Brian LaMeres

Certified Public Accountant

Former Software Application Manager for the City of Bozeman

Community Affordable Housing Board Member

 

What would your top priorities be as Mayor?

Just like the last two times I ran for Mayor, I’m more about the HOW – the process – rather than the WHAT.  I work for the People, so whatever is important to Bozeman is going to be important to me. 

Process improvements for me will include things like greater:

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, and all-around BETTER GOVERNMENT.

So, we’re going to tackle the obvious housing issue, and stay the course with our Affordable Housing Action plan.  We’re going to stay the course with our Climate Action Plan.

We are going to find out why some respondents to the Gaps Analysis for Equity Indicators Project survey provided some of the disturbing answers that they did, because discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated in Bozeman.

We’re going to be smart about our water shortage.

We’re going to place more importance on the voice of the neighbors when it comes to growth and development occurring around them.

And again, whatever priorities the citizens bring to me will become MY priorities.

 

Why should MSU students vote for you?

MSU students should vote for me because I was once an MSU student, and I can relate to what they’re going through. I know how hard it is to be a working student.  I know how difficult the housing situation is in this town can be, and I’ve lived in Wagon Wheel Trailer Court a couple different times because that is all that I could afford.  (And I did find the people in there to be among the finest I have ever met.)

I know how hard it is to stay in Bozeman after you graduate without getting a job in your degree right away.  Being an MSU Graduate, I will instinctively be a voice for all MSU students and hold their interests dear to my heart – it will come naturally to me having been there myself.

 

 What issue should young Montanans be most concerned about?

I am continually impressed by the social responsibility and concern for the future that young Montanans have – keep it up!  Additionally, I think all of us need to keep an eye on the overall economic health of our Nation, including the size of our national debt and more importantly, the fact that our debt is becoming less attractive to global investors.  We need to be cautious about the federal government continuing to just print money, no matter how attractive the associated legislation might seem to us locally.

Student debt is obviously also a concern, and I realize it’s easier said than done – but young Montanans should give a lot of thought to their career and be sure to earn a degree which will support them financially.Or in some cases, maybe a college degree isn’t the right fit.   There are an increasing number of lucrative opportunities in trade occupations such as electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics, HVAC experts, and carpenters, to name a few.   Put a lot of thought into doing what makes you happy.   But again, the younger generation seems truly committed to leaving the world better than they found it, and I applaud you!

 

 Why did you decide to run for Mayor of Bozeman?

I decided to run for Mayor of Bozeman mainly because I feel the residents of Bozeman need somebody to stand up for THEM, to be their voice, and to put them back in charge.  Due to our system of government in Montana, I think the will of the people has basically been hijacked by the unelected bureaucrats at City Hall.   

 

Part of that is because current and past City Commissions have been too quick to take City Hall’s word instead of pushing back on things that don’t align with their own common sense.Many times I think this is because some of these matters can be fairly complex, especially the financial issues.   I feel that I can be an educated and experienced Voice of the People who will question the answers and not be so quick to “rubber stamp” everything that comes in front of me.

 

Here’s one example of what I mean:

COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX proposed on upcoming ballot:   we should be able to accomplish all the goals of this new tax WITHOUT adding yet another tax on your backs.   How?   One easy answer:   Remember the Parks & Trails District that you just voted in a year and a half ago?   Part of that deal was that $2.3 million in spending capability – per year – was to be freed up since Parks was no longer going to be funded from your General Fund.  So WHERE did all that money go?   I realize there are legitimate reasons for some of it, but there should be way more than enough left to fully fund the goals of this new tax.

 

 What are some steps you would take to help mitigate effects of the quickly increasing population of Gallatin County?

I will continue our focus on high-density development as outlined in the City’s Growth Policy to avoid sprawl and the evaporation of our agricultural land and to protect our natural surroundings for all to enjoy.  Continued focus on public transportation, and connecting all the missing routes, will hopefully help to mitigate traffic congestion and provide a way for many more Bozeman residents to take advantage of the bus system for their daily commute and to conduct daily errands.  Expanded bicycling and pedestrian routes will also help take the pressure off our road system, and I will work to make bicyclists and walkers feel safe so that we maximize these opportunities.

Public safety will also be a priority of mine to ensure that we all stay safe as Bozeman continues to grow.

