is a common thing in the community as that’s where the money comes from.”
She did add that the numbers would have to tally and if they did not, “There won’t be a rate on vacant lots if I have anything to do about it.”

The Resort Tax was backed by both with Mahan saying the town would be “in a world of hurt” without it. Owen wanted to see more of it go into infrastructure.
When asked if the NDR had resulted in healthy discussion or just been derisive, Owen felt there were bigger issues out there. Mahan said she had not realized how big a problem there was but did feel that “social engineering” wasn’t something the City should get involved with but “we are now and we have to make a decision on it.”

Both agreed that City Hall needed to be more ADA accessible since the present ramp outside the hall is too narrow for a wheelchair and the concrete is flaking.

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