After receiving their ballots in the mail, many readers have contacted the Star requesting additional information on the Stevensville municipal elections. The previous resignations of three council members appears to have caused some confusion, as two of them – Robert Michalson and Stacie Barker – did not withdraw their names from the ballot. Here is some information on the contested races.
In Ward 1, Stacie Barker, who resigned in July along with Jim Crews and Robert “Bob” Michalson – citing generalized claims of illegal activities by the administration – is running against Jaime Williams.
In Ward 2, Robert Michalson is running against Patrick Shourd for a full four-year term. Shourd was appointed to the council after the resignations and is currently serving. Shourd is running as a declared write-in candidate.
Dempsey H. Vick II was also appointed to the council after the resignations and is currently serving. Vick is running for the unexpired term Ward 2 seat. Trenis Hindle is a declared write-in candidate for that seat as well.
Following are statements by the candidates, unedited and in their own words.
Stevensville Town Council
Ward 1 (4-year term)
Thank you for contacting me and asking me why I’m running for Town Council.
I have lived here in Stevensville for 30 yrs and have lived here in my valley my whole life. I was married in 1989 and then later had 2 children where I raised them here in Stevensville. I have served as a District Leader for the Boy Scouts of America, and help run a small pack of Cub Scouts here in Stevensville. I have helped out with many Community Fundraisers and Benefits. On Saturday morning from May till October I run and organize the Stevensville Harvest Valley Farmers Market. I have a love for helping out where the community needs me.
I sat on the Stevensville City Council for 3yrs and 8months. As a former Council member the council over saw many projects from the start to the finish. Some of the projects were the completion of the Water / Sewer Project, the Stevensville Airport Runway construction project. These were two of the biggest projects that I as a former council member were involved in.
I am an honest, loyal and trust worthy person who feels that I can bring a lot to the table for the town of Stevensville. I believe that knowing what the laws and regulations of a small town are a huge factor. There are no gray areas in town government which mean that law is the law and it needs to be followed. I have attended several trainings within the state which has kept me up to date on what is happening in local and state government. I have also keep up to date on the progress of Stevensville and what is happening in our town as of today.
My biggest concern is to get the towns budget back in line so that we can focus on areas like our Police Department and the 3rd Street Reconstruction. The expansion of the Stevensville Elementary and High School to help our youth as they too need to look into the near future to be able to show the citizens of Stevensville that they come first.
I know that I can do the job for my community and for the citizens of Stevensville. If re-elected I will be proud to represent a town for Council Member Ward 1.
I am very active in our community and love where I live. It is my goal to make a positive difference in the lives of the people that share Stevensville with me.
My background consists of Business Development, Business Management, Business Restructuring, Financial Planning and Operations Management. My passion for learning and motivation for personal growth is strong. I am currently a member of the Stevensville Main Street Association and Stevensville Civic Club. I have been on the committee for Western Heritage Days the past two years and am a proud supporter of the majority of local events and causes in Stevensville. Currently I sit as Vice President for the Stevensville Playhouse and am President Elect for the Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce and will be taking over the Presidency in 2020. I am the owner of both Residential and Commercial property in Stevensville as well as a Stevensville Business Owner.
Sadly, division has become a hindrance for the welfare of Stevensville. I decided to run for Ward 1 Council person to attempt to bring the town together. It is a strong feeling of mine that unless I am willing to step up and help with change, I have no right to complain. Tax rates and our water rates are of great concern to me as well. I have always listened to opposing viewpoints with respect, interest and a willingness to consider their ideas. The problems between the Townspeople, the Town Council and the Mayor concern me deeply. It is my intent, as your Stevensville Ward 1 Council Member, to listen to my Constituents, other Council Members, the Mayor and work on solutions to the problems/concerns that our Town has.
Ward 2 (4-year term)
Robert Michalson – no response
Patrick Russell Shourd – declared write-in candidate
My name is Patrick Shourd and I have been a resident of Stevensville for 10 years. I value our quaint town for all of the small things that make this a wonderful place to live. I’ve resided in almost every region of the United States. Stevensville is where I’ve decided to make a home with my family.
I have spent a majority of my life giving back by volunteering. After graduating high school, I joined the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. Within this program I had the unique opportunity to travel throughout the southeast United States for approximately 13 months doing volunteer work for non-profit agencies. During my time in the NCCC I built houses for Habitat for Humanity, ran a chainsaw as a Wildland firefighter, provided disaster relief during hurricane, as well as many other volunteer projects. My time within AmeriCorps helped me realize that our communities need ethical individuals to help guide the future. For the last 20 years of my life I have been employed to help America’s “At Risk” youth. I feel strongly that a healthy community creates healthy children, who someday will be society’s working class, providing all services and filling all professions. At this time in my life it is clear to me that paving a respectable, responsible path for our youth is my best gift to our community.
I would like to retain my seat on the Stevensville Town Council, as I feel it is my civic duty to contribute to my community.
Ward 2 (unexpired term)
Trenis Hindle – declared write-in candidate
I was drawn to small town charm of Stevensville and the beauty of the Bitterroot Valley. My family and I appreciate the community where the kids are safe when riding bikes or skateboarding and a place where we feel surrounded by friendly neighbors.
This year we have watched the turmoil, lack of communication, and failure of council members as well as town hall to accomplish their obligations. In July, we witnessed the resignation of three Council Members and a void opened in Stevensville. As a small business owner, I have a grasp on financial responsibility, believe in the power of negotiation, and have developed good communication skills. I have lived in enough places to know this community is where I want to reside, and I would like the opportunity to give back to the place I call home.
To be an active part of maintaining and improving my town at the end of July I decided to run for the opened seat in Stevensville’s Ward 2. I believe that I have the skills and personality to work as a team player in order to accomplish the job at hand. Stevensville needs to plan for growth with a long term vision while protecting town residents from cumbersome taxes. We need to support the youth and elderly community members and protect small business sustainability.
As a write-in candidate for Council Ward 2 (Unexpired Term) I understand the odds of winning are great which has made the support I have received so appreciated. Regardless of the outcome on November 5th this has been a learning experience and I am grateful for the conversations and dialogue that I have had with the local community. Thank you.
Dempsey H. Vick II
Thank you for asking me for statements about why I am running. I hope the following statements about who I am and what I see for the future will help.
My name is Dempsey H. Vick, II. I am an Honorably Discharged US Navy Veteran, firefighter, Advