Election mailbag Oct. 31

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Hunter’s priorities good for Kalispell

As a fifth-generation Montanan, I have watched Kalispell grow with great speed. My Great-great-grandfather started the Anderson Theater Company. The Strand, Liberty, Gateway Cinemas, the Sundown and Midway Drive-In were my family’s second home. These theaters thrived in their day, as did the downtown.

I want the Kalispell downtown to thrive now, like it did back then. I also want my kids to have the option to be able to live here if they want when they grow up and be able to afford to live here when they are in their early 20’s.

Two of Ryan Hunter’s priorities are balancing growth and livability, and developing an affordable housing plan for future growth. Ryan has a degree in urban and regional planning, and has worked on affordable housing and development issues as a previous planner. Ryan has the experience and passion to make Kalispell a great place for our future generations to call home.

I strongly urge you to vote for Ryan Hunter Ward 3 city councilman.

­—Tara Lee, Kalispell

Vote Kuntz for common sense solutions

Re-elect Rod Kuntz. He has shown time and again that he has the ability to rise above the politics of the moment and lead with clear judgment.

Just recently, his opponent opposed current and strengthened legislation that will effectively curtail random strangers from living on the doorsteps of your friends and neighbors throughout Kalispell. Councilman Kuntz was able to see through the catch phrases of the day and support legislation that would maintain an expected level of safety and services for those he represents. Portland-style tent cities do not belong in the neighborhoods of Kalispell.

Supporting Rod Kuntz is support for real common sense solutions, not big city politics. Join me in supporting the re-election of Rod Kuntz to Ward 3.

­—Chad Graham, Kalispell City Council Ward 2

Hunter brings fresh vision

It is no secret that the Flathead Valley is experiencing growing pains as rapid growth continues. We are on the map with beautiful water, open farmland remaining, interconnected ecosystems, and an ongoing climate of grit, ingenuity, ethic, and heart. All of this requires conservation and protection – not just for some, but for all.

We also host increasing economic growth as well as strain, including rising housing costs. We work hard to make ends meet, and either stayed, returned, or relocated to the Flathead Valley in order to enjoy and contribute to the quality of living the area offers as we raise and care for our families. We have likely seen the valley change much in the past decades, some for the good and some that could have benefited from better strategy and teamwork. Growth brings gifts as well as challenges and any good design requires savvy planning, adaptability, and kind-hearted teamwork. We all are in this growth together – every bit of diverse demographic living locally and hosting scores of visitors to our wild habitats and businesses each season.

Long before Ryan Hunter knocked on our front door to announce his candidacy, he had already been a great neighbor. Ryan and his family have always been friendly and shared thoughtful conversation. His local experience and contributions in conservation and planning with Flathead Land Trust, Flathead Trails, Kalispell School District, regionally in the Pacific Northwest, and internationally with the Peace Corps all offer Kalispell and the Flathead Valley keen and inclusive leadership perspectives. Kalispell is ready for fresh vision and leadership as we choose to grow and thrive in ways that protect what makes this place so dear to so many. My vote goes to Ryan Hunter. I hope yours will too.

—Alethea Schaus, Kalispell

Norton best choice for Whitefish

I strongly support Rebecca Norton for Whitefish City Council.

She devotes herself to understanding the issues and gives them careful thought.

I stand with Leo Keane when he recently spoke up at Whitefish City Council and advocated that Whitefish needs to improve its tools for curbing undisciplined development.

I have listened to Rebecca considerably and think she will work hard at reigning in undisciplined development. I believe she supports preserving the small-town character of Whitefish, particularly preserving neighborhood character. An important point: she advocates curtailing the size of the City Council “packet” so that the council has a better chance of understanding what developers are advocating.

—Ben Cavin, Whitefish

Thought over thoughtlessness

Its about time we had someone like Ryan Hunter on the Kalispell City Council. He is a thoughtful and well-informed leader who can help ensure that Kalispell is the sort of place we all want to live. Too many times these council positions are used by people to score points or to parrot simplified internet foolishness. That just worsens our divide and does nothing to solve problems or enact good policy. It’s the sort of thing we all claim to hate.

Five minutes with Mr. Hunter tells you that he is not just a megaphone for some far-off ideology. He is an informed and concerned Kalispell citizen who has the backbone to help make a difference. He wants what we all should want. A vibrant Kalispell where we can live and prosper.

Kalispell will be what we plan for it to become. Mr. Hunter understands what makes this place special and what could be improved upon. Open spaces for our parks and recreation are important. Good transportation for our businesses and schools are important. Local access to stores and services are important. Services and taxes that are fair to all residents are important.

Voting for Mr. Hunter is a great opportunity for us all to support problem solving over partisanship. Thought over thoughtlessness. Good policy over angry reaction.

It’s time that votes were cast for what we say we value. Let’s start now. Vote for Ryan Hunter for Kalispell City Council.

—Ryan Busse, Kalispell

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