Q. What are the most challenging economic growth issues facing Whitefish, and what solutions do you propose for handling growth?
A. Growing our Whitefish businesses and recruiting some businesses to the area. I believe solution lies in working with the Whitefish Chamber, and Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau, and enforcing our zoning and ordinances. We have created a Sustainable Tourism Committee to help us better match the community’s vision of how we manage and accommodate our seemingly ever-increasing numbers of visitors.
Q. Is the city of Whitefish doing enough to address affordable/workforce housing?
A. We are doing what we think we can and should do. The program we have had in place for many years was not doing the job. After much work and public input we have crafted a set of ordinances to hopefully change what has been a losing game. I suspect we will need to be very attentive to its effectiveness as well as potential impacts on some of our “traditionally” single family areas that have zoning that would accommodate higher density. I am open to those neighborhoods coming together and asking for a change if that is what they desire.
Q. Preserving the quality of Whitefish Lake and the small-town character of Whitefish are important issues for the resort town. What further steps can the city take to ensure these values are preserved?
A. I might disagree a bit with the characterization of Whitefish as a “resort” town. We are a community whose economy is driven by our amenities. Whitefish is not just a resort town. We are not a Vail or Aspen. As for what more we can do for the lake, continue our work with those areas and properties that are outside the city and we know are causing problems to convince them it is in their best interests to clean up/repair or replace the antiquated septic systems. We have taken the lead on inspections to prevent invasive species of aquatic life from spoiling the lake. And again, we need to remain vigilant that the zoning and ordinances we have in place continue to serve as intended.
Q. What qualities make you the best candidate for a council position?
A. I have demonstrated over the 20 years I/we have been a part of this community the ability and willingness to work on the hard issues we face in managing our growth in ways that are consistent with Whitefish’s history and values. My wife and I came here because of what Whitefish is, not with an interest to exploit it or make it something it is not. As a lawyer I believe that I bring a measured, thoughtful voice to debate and problem-solving.