Letters to the editor Nov. 4

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Boeing: October 30, 2019

Vote for balanced growth

I support Ryan Hunter for Kalispell City Council Ward 3. I agree with his priorities and see them as having immediate value while also being investments in the long-term health of Kalispell.

Ryan wants to balance growth and livability. I, too, favor mixed-use, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly development for many reasons not the least of which is that it provides a better chance to get to know our neighbors and more opportunities to really enjoy this glorious town we call home.

Ryan supports an affordable housing plan. This issue is critical if we want a vibrant workforce and community. When a young family just starting out can’t afford to live in Kalispell then we are missing out on their youthful energy, new skills, and the long-term contributions they can make to our mutual benefit.

Ryan has also promised to pursue cost savings for Kalispell through energy efficiency. Reduced energy consumption and lower costs? Sounds like a plan worth pursuing.

Join me in voting for Ryan Hunter for Kalispell City Council Ward 3.

—Susie Burch, Kalispell

Kuntz keeps taxes low

Rod Kuntz, since his election to the City Council in 2014, has worked with others to keep city taxes below the mill levy allowance by creative thinking and outside-the-box funding that does not involve taxing you. That means you get to keep more of your hard-earned money.

This is just one way that Rod Kuntz has striven to maintain what he believes is the intended historical role of government: Keep government small, taxes low and promote free markets. If his philosophically different opponent wins, count on your taxes going up, as someone has to pay for bloated government. Vote for Rod Kuntz on Tuesday and encourage your neighbors to do the same.

—Julie Baldridge, Kalispell

Hunter is informed and cares

There have been some local elections in the past when I felt as if I didn’t know much about the candidates beyond a few bullet points on a flyer left at my doorstep. This time around, I’m fortunate to know one of the candidates for Kalispell City Council in Ward 3, Ryan Hunter. Others have written letters in support of his policy ideas, but since I’ve known him for about 10 years, I wanted to say a few words about him as a person.

Many of the qualities that make him such a person of integrity in everyday life are the same qualities that will make him a great council member. First and foremost, he cares about being informed on issues that impact this community and he listens to other people’s opinions, even if they differ from his own. He is honest and speaks up for what he believes in, even when it might be uncomfortable to do so. He is respectful of others and values the diversity of experience that each person can bring to the table. And as anyone who knows him can tell you, he has an incredible work ethic!

I respect the folks who serve as our council members – they do a difficult and mostly thankless job, that’s for sure. I am glad Ryan has thrown his hat into this race because I believe he has much to offer. If elected, you can be as confident as I am that he will work hard to listen to and represent the interests of all his constituents.

—Dawn Tacke, Kalispell

Kalispell sales tax

In a letter to the editor, City Councilor Phil Guiffrida advocated for my election opponent, Rod Kuntz, by insisting that Kuntz would keep “your hard-earned money in your pockets” and protect your “bank account.” His letter implied that I couldn’t be trusted to do the same. The timing of this letter is amusing because Rod and I recently spoke at a Chamber of Commerce event where we were asked whether we would support a general sales tax in Kalispell. Proponents of the general sales tax want to use it to reduce impact fees on developers. Rod answered with a resounding, “yes,” he would support such a sales tax. I responded no, that a general sales tax is a regressive tax that hits lower income individuals harder than wealthier folks. I am open to pushing the State to allow a targeted sales tax, such as on hotels and restaurants aimed at tourists, but I will not support a general sales tax that unfairly shifts the tax burden from developers onto residents who can least afford it.

­—Ryan Hunter is a candidate for Kalispell City Council Ward 3

Kuntz a straight shooter

I have known straight-shooter fiscally conservative Rod Kuntz for over 20 years. Voters, do not underestimate how much is at stake in this race for Kalispell City Council Ward 3 race coming for a vote Tuesday Nov. 5.

Ward 3 is the downtown business district and older east/west residential neighborhoods. Gifted in administration, discernment and rational thought, Rod Kuntz makes sound decisions. Being a Godly pro-life man is a fair yardstick for soundness of mind. As councilman for five years, Rod Kuntz has worked with other fiscally conservative councilman to keep our taxes below the state allowed cap.

If Rod’s opponent wins this race, the council will be majority big government, big taxation individuals. I urge you to vote for Rod Kuntz, Ward 3 and pass this message on.

—Annie Bukacek, Kalispell

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