 

What plans and policy ideas do you have to help the Bozeman/Belgrade economy recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

By many accounts, Bozeman’s post-COVID economy is doing better than most, and I would assume that is due in large part to Montana relying on property taxes to pull us through the Pandemic, and property taxes are more stable and dependable than the sales tax that many states rely on.  The remaining important piece seems to be the worker shortage, and I admit we at our locally owned small business are struggling to figure that out.  I would love the chance to have a roundtable with MSU students and other members of Bozeman’s workforce of all ages to better determine what employers can do to attract them to work at their business.  We’ve tried increasing wages and asking current employees how they feel about benefits like insurance and retirement, but we still have more questions than answers.   As with many issues, I think greater communication here is the first step in helping Bozeman fully recover from the effects of the Pandemic. 

 

What are your favorite things about living/working in Bozeman?

At the top of my list would be that, despite the explosive growth, Bozeman still has that Montana small town feeling where people are still kind to each other and take the time to say hello or lend a hand when needed.  Additionally, I of course like the clean fresh air, the clean fresh water, the beautiful mountains and scenery and the outdoor recreation opportunities that go along with all that.  Furthermore, I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed a 25-year career with the City of Bozeman and getting the opportunity to serve the amazing people of this town and to use my skills to help keep Bozeman financially healthy, which in turn helps Bozeman be a better place for all to live.  And right now I again feel very lucky to have a deep connection with my “Better Half” Lisa’s business as we work to serve tourists and friends and families of our fellow Bozeman residents and do our best to make them proud.

 

 How do you plan to tackle the water crisis and the potential water shortage that may occur in the next 15 years?

For a while some alternatives like a water pipeline all the way from Canyon Ferry to Bozeman, or even a pipeline from the Yellowstone River over the hill from Livingston were discussed, but until we get a more realistic additional water source solution in place, we are going to have to increasingly rely on water conservation.   I would be open to the idea of Bozeman always operating during the summer as if it were under a Stage One drought – even though the requirements may not technically be triggered – in order to help preserve our water supply.  This past summer helped prove that Stage One is something that most Bozeman residents can manage without much impact on their daily lives, including their lawns and plants.

 

Former 3-time Mayor Jeff Krauss used to say that maybe we need to consider a temporary moratorium on further development if our water supply gets too low, and I’m willing to keep that idea on the table.  Short of that we’ll just have to continue to explore further usage restrictions and methods of water rationing on top of other conservation measures. 

 

How do you plan to create affordable housing for MSU’s college students and the Bozeman community?

Generally speaking, I think we need to be more realistic and move away from the “single-family detached home for everybody” philosophy and instead include 4 and 5 story rental apartment buildings in our Housing efforts.  

 

We need to especially consider this solution within Bozeman’s “Opportunity Zone” near MSU to continue the South University District model to attract even more of the 10,000 MSU students living elsewhere in Bozeman to move closer to MSU and free up housing out in the City’s core, in addition to supporting more non-student apartments within our Opportunity Zone.

 

There is also a “Code Audit” underway to determine whether Bozeman’s own planning and zoning regulations are hindering the creation of Affordable Housing, and indications thus far are that improvements can be made – so I eagerly await the final results of that study.

 

Additionally, Bozeman’s official Census population just surpassed 50,000 so we are now eligible for federal funding for housing, so we need to aggressively tap into that.

 

Last but not least, the City of Bozeman needs to do its best to get the infrastructure in place to allow the free market to increase our supply of housing.   One example is the Davis Lift Station, which is a key piece of wastewater infrastructure needed on the northwest edge of town which is predicted to facilitate the creation of thousands of additional housing units in Bozeman.

 

As mayor, how would you collaborate with MSU?

I believe that direct communication is key to better collaboration with MSU.  

That includes:

·   Making sure MSU is invited to the table for any and all discussions that might affect MSU

·   More roundtable discussions like the upcoming “Community Roundtable on Equity & Inclusion” on October 25th

·   Consider continuing the education program conducted by a former City Commissioner where regular monthly “classes” were held at City Hall for MSU students to attend and find out more about what the City does in general and what specific issues the City Commission was working on.

 

As has been stated by others, regional cooperation and planning is a critical step in most efficiently and effectively meeting Bozeman’s future challenges, and it only makes sense that MSU is in the loop to ensure that we share intellectual and physical resources as much as possible.

 

MSU students have a very large impact on Bozeman’s housing, transportation, and workforce issues, and the more we can tackle these challenges as partners, the better off we will all be.

 

I’m impressed by the Good Neighbor Committee currently underway with the City and MSU, and I would continue to support Good Neighbor Day and the other initiatives that go along with that.

