Monday, June 27, 2022

Election 2021: Meet council candidate Vincent Dell’Omo

| October 20, 2021 1:00 AM

Vincent Dell’Omo feels a duty to serve his community so he is running for a spot on City Council.

“I felt I had the time to give,” he said. “At this point in life with the crazy political climate that’s going on, and the influx into Whitefish, it felt like it was my calling. And hopefully, someone that can serve for several years.”

Dell’Omo is married to wife Megan. He is an accounting manager at Elevated Advisory & Accounting.

He studied accounting and played soccer at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh from 2010 to 2013. It was through a college friend that he first learned about Whitefish and visited several times before moving here in 2017.

He previously worked at Third Street Market and is the founder of Huckleberry Hemp/Elixr CBD, running a 10-acre hemp farm and selling CBD products.

“We plan for this to be our forever community,” he said, noting that his wife grew up in Whitefish.

Dell’Omo says the lack of affordable housing, infrastructure and annexation are all pressing issues for Whitefish.

“The town is growing so fast,” he said. “Having worked in the local service industry, there needs to be a balancing of the growth — infrastructure gets jammed up in Whitefish.”

In regards to affordable housing, Dell’Omo says there needs to be a focus on providing housing.

“We need to have the opportunity for kids who grew up here to be able to live here,” he said. “I’d have to work more closely with the Council to figure out the way to move forward.”

Dell’Omo says affordable housing is an area where he needs to learn more about to find solutions.

Voters are being asked to renew the city’s resort tax. He says Whitefish benefits from the resort tax as it is primarily paid by visitors and increases the revenue to town to pay for projects like infrastructure.

“A lot of that is paid for by people coming into town for a short period of time that is putting pressure on our systems,” he said. “The revenues have really helped the town and I do support that.”

City Council recently moved the city’s urban growth boundary south to Blanchard Lake Road, meaning that at some point properties to the south of the current city limits could be annexed into the city. Council said it wanted to provide control over how the area develops rather than relying on the county.

Dell’Omo says it makes sense for the city to grow to the south.

“It helps the city grow in the right way and helps the city support itself financially,” he said.

In terms of managing growth, Dell’Omo says the city felt an increase in visitation this year in the wake of the pandemic. He points to special events like the Under the Big Sky concert as a time when the city needs to be prepared for an increase in people.

“It was hard to handle the influx of people and while I think it was a good event it should be scaled more so we can handle that,” he said.

There are nine candidates on the ballot running for three seats on Whitefish City Council. They include Phil Boland, Giuseppe Caltabiano, Ben Davis, Vincent Dell’Omo, Andy Feury, Judy Hessellund, Terry Petersen and Kristen Riter. Mark Owens’ name also will appear on the ballot, but he has withdrawn from the race. Mail-in ballots are due to City Hall or the Flathead County Election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 2. For ballot information, call 406-785-5536.

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