Meet the Grass Range candidate: Candidate for Grass Range Mayor responds to questions

By: 
DEB HILL
Managing Editor

Jeannie Walter

Tuesday, Nov. 7 is election day for towns and cities across Montana, with the election of town council members and mayors.

In Fergus County, only the town of Grass Range has an Election Day race – not enough candidates filed in the other towns to create the need for an election. In those communities, candidates will be elected by acclamation.

In Grass Range, however, there are contested races, both for the town council and for mayor. The News-Argus contacted the two mayoral candidates, Jeannie Walter and Ed Geary, and asked them to respond to five questions to help voters with their choice. Jeannie Walter responded. Here are the questions and her answers.

 

1. What, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge facing Grass Range?

Getting things back under control. I believe the people in Grass Range need to feel safe, with our water supply, with working with our rural fire department to make sure that we are safe in case of another fire in town. We also need to work on our financial deficit and all the monies taken from road and property tax to pay our monthly bills. We don’t have a handle on this.

 

2. If elected, what would you do about that challenge?

Follow the laws and stay within the budgets. Also establish better communication with our town council. We need transparency of our town’s matters so the citizens can be a part of the solution to our situation, as it is their town, too. As far as the financial problems, we need to get a plan and follow it through with our council.

 

3. What, if anything, do you think needs to change about the way the Grass Range Town Council operates?

The first thing is the meeting minutes need to be available earlier to make it possible to check on laws and facts that may pertain to what is on the agenda to be voted on. Currently the members get the minutes 48 hours before meetings, and usually over the weekend. Council members need to be more responsible when voting on expenses. They can’t do their job if they are not given enough information to make educated decisions, though. Itemized invoices and expenditures need to be given to them on claim forms at every meeting.

 

4. This election has been very divisive. How will you help the town come together if you win the seat?

I plan on working towards more unity in Grass Range by encouraging everyone’s input to solve the problems; having the mayor, council and citizens discussing and resolving situations as they come. Also, I think it’s very important to have committees where the citizens can do part of the work and take pride in their town again. One thing I definitely would do is get back to doing community events, such as our annual city-wide yard sale, 4th of July parade, and other activities that have faded away in the last few years.

 

5. What experience or background will you bring to the job of mayor?

I care about the people and the town. I'm willing to put out the time and energy to work with the citizens and the council here to make our town appealing, affluent and accepting of fresh ideas. I have lived all over the United States as a military brat. I have owned businesses and also worked for a living, and know the struggles that people deal with. I'm a very good listener and have served the community here by volunteering as an EMT on the ambulance crew, secretary of the ambulance crew, and have helped many people on a personal level with unexpected problems and life struggles. I have educated myself on the problems and possible solutions for the town for the last two years. I intend to follow through with what I can for the town, even if I am not elected. I’m involved with a newly formed town committee and we have achieved painting the town hall, and that is only a start. I have the desire to leave Grass Range a town for our children and grandchildren to live in, and sustain themselves and their families in, for many years to come.

Category:

Poll

What is your favorite part of the Fair?