What are Whitefish’s top issues?

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We want to know what you think.

The Pilot last week launched a survey seeking input on the top issues or concerns facing the community. Whitefish is a great place with many outstanding qualities, but there is always room for improvement in any community.

By holding this unscientific survey, we hope to get thoughts and ideas from the community on areas they think could be improved here.

We are often attending public hearings and community meetings where we hear about issues facing Whitefish through topics discussed by community leaders or concerns brought up by the public in attendance. We hear about concerns while shopping at grocery story or grabbing a cup of coffee.

Sitting down last month to write our annual year in review of news stories that shaped 2018, it was fairly easy to pick out some main themes of critical issues facing the town, but also triumphs that have occurred.

Addressing the shortage of affordable workforce housing here made the Pilot’s list of top headlines as it has for at least a few years now, and it’s an issue community leaders continue to work diligently to address. It’s also a prime example of an issue where business owners looking to hire employees, those searching for housing and community leaders stood up to first say we have a problem. While there’s still plenty of work to do to address the issue, some of the early strides toward providing such housing might not have even happened without the folks who spurred along those early conversations eventually seeking out solutions.

There are likely other issues that have as yet to risen to the top, or even concerns that have come up in the past but over time have gone by the wayside, and so we want to hear about those.

With all this in mind, we wanted to reach out in a way that might get those who don’t make it to Monday nights City Council meeting to participate.

Our online survey asks respondents to rank the top issues facing the community. Through some brainstorming and suggestions from others, we’ve created a list of potential issues and are asking respondents to rank those in order of importance. Knowing that we could not create a comprehensive list on our own, we have also made it possible for folks to add their own ideas to the list.

Our goal is take the results of the survey and present them in a future edition of the Pilot, while at the same time also taking a deeper look at some of the issues on the final list.

The ultimate hope is to spur greater community conversations for seeking solutions. So we’ve also included a spot on the survey to provide feedback and, we hope, suggestions for solutions for community leaders on the issues facing Whitefish. We’ve also provided the opportunity to tell us what you love about Whitefish because there is also much to be proud about this town.

The survey runs through Jan. 16.

We know we can’t reach everyone in Whitefish, but we’d like to get as many responses as possible. So take the survey, but also please let your neighbors, friends and family know about it too.

We’re listening and we want to know — what are the top issues facing Whitefish? To take the survey, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WYBXLD3.

Heidi Desch is the managing editor of the Whitefish Pilot.

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