 

I know we’ve held the Bozeman City Commission meeting on MSU’s campus at least once – although unfortunately it couldn’t be televised like normal due to technology restraints – but let’s work together to overcome those technical barriers so that we can hold those meetings more often.  We will all be better off once we better understand what each other is doing.

 

And again, from a financial perspective, the more we can share any joint resources such as Policing, Fire Protection, Water and Sewer infrastructure, Garbage and Recycling, etc., the more we’ll be able to keep the cost of Tuition and City Taxes down, and the more we’ll have available to tackle our other challenging issues together as Partners.

Christopher Brizzolara

MSU Architecture Student 

Snowboarding Instructor

 

What would your top priorities be as Mayor?

 

$22 minimum wage, developing and selling 3,300+ new $50K half-acre single family residential lots to Bozemanites (via my Build Bozeman by Bozeman 2.0 plan), increasing renters rights, grandfathering back property taxes for long time home owners, and developing Bozeman Central Park by burying all our infrastructure, reducing the amount of traffic light intersections, and paving a new Pedestrian and Bike loop that connects downtown with the M trail, modeled off the Italian town Lucca.

 

Why should MSU students vote for you?

 

I’m a current student right now! Enough said right?!

 

Joke, joke, joke. But yes, I go to MSU - I’m 29 though… and I already earned a master’s degree at la Universita di Roma, in architecture, but am getting my second degree now at MSU and will graduate in 2023. For my thesis, I studied affordable housing and that, as well as classes in urban planning, helped educate and train me to be able to create and write my first proposal, Build Bozeman by Bozeman. This proposal was ignored by the city commission, so I said fudge it, I’m running for mayor and am basing my campaign off Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party.

 

What issue should young Montanans be most concerned about?

How are you gonna live in Bozeman paying rent forever?

 

And is this the future we want Montana? To be a generation of forever renters to the enormous corporate developers that build these subdivisions of hundreds of homes, with 2 or three designs. Or how about when they jam as many 3 story apartment buildings onto one block as possible (like West Babcock’s end). These cookie cutter nightmares, and 3 story apartment buildings with repeating designs are not the answers for this city.

           

But this is what the current city commission thinks. And the real winners are all the developers who would never waste their time making something more affordable. Which is why something needs to be done, and we need to stay focused – otherwise we’ll never own a home in our lifetimes.

 

Why did you decide to run for Mayor of Bozeman?

Terry is a liar and a corporate-weasel-yes-man who will say anything in order to get a vote, like how he said, “vote for him so the rich don’t run Bozeman” – yet this fat cat is spending over $23K!!! to run against me. That’s what I’m paying for 5 semesters of grad school at MSU, and this Hilary Clinton-esch politician is so out of touch with what’s affecting the town’s average citizen, yet he pretends he cares about the average Montanan or young person.

He’s so transparent and phony, and he’s too concerned about using the right pronouns and not being called a racist than doing anything to help us out. (And of course he’s not racist – he’s just so terrified of being called that). He also claims he cares about the minimum wage, yet he’s running for his third term, so why hasn’t the minimum wage changed in the other two of his terms? Because he doesn’t care and is more concerned being invited to social events than helping us – the people.

 

“Oh and Chris, aren’t there 3 opponents?” Pfff, oh yeah, then there’s Brian. Brian’s already lost twice. What’s new this time?! (cough) Nothing. And what’s the definition of insanity again Brian?! You’re not Lincoln running on some super ethical issue or campaign… You’re just bored.

        

So because I was un-inspired, and because my affordable housing plan Build Bozeman by Bozeman was ignored, it sparked the fighter in me, and so I decided to run instead of feeling helpless. I can solve the affordable housing crisis. I have the education, professional experience, and energy + creativity that my other “opponents” come no where close to.

 

What are some steps you would take to help mitigate effects of the quickly increasing population of Gallatin County?

Government can’t do anything preventing someone from moving here.

What I can do though is give locals the opportunity to build their own homes on $50K ½ acre lots in new subdivisions that will be laid-out and designed by the winners of design competitions, I as mayor will hold, and soon our city will be able to develop over 3,300 new sites for homes thus spawning hundreds of millions of dollars for our local economy.

 

What plans and policy ideas do you have to help the Bozeman/Belgrade economy recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic?

 

Allow business taxes to be delayed for 5 years, and grandfather back real estate property taxes, and have citizens pay taxes on what they bought their home for, adjusted with inflation, rather than the ever-increasing comparable and estimate they use now.

