City Commission- Christopher Coburn

Experience 

 

Current City Commissioner

Gallatin City-County Board of Health Member

Gallatin County COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force Member

What would your top priorities be as City Commissioner?

 

My top priorities as a Commissioner are, and will continue to be: 

  • Getting us affordable and attainable housing 

  • Working collaboratively to combat the climate crisis

  • Staying grounded in public health expertise to recover from the COVD-19 pandemic 

  • Investing in community-based services that folks need 

  • Advancing equity and inclusion throughout the City 

  • Managing growth in a way that promotes health – for us and the environment 

 

Why should MSU students vote for you?

 

I think MSU students should vote for me because I understand, am connected to, and am impacted by many of the same issues that impact students. I also have a demonstrated track record of showing up for our community. I’ve been a part of teams that have brought about housing solutions for folks experiencing homelessness and teams that have designed shelters for survivors of domestic violence. I’ve contributed to collaboratives that have elevated conversations around, and improved access to, behavioral health care. And I continue to work to ensure that everybody has easy access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

 

As a commissioner, I’ll continue to work hard to set us up for the best possible future and do so in a way that brings everyone along.

 

What issue should young Montanans be most concerned about?

 

This past legislative session, young Montanans – like myself – saw many of our values mocked and attacked, and witnessed bad legislation advance and become law. We should all be concerned about rising income inequality, attacks on queer folks, climate change inaction, and the ongoing pandemic. We need local leaders who are committed to fighting for the future we deserve – and that’s exactly what I’m excited to do. 

 

Why did you decide to run for City Commissioner?

 

Like many folks in Bozeman, I’m burdened by student loan debt. I rent my apartment and I’m being priced out of our housing market. I work multiple jobs and am still no more than a couple paychecks away from having to make really difficult choices. The point is, I have a lot in common with most people in Bozeman and I’m serving and I’m running so that our voice and our experiences have a seat at the table.

 

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

 

I believe that we should manage growth, not fight against it. We should be guided by our growth plan which, among other things, calls for higher density, diverse neighborhoods, public transit, and multi-modal infrastructure. While implementing our growth plan, we also need to be supporting the services that folks need – like childcare, emergency housing, and behavioral healthcare – so those experiencing the most acute challenges of growth aren’t pushed out of our community.  

 

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

Our economy can’t recover while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge. Our top priority needs to be to reduce transmission, and that depends on high vaccination rates and adherence to public health recommendations. I’ll continue to support policies and positions aligned with those goals and I’ll also continue to be a strong advocate for federal relief and recovery dollars to go directly to folks who are being impacted by the pandemic.

 

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

 

I love a lot of things about living in Bozeman – too many to name, really. One of my favorite things is the fact that Bozeman feels like a true community, and I’m constantly meeting people who care as much as I do about working to make Bozeman the best it can possibly be. 

 

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

 

We need to make sure we’re using the water we have in the best possible way – and that means doing things like promoting climate-conscious and drought tolerant landscaping, building efficient buildings, protecting wetlands and others sensitive lands that store water, and maintaining our infrastructure. 

 

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

There isn’t one solution to our housing crisis, rather many strategies we need to use. From a policy perspective, that includes policies aimed at increasing density in our neighborhoods by doing things like making it easier to build ADUs, helping people convert their single-family home into a multi-family unit, and incentivizing the conversion of short-term air bnb rentals into long term affordable rentals. Proactive policies will bring the type of housing that folks like us need. 

City Commission I-Ho Pomeroy

Experience

Current City Commissioner 

Small business owner 

Affordable Housing Advisory Board Member

 

What would your top priorities be as City Commissioner? Affordable housing, climate change, open space, slow suburban sprawl.

 

Why should MSU students vote for you? I have almost 8 years experience on the commission. I am a small business owner. I listen, learn, and work with others.

 

What issue should young Montanans be most concerned about? Housing prices have a big impact right now. Climate change threatens the future.

 

Why did you decide to run for City Commissioner? I came to America  33 years ago, and America has given me many opportunities. I want to pay this back by service in government.

 

What are some steps you would take to help mitigate effects of the quickly increasing population of Gallatin County? Reduce delays in the review process for new developments, simplify the city codes for development, and work with MSU to provide more campus housing.

 

What plans and policy ideas do you have to help the Bozeman economy recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic? Not sure what the city can do. State and federal government have the ability to address those issues.

 

What are your favorite things about living/working in Bozeman? My husband and I live right downtown and so many things are within walking distance for us. We love to ski, and soak in hot springs.

 

How do you plan to tackle the water crisis and the potential water shortage that may occur in the next 15 years? Landscaping to reduce water usage. Low volume toilets, fuel reduction projects around hyalite reservoir. Seek to obtain new water rights for the city. Keep development as urban as possible.

 

How do you plan to create affordable housing for MSU’s college students and the Bozeman community? The voters will need to decide whether to vote for the 7 mil housing bond. The city can encourage developers to increase supply to meet demand.

Emily Talago and Evan Rainey submitted a joint questionnaire. Emily is running for the four year commission term and Evan is running for the two year commission term.The responses for these two candidates are selected from the same questionnaire. 

 

City Commission - Emily Talago, Evan Rainey 

Experience

  • Emily Talago

Research Scientist

Small business owner

Horticulturist

 

What would your top priorities be as City Commissioner(s)?

End development incentives that do not actually serve the needs of the community, strip the city’s development code of its inequitable and outdated mass and allow businesses and housing of all types to flourish; rebuild trust by actively, effectively, and meaningfully engaging neighborhoods; prioritize budget for back-logged maintenance over new projects; target support for those at risk of housing displacement. 

 

Why should MSU students vote for y’all?

We are young, passionate, and care deeply about our community. Emily is a cost burdened homeowner & Evan is a cost burdened renter. Together our views span left, right, and center. But by respectfully challenging each other’s views we’ve discovered the strength of our common ground and our belief in a unified Bozeman. We want to channel that for the public good.

 

What issue should young Montanans be most concerned about?

The city commission has almost no power over most issues young Montanan’s should be 

concerned about. Local government can't force people to flourish, but they certainly affect whether someone even can. Where we can remove barriers, we will. 

 

Why did you decide to run for City Commissioner?

We live here, we work here, we love it here. We want to protect the community by preserving the integrity and economic viability of everyone making a go of it here. 

 

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

Work collaboratively with the county and other municipalities to bring the pace of growth more in line with the pace of growth’s necessitated infrastructure expansion.

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

Prioritize support where it is most needed. Overall Montana’s economy took one of the smallest hits from COVID, however we know that the most vulnerable have benefited from this recovery the least. We will shape our response chiefly towards these groups.

 

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

People!

 

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

The only solution is increased conservation measures. Theoretically, being a finite resource in a closed basin means at some point, there won’t be enough water for a population beyond a consumption cap. However, conservation widens that threshold potential. 

 

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

For students, I believe MSU has a responsibility to ensure adequate year-round housing for the students that need it. The city should support the initiative, but with 75% of undergraduates living off campus, ultimately the University needs to lead it. Our zoning overhaul proposals will allow more housing diversity and supply, leading to more affordable units and less rents overall.