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BT City Council Election

BT City Council Election


SGCCI asked each candidate for Big Timber City Council to respond to four questions we think are important to voters. Here are their answers. 

Answers from Randy Rembold

Ward 1 Incumbent

WHAT MOTIVES YOU TO SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL?

I want to give back to my community by continuing to service as a City Council member.

Big Timber is a great place to live and raise a family.   I have lived here for 43 years along with my daughter Carlie.  Government spending is out of control on all levels and I think that it is time everyone comes back to reality and what budgeting truly means.   I feel it is extremely important to keep Big Timber a place that people want to raise their family, move here to start a business and keep the future of Big Timber growing for the next generation to come without going in debt doing so.

 IS ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE BIG TIMBER PRIVATE SECTOR ON YOUR AGENDA?  IF SO, HOW CAN THE CITY ENCOURAGE IT?

Yes, the economic growth of Big Timber has to be on our agenda.  We have a lot of empty buildings on main street and vacant houses.  We need to work with the Cowboy Hall of Fame committee, and help them bring in and promote the possible building of Cowboy Hall of Fame in Big Timber.  I believe we need to put together a comprehensive package that could be used to attract other businesses to Big Timber.  I feel that the city could possibly spread impact fees out for a new business building on a new location.

 CAN BIG TIMBER GROW WITHOUT ‘STRINGS ATTACHED’ GRANTS OR FUNDING?

Yes we can continue to grow without “strings attached” grant money.  However, some large infrastructure projects such as the sewer and water may require looking into the use of grant money.

DO YOU THINK BIG TIMBER NEEDS TO REPEAL OR CREATE ANY ORDINANCES AND OR TAXES?

As a City Councilman we need to look at all the ordinances to see if they are current and up to date with the changing times.  We have held taxes at the same level the last two years while I have been on the Council.  We need to be conservative with our spending and work hard to keep the money in Big Timber by working with our City Crews and local contractors.

Gary Johnson-Ward 1 challenger

Declined to answer the questions

 

Answers from Ron Thomas-Ward 2 Challenger

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE CITY COUNCIL?

 Having worked as Big Timber Public Works Director for over 20 years in every facet of every department of Public Works I can see ways I believe the City could be saving money.  One example being the streets used to be paved and repaired by a 2 man work crew.  It was hard work.  They were long days.  They were long hot days but that is how you save dollars.  You don’t call someone in to do the job for you if you have a capable crew to do the work as Big Timber does now.  I was a homeowner and taxpayer and didn’t like to see taxes go up.  Now I would like to have a say in city spending for the sake of my children and grandchildren.  My family and friends have encouraged me to run for councilman because they agree with my thoughts on getting back to hard work and self-sufficient values.

 IS ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE BIG TIMBER PRIVATE SECTOR ON YOUR AGENDA?  IF SO, HOW CAN THE CITY ENCOURAGE IT?

 Yes.  Our country was founded on the small businessman, those with inventive ideas and the desire to do better for themselves, their families and their communities.  We need to encourage that kind of growth within our community.  We can encourage the start-up of small independently owned businesses, we can encourage the expansion of current businesses already located here and we can encourage new businesses to move here.  I believe that the survival of this community is to encourage the growth of independent business and not the growth of more government on the backs of the local taxpayer.  When we have so many empty houses in this community (approximately 50), we need to do what Americans have always done, get creative, not by expanding government and not by increasing government regulations, but by thinking outside the box to solve a problem.

 CAN BIG TIMBER GROW WITHOUT ‘STRINGS ATTACHED’ GRANTS OR FUNDING? 

 Yes I believe so. Grants and Government funding usually do have ‘strings attached’.  Grants sometimes will increase the cost of the overall project and you are obligated to do the job the way the grant stipulates rather than using common sense and doing the job the way it should be done for our area.

 DO YOU THINK BIG TIMBER NEEDS TO REPEAL OR CREATE ANY ORDINANCES AND OR TAXES?

This is something I would like to look into.  I would need to gather more information, visit with city taxpayers and visit with law enforcement before making a final decision on repealing any city ordinances.  I do not know the last time the Council reviewed the ordinances they have established, but I think this is a necessity and I would be in favor of repealing an ordinance if deemed appropriate.  I know we probably have more ordinances than we need but the only ordinance I would personally like to create is no cell phone usage within a given distance from both schools.  As the children are loading the buses there are parents and siblings driving around the school picking up students and I have seen on numerous occasions a child almost get hit because the driver is talking on the cell phone and not paying attention to the children coming from all directions at the same time.  This would be an ordinance dealing with our children/grandchildren’s lives.  I would be willing to listen to any other proposals on city ordinances.

Creating or repealing taxes?  I am a conservative.  I feel we pay enough taxes.  Every time we turn around there is some necessity – food, gas, insurance, medical bills – going up.  The wages in Big Timber do not compensate for these increases.  I am not in favor of taxes going up.  I would also be in favor of repealing a tax if deemed appropriate.

Lori Minette’s response-Ward 2 Incumbent

I am respectfully declining to answer these questions.  My reasoning is thus:  The first two questions are just paraphrased from the BT Pioneer questions.  Those answers have not changed in the last week.  The next two questions cannot be answered without a specific knowledge of a situation. They are vague and open ended and cannot be answered in general terms.
Regards,
Lori Minette

 


One Response to “BT City Council Election”

  1. Maggi Dunakin says:

    Thank you Lori for walking the way you talk. You have never pretended to be something you are not, even when immersed in a culture that did not validate you. That is a rare quality indeed.

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