 

I also want to invite the Canadian Engineering Firm called Carbon Engineering to Bozeman to launch a new plant that will be able to make our own diesel and gasoline from the CO2 pollution in our air. It’s amazing technology, and the company is expanding worldwide this year! We can be one of their new factories and create thousands of union jobs in the valley.

 

What are your favorite things about living/working in Bozeman?

The mountains. I love snowboarding and taught it for 5 different seasons. If I lose this election, but MSU… we are about 18K Bozemanites, and in 2019 the last election was just under 12K… if every person came out and voted, we’d win automatically! However, being realistic, if I lose… I’m gonna try and teach again this winter while going to MSU.

 

How do you plan to tackle the water crisis and the potential water shortage that may occur in the next 15 years?

Hiring experts to help me plan and develop manmade lakes, while also planting way more trees, and designing beautiful brick acquaducts throughout our state. We need to start regenerating water in the valley, and I am so excited to work with professionals on this. And of course, California or Arizona can get their own water; Montana will be fine in the future if we disregard them.

 

How do you plan to create affordable housing for MSU’s college students and the Bozeman community?

Please go to my website, BozemanbyBozeman.wordpress.com and read my plans I laid out. They explain it better, however I, as mayor, would of course also support and help develop more MSU buildings and projects for housing. I would help them fast-track permits, and look forward to continue building up MSU’s campus. 

 

So yes, please go see my proposals on my website, and by the way, it’s a .wordpress website because that’s a free domain, and I’m spending no money on this campaign and will never receive or take any donations from anyone or any company.

 

Terry Hillary Clinton Cunningham and his $23 Gs can’t say that. He also can’t come up with creative solutions like I can, and instead, he has so much money, he has his own think tank! How rich does someone have to be to have that? I can’t imagine what he’s paying in salaries and insurance plans. Or is it fake and phony, just like him. And instead, he just hired a millennial to design a website for him, so he could say he has a “think tank” and appears like a good, little boy politician that is quote, thinking hard about the issues.”

 

Do you think a fat cat like that cares about you or the fact that the dryers and washers at MSU cost $2 per load?! Per load?!

           

Well MSU I care. I care so much, this is why I’m running for mayor, and why I wrote an entire binder full of proposals.

 

 As mayor, how would you collaborate with MSU?

As much as possible. Events, planning, fast tracking building permits, planning new housing/ apartments, and dorms… yada yada yada. This would be my plans, and I’ll sit in on any meeting I’m invited to as well.

Terry Cunningham

Current City Commissioner and Deputy Mayor 

Former Media Services Manager at RJR Nabisco 

Former VP of Promotional Sales at Turner Broadcasting 

 

What would your top priorities be as Mayor?

 

Creating the regional partnerships and collaborations necessary to address our most pressing community issues. Whether it’s student & workforce housing, increasing our childcare capacity, addressing long-term water needs, building resilient & sustainable neighborhoods, planning for future growth, addressing property tax fatigue, or reacting to climate change, no one institution – by themselves - can achieve the types of comprehensive solutions our community needs.

 

The cities of Bozeman, Belgrade and Four Corners are all working on these issues separately, as are MSU, the Bozeman School District, Gallatin County, Bozeman Health, area employers and non-profits. For the most part, we are operating in our own silos despite the fact that our independent actions impact one another and we each have talented people working on solutions. By collaborating on these issues, we can achieve far more than we can independently.

 

I am a trusted partner of the major institutions that should be collaborating more closely, and I can build the types of partnerships that produce real results. My top priorities as Mayor would be all of the items mentioned above, but my approach to them would be on a regional basis as opposed to a city-centric basis.

 

Why should MSU students vote for you?

 

Since joining the City Commission in 2018, I have been a strong & consistent advocate for the issues that MSU students care most about, and I’ve been able to make progress on addressing those issues over the past 4 years. A few examples include: I helped develop the Bozeman Community Housing Action Plan to address our rental and ownership crisis and I’ve been instrumental in rolling out the plan and its 75 action items. I helped develop Bozeman’s Climate Action Plan, the most aggressive carbon reduction goals of any Montana city, and I helped form the Big Sky Energy Collaborative; comprised of Bozeman, Missoula and Helena to negotiate renewable energy agreements with Northwestern Energy.

