Sunday, December 03, 2023

Letters to the editor Nov. 1

| November 1, 2023 12:00 AM

Community and honesty

We used to wave at every passing vehicle. You either knew the folks in the car, or appreciated that you were all in The Shire that is Whitefish. I would open up the Whitefish Pilot, and read, wide-eyed, a section called “Ida Says.” It was the Olney Briefs, written by 92-year-old Ida Honeywell. She would literally report on church sermons and picnics with relatives, letting us know that her niece’s pumpkin muffins came out especially good this year. 

That was in 1994, when I moved to Whitefish from New England. I’m a transplant too. (I met a fourth-generation Montanan who thought I was British when I told her where I was from). I have worked hard and played hard here since then, ultimately becoming a ski patroller, fishing guide and local literary journal editor. 

Your time is valuable so I’ll cut to a few salient points. Serving as a Whitefish City Councilor from 2008-2012, I learned about the value of civil discourse, and community. Frank, Rebecca and Steve know this. I met and worked with all three during my tenure and found we shared some things in common that I cherish: a love of community and honesty.  

They are thoughtful, insightful and open-minded. Their agenda is this community we all love! There is no money in it, there are zero perks and there is no glory. They are in this for us, willing to continue to endure long meetings, public criticism, and pour over thousands of pages of documents. As volunteers. For us. For Whitefish. No agenda save for seeking the most amenable solutions possible in our ever-transitioning town. They will work tirelessly to help Whitefish move forward in a positive direction as we continue to grow.

Whitefish is still the best town I’ve ever been a part of.  

— Ryan Friel, Whitefish

Frank Sweeney for City Council

Having lived in Whitefish for some time, I have watched our city council navigate the many diverse challenges that are facing our growing community.   We are making progress, but we have a long way to go as there are no easy solutions.  As we look to the upcoming election, we need to make sure that those on the council have a clear understanding of the critical issues and have a path on how best to address these issues without jeopardizing the charm and character of our community.  With thoughtful leadership, we can control our own destiny.

Frank Sweeney is a candidate that provides this leadership.  Frank is a long-time Whitefish resident who has been committed to serving our community.  Frank has been on our city council for 12 years and understands our housing needs, especially work force housing, how best to develop a transportation plan that meets our needs and desires (not just MDOT), making sure we have adequate funding to meet our public safety needs, and the need to do everything possible to make sure the health of our lake is not compromised.

Please support Frank Sweeney for City Council.

— David Dittman, Whitefish

Endorsement for Sweeney

Hello Whitefish friends and neighbors. I am thrilled to have moved back to Whitefish after a fun, interesting, and rewarding five years in Butte. One of the things I love about Whitefish is the strength of community ties, the willingness of folks to help each other and to pitch in for the good of the community.

One person who exemplifies this is Frank Sweeney. Frank has volunteered his time and skills as a member of the city council for 12 years now. I served on the council with Frank during his first tenure, and quickly came to appreciate his abilities. Frank is even-tempered, takes a balanced view of things, is willing to learn and to incorporate new information, and is dedicated to addressing the city’s problems. Frank is innovative and forward thinking, and his years of experience have given him a deep understanding of city government.

Simply put, Frank is one of the best councilors the city has had. We are fortunate that he continues to be willing to serve the community. Please join me in voting for Frank Sweeney for city council.

Remember, ballots can be mailed but must be received at the election department in Kalispell by Election Day. You can also drop your ballots at Whitefish City Hall through Election Day.

Thanks, Whitefish. I am glad to be back home!

— Nancy Woodruff, former Whitefish City Councilor

False knowledge

Hello folks. It’s that time again, election time.

I like to think of myself as a well-informed voter. I parce the local and world news. I read and reread candidate’s statements, and I study at great length the issues and measures we are to decide on.

Every election cycle I ask myself if the status quo should go or stay. Will new blood be the cure for our ails or at least begin to bring a fresh perspective and new tools to work through our city’s “issues.” Can positive change happen in a reasonable time, measured in something I’ll be able to understand and realize?

Does your vision for how our cities and counties need to flourish align with the candidates’ visions and the measures that are to be voted on? You need to inform yourself and you need to do it before you cast your ballot.

Please join me and the hundreds of informed voters who vote their mind and not what someone tells them to.

Beware of false knowledge — it is more dangerous than ignorance, said one George Bernard Shaw.

— Skeeter Johnston, Whitefish

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