My name is Tom Clark and I am a Democrat running for Flathead County Commissioner, District 3. The county commissioners’ office has fallen short in representing the best interests of the people. I plan to restore transparency, accessibility, responsibility, and accountability to the position.
I am a fourth generation Flathead resident, a twenty-two-year business owner, and an avid outdoorsman. I have spent many years on local land use boards; School Districts 1 and 5 boards; as well as community-focused committees. My experiences show me that the valley has a need for infrastructure improvements, a better relationship between county and cities, a discussion between all people regarding land use, as well as exploring alternate sources of revenue to gain more from the tourist industry and part-time residents.
The people of the Flathead want–and deserve– new leadership. I ask that you give me the opportunity to serve you with open leadership. I want to work together with the cities, people, state legislators, and fellow commissioners to provide a more efficient government.
Tom Clark, Flathead County Commissioner Candidate
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Tom Clark for Flathead County Commissioner
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Kalispell, MT 59904
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The current relationships between the cities and county fail to meet any standard of efficiency. As cuts to funding are made, it is imperative that these partnerships improve. With revision, the quality of service, growth plans, and expenditures can be improved upon to benefit all the people of our county. We as a county are stronger if we work as partners with our cities, rather than as adversaries.
The ownership of property is guaranteed as an inalienable right under the Montana Constitution, but with all rights come responsibilities. I recognize the rights of people to use their property in accordance with all laws and regulations placed upon them by the governing authorities. I also recognize the rights of neighboring landowners to have their health, safety, value, and ability to enjoy their property protected.
WATER PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION
We are blessed to live in an area with an abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams. These natural resources are a major reason so many people have either moved here, have second homes here, or vacation here. There are major threats to our waters: commercialization by bottling plants; invasive species, such as the Zebra mussel; and the rail transport of oil and coal along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Any one of these could cause catastrophic damage to our rivers, lakes, and aquifers. We as a county need to be proactive in our efforts to protect these waters. We need to work closely with state agencies and rail companies to put comprehensive plans in place to not only prevent a disaster, but to remediate one if it occurs. The expenditure required will be economic insurance to protect our county and financial well-being. We need to be proactive, not reactive when it comes to one of our most precious resources.
LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND NEIGHBORHOOD PLANS
I am fully in favor of neighborhood plans and other citizen-driven planning options. These are set by community members to best meet the needs of the area. The people are the best voice for determining the needs of their community. If the plans follow the laws and regulations of the State of Montana and the Flathead County Growth Policy, and accurately represents the people, it is important that the county respects and follows them. Business interests should not take precedence over individuals.
Property taxes in Flathead County have become a burden to the average person. These taxes continue to rise; the introduction of a general sales tax would harm young families, the elderly, veterans, and the disabled. Instead, the county needs to capitalize on the growing tourist industry and part-time residents. This requires the county commissioners to work closely with the state legislators and the governor’s office to develop a comprehensive plan to create revenue, in accordance with the laws and regulations of Montana. There are many options available such as surcharges on rental cars and boats, or a county-wide tax on hotels, motels, and vacation rental properties.
Clark is a county-wide citizen
Tom Clark, a candidate for Flathead County Commission, is a citizen of Flathead County. He will represent everyone: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents and do what is right for the county and its residents. He is looking forward to having a relationship with all of the communities. Working together, planning for the future in an efficient way.
His past experience, representing members of his community on school boards, proves he does not have to wear the name of a political party to work for the good of his community. He will represent everyone. He knows how to do it. Just talk to his neighbors. Tom Clark has a history of working within a given law; can bring together opposing view points to solve problems by using common goals. Too many of the lawsuits against Flathead County, costing millions of taxpayer dollars, were simply wrongful decisions made by the commissioners. They did not follow the laws that were on the books.
He is a fiscally, experienced conservative, and believes the revenue has to be in place to pay for the decisions that require money. The record of his experience is there to see, as a school board member.
Tom knows Flathead County and Montana. He is a local businessman, a sportsman, a property-owner, a public servant and a family man. He is, by far, the most qualified candidate for the Flathead County Commission. He will do what is right for the county. Join me and others as we seek to bring experience, common goals, and a fiscally responsible public servant to the government of a growing Flathead County. VOTE FOR TOM CLARK.
— JoLynn Yenne, Bigfork