 

I initiated a county-wide sensitive land study to protect wildlife habitat, wetlands and riparian areas from future development. I am personally responsible for helping to create or preserve over 300 affordable rental units in Bozeman over the past 2 years. I helped craft Montana Senate Bill 313, which would have lowered property taxes. I led the effort to increase the minimum wage of Bozeman City workers and challenged other local institutions to follow suit. I led the effort to require all city contractors and vendors to abide by the city’s Equal Pay policy. I have been leading the effort to ensure the safety of women and girls in our community and study the root causes of gender pay and access disparities. Visit terryforbozeman.com for a comprehensive list of accomplishments.

 

What issue should young Montanans be most concerned about?

 

Can I pick two? 1. The current generation of college graduates will be the first in recent memory to experience a decline in quality of life indicators when compared to their parents. With crushing student debt, housing costs rising far faster than wages, out-of-reach starter home prices, the financial and emotional impact of climate change, lack of adequate childcare and mental health resources, embedded racism, etc., the generational promise of America – that hard work and education can lift each successive generation above that of their parents - is no longer a reasonable expectation. 2. Decades of neglect and denial in the face of solid scientific evidence warning of the dangers of a warming planet have resulted in a situation where the impacts of climate change are being visited upon us on an increasing basis, yet no coordinated effort is being made to address the planet’s most pressing crisis. The Earth’s climate systems are reaching a tipping point and when systems collapse, they often do so in a rapid manner with cascading effects that will impact every living being on the planet.

 

Why did you decide to run for Mayor of Bozeman/Belgrade? 

I believe that we are all called to make a positive difference in the world. I’ve tried to do that over the past 23 years in Bozeman by serving the community in a variety of roles including volunteering for the Food Bank, Family Promise, the animal shelter, Bozeman Ice Festival, Friends of Hyalite, the Ridge Run, etc. as well as serving in volunteer leadership positions including Bozeman Health Board Chair and co-chair of the committee that funded the new Intensive Care Unit and Mobile Community Outreach Clinic. 

 

It was my experience in leading two collaborative community efforts that brought me into contact with city and county government. The Bozeman Boulder Initiative designed, built and funded six recreational climbing boulders in city and county parks. Run Dog Run designed, built and funded six off-leash dog parks in the Bozeman area. Those projects taught me the value of partnerships and collaboration. So, when I was asked to run for the City Commission four years ago, I decided that I would use my skills in forging positive working relationships between organizations in an effort to solve the city’s most vexing problems. I believe my record of accomplishments proves that I’m worthy of leading that effort as Mayor of Bozeman.

 

What are some steps you would take to help mitigate effects of the quickly increasing population of Gallatin County?

 

The recently adopted Bozeman Growth Plan is an excellent blueprint for how we need to make future land use decisions; we need to bring it to life. By treating each parcel of land as precious, we can promote compact neighborhoods with a mix of housing types and convenient neighborhood-scale retail shops. By enacting the 75 action items in our 2020 Affordable Housing Action Plan, we can ensure that we have an adequate supply of housing for all income levels. The Sensitive Land Study I initiated will identify and protect wildlife habitat and corridors. By building the recreational greenbelt hiking, running and biking trail I’ve proposed, we can pull users out of National Forest trailheads and onto a user-friendly recreational loop.

 

The regional water & wastewater planning project we are initiating with Gallatin County and Belgrade will provide for our future needs, but it needs to be coupled with an aggressive water conservation plan. In the area of transportation, I have proposed the creation of two major bicycle boulevards in Bozeman to make bike commuting less dangerous, and I believe we need to pursue strategies to expand our transit system, including more user-friendly bus schedules and park & ride options for downtown and major employment centers.

 

What plans and policy ideas do you have to help the Bozeman/Belgrade economy recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

Early in the pandemic, I spearheaded two efforts to address community needs. I negotiated a partnership between Bozeman Health and Simms to produce washable medical gowns for the frontline staff. I also created the Mask Up Gallatin promotion where those wearing masks in public places were rewarded with a game card to win lift tickets, gift cards and merchandise.

 

Moving forward, we need to continue to encourage vaccination, particularly among young adults by making it convenient and fun via pop-up clinics that also serve as entertainment hubs. Once the vaccine is eligible for those under 12, we need to promote “all family” clinics where adults also receive boosters. Increasing vaccination rates in the county will make customers feel more secure about shopping and dining locally.

