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Whitefish chamber, Whitefish Pilot host forum ahead of city election

| September 17, 2023 12:00 AM

Whitefish voters this fall will select three City Councilors from a contested ballot and decide on a change to the city’s resort tax allocation.

To help voters get to know the candidates, the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce and Whitefish Pilot are partnering to host Politics in the Park on Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Depot Park. The free event is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Incumbents Frank Sweeney, Steve Qunell and Rebecca Norton are on the ballot. The four challengers are Nathan Dugan, James Ramlow, Nancy Schuber and Kent Taylor.

Mayor John Muhlfeld is running unopposed, seeking his fourth term.

The city of Whitefish is putting a measure before voters that looks to direct a portion of the resort tax dollars toward community housing. If approved, the change would allow for 10% of resort tax collections to go to housing.

The resort tax is a 3% levy collected on “luxury” retail sales, lodging, at restaurants and for prepared food and alcoholic beverages. Funds generated from the 3% tax go to property tax relief, streets, parks and beginning in 2025 are set to go toward maintenance of the Whitefish Trail.

The event begins with a half-hour meet and greet with the City Council candidates, Muhlfeld, and supporters of the resort tax measure that will be decided in this fall’s election.

At 6 p.m., the seven candidates for City Council will square off in a 90-minute candidate forum moderated by Daily Inter Lake Regional Editor Matt Baldwin.

In addition to meeting the voters and fielding questions, candidates have been invited to bring their campaign signs and other materials to the event.

The chamber will also be working to “Get Out the Vote,” providing voter registration applications to new residents and first-time voters. Election Day is Nov. 7.

For more information or to submit a question for the candidates call the Whitefish Chamber at (406) 862-3501 or email kevin@whitefishchamber.org.