Sunday, October 14

Candidates for Neighborhood Council 7, and my Request for your Vote

I am the current chair of Neighborhood Council 7, which represents the lower North and South sides of Great Falls. The council is up for re-election this November.

As of the August 23 filing deadline, the following individuals filed for election to the council. I have marked incumbents with an (i), and listed them in alphabetical order by last name:

Matt Anderson;
Ole Johnson;
Donna Sadler; (i)
Mike Taylor; (i)
Erin Tropila; (i)
Aaron Weissman; (i)

As I am running in this race, I am not going to make any recommendations, beyond asking for your vote (if you live in the downtown area). I don't know anything about the two individuals running for their first term on the council, but thank them both for expressing interest.

The council has five seats. Therefore, one of the six of us that have volunteered our time will not be elected to the council.

I ask for and would appreciate your vote. If elected, I will continue to urge the council to;

  • Slow down traffic on 9th Street. This is a residential street, partially as evidenced by the location of elementary school zones that require kids to cross this street to get to and from school. Since the new pedestrian median when in place on 4th Ave N., I have heard complaints that it has slowed down traffic on 9th. Good. I want the city to build more of these things.

  • Work to make the Make the Lower North and South Sides a Safe Place to Live, Work and Play. Great Falls is changing. The new courthouse and Medical centers mean that more and more Great Falls residents are working outside of the downtown. However, over 7,000 people live in the Lower North and South sides, and thousands of Great Falls residents work here. As the most 'urban' area of Great Falls, we have our problems. However, none of these problems are insurmountable. We need more police officers patrolling our area, more blocks protected by Neighborhood Watch and more proactive efforts by city and county code enforcement. Especially in the Summer months, this area gets too rowdy. It is up to us to make sure that our neighborhood is clean and safe.

  • Keep our Parks Presentable and Fun. Except for the golf courses, most of the city's Park and Rec resources are in the Lower North and South sides. This district includes the Skate Park, the Natatorium, Mitchell Pool and Gibson Park. The maintenance of these areas has significant challenges. These challenges include the profane (the Skate Park), the administrative (Usage of resources like the Nat and the Mitchell is difficult to track because of current cash register procedures) and the mundane (did you know that a Canadian Goose produces 2 lbs. of 'goose grease' per day? Do you know how many geese live in Gibson Park?) While the council has no direct oversight over the Park and Rec department, we will continue to urge the city to maintain these resources.

In addition to these overarching goals, if elected I will urge the council to continue meeting with the Neighborhood Watch and I will begin rotating meetings to locations throughout our council area, including the Lower South side. I am currently attempting to have our December meeting at the gym at Longfellow school.

Again, I ask for your vote. If you have any questions, please contact me at your convenience. A comment on this post is an excellent way to contact me. Thank you.

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