 

In terms of economic recovery, I would encourage local businesses to apply for the $800,000 in COVID Relief grants and loans that the City of Bozeman set aside to be managed by Prospera. To mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic on hourly wage earners, I encourage them to apply for financial assistance from the $500,000 fund the commission recently created for those most directly impacted by the pandemic. Given the current labor shortage, we can also encourage employers to think creatively about employee retention programs like workplace safety initiatives, childcare collaboratives, rental assistance, parking stipends, etc.

 

What are your favorite things about living/working in Bozeman? 

We are still a small enough town that we recognize familiar faces wherever we go and we know who to call when we need to get things done. There is a spirit of cooperation in Bozeman that manifests itself when we pull together toward a common goal. I have seen our community achieve great things – from conceiving and building an American Indian Hall at MSU, to creating a training facility for the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing team at Crosscut Ranch, to initiating a Housing First Village project to address chronic homelessness. Personally, I love that I have access to hiking, skiing and running trails that can get me into the backcountry where I find great peace and contentment. For me, heaven on Earth is running through a backcountry basin with my two knuckled-headed dogs, waiting to see what’s around the next bend in the trail or what’s over the next ridge.

 

How do you plan to tackle the water crisis and the potential water shortage that may occur in the next 15 years? 

There are three keys to addressing our water needs for future generations, and we need to make progress on all of them simultaneously. 1.Water conservation may sound trite, but it is an absolutely vital component of our overall plan. During our recent drought declaration, we asked Bozeman residents to only water their lawn twice a week and we reduced water usage by 27% city-wide! By planting drought-tolerant medians and parks, by discouraging HOAs from outlawing xeriscaping, by incentivizing water-efficient systems and irrigation systems, we can reduce overall demand considerably. 2.Accessing additional water sources. This includes moving forward with our plan to use wells to augment our current surface-water-only municipal water system, to moving forward with our regional plan to explore the Clark Fork Reservoir and Lower Missouri water diversion efforts, to creating deep-pool holding structures along Bozeman Creek, and to exploring cloud-seeding operations in the Bridger Mountain range. 3. Addressing climate change. The die is cast from a climate perspective; we will see less snowpack, extended drought cycles and increased wildfire as the planet continues to warm. This urgent planetary crisis must become our leading international priority. Otherwise, the aforementioned strategies are only temporary fixes.

 

How do you plan to create affordable housing for MSU’s college students and the Bozeman community? 

Since most MSU students are renters, the primary way to address their current housing needs is to increase rental stock to address the supply and demand imbalance. A healthy rental market is one that has a 5-7% vacancy rate, as opposed to the 0-1% vacancy rate we’re currently experiencing. We can accelerate this by encouraging high density zoning, resisting the NIMBY-ism that fights against rental units, and rewarding projects that produce reasonably-priced studio and 1 bedroom units. We should also incentivize, through our community housing fund, income-based rental units developed through the low-income housing tax credit program.

 

For the broader community, including MSU faculty and staff, our lack of starter-home inventory is forcing families and our workforce out of Bozeman. We should stimulate the building of cottage homes, townhomes, condos and small single-family units by working with large employers and land-owners to unlock their land for development of workforce housing and missing middle housing, as well as reducing minimum lot sizes and providing density bonuses. We should continue to use our tax increment finance tools to subsidize starter homes in TIF districts and we should revise our code to encourage compact neighborhood design such as we’re seeing with the Bridger View Redevelopment project.

 

As mayor, how would you collaborate with MSU? 

AHA! Now we’re at the crux of my campaign! The city and MSU already collaborate in the areas of water conservation, innovative wastewater treatment experiments, architectural design for affordability, and transportation demand management. But we’ve only scratched the surface of our collective potential. The city’s engineering and community development departments can evaluate MSU’s land holdings to determine the ideal parcels – including those in an opportunity zone - for faculty, staff and student housing projects. MSU can be added to our current negotiations with Northwestern Energy on a renewable rate option to achieve 100% net renewable electricity.

 

We can work together to build and staff a childcare facility on MSU campus that can serve the needs of graduate students, faculty & staff and city employees. MSU should be included in the city and county’s investigation of adding crisis responders and mental health professionals to emergency calls for those in mental health crisis. MSU can educate local builders and developers on how to use geothermal districts into their commercial and neighborhood designs to reduce carbon output. MSU can offer local business leaders symposiums and training on how diversity, equity & inclusion efforts can positively impact their bottom line. But most importantly, the city and MSU should integrally involve one another in their respective long-range strategic planning efforts to ensure that we are in lock-step about meeting one-another’s long term needs.