IN THE MAIL

Monday, August 6, 2018

Without bona fide interest, state Senate candidate should withdraw

Editor:

One of the most important rights of American citizens is the right to vote. As citizens and voters, we must protect free and fair elections and speak up when we notice questionable activity. As someone who knows their local and state politics, I have a question.

Who is Mark Lighthiser?

On March 12, the last day of candidate filing, Lighthiser declared to run for Senate District 30 as a member of the Libertarian party. On March 19, at the last hour of filing, Lighthiser registered his campaign. Since then, he has not filed mandatory campaign finance reports and has not conducted any electioneering or made himself available for public scrutiny. Following the money, I did my own research and found Lighthiser has no prior association with the state Libertarian party nor participated in any of its party activities. Public voter records reflect he was previously affiliated with the Democratic party before moving to Montana from Colorado.

Without a bona fide intent to obtain the office, Lighthiser should withdraw. Let’s keep them honest in Senate District 30.

Sheila Royston
Wilsall

It’s time commissioners prioritize their use of taxpayer money

Editor:

It is looking like there will be another round of mill levies for the Park County taxpayers on the November voting ballot to vote on.

It just doesn’t seem right that our emergency services have to always go back to the taxpayers with mill levies for their extra funding needs. In my opinion those services should be top priority when it comes to additional funding within the budget process.

In the past five years the Park County Commissioners have created at least three new high-paying positions again with the most recent one being the Fairground and parks director — this position pays $78,000 including benefits and I believe the other two positions are that or more.

I believe the commissioners have failed the taxpayers safety by not putting more deputies on duty and creating some non-emergency positions with a large cost to the taxpayers.

If funds can be made available for new positions why are funds not made available for more sheriff deputies? This is the million dollar question I believe. I think this is the question all taxpayers need to start asking of the commissioners.

The preliminary budget is out and can be viewed on the county website under the Finance Department. I would encourage all taxpayers to take a look and start asking questions before the final approval in September.

Some of the things that really concern me as a taxpayer with some of the budget is the $93,000 loan coming from the BN Fund going to the Fairgrounds Capital Fund for a tractor at $66,450; a marquee at $7,500; a water truck at $10,000; security gates at $5,000; and keyless entry for the Exhibit Hall at $5,000.

I understand it’s a loan but loans need to be paid back the last I checked.

I can remember a time when it was expressed to the county commissioners to put in security gates and cameras at the Forest Service green box site and Trail Creek green box site to catch those that were illegally dumping of which is costing the county money and it was denied by the commissioners due to cost and funding. I think now if I were the Refuse Board I would be wondering what makes the Fairgrounds any different.

In my opinion the county commissioners need to start prioritizing the needs of the county — tractor or patrol car, fair director or sheriff’s deputy seems a simple choice to me.

I understand the Sheriff’s Department is the general fund and the Fairground has its own fund. However, all need to remember that the funds needed to operate the county come from one fund and that being the dollars of the taxpayers of Park County.

Again, I encourage all taxpayers to look at the 2018-2019 preliminary budget and ask questions.

Stacy Sunvision
Livingston

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Park County 2018-2019 preliminary budget is available here: http://www.parkcounty.org/uploads/ files/departments/1/FY19-Preliminary-Budget-Doc.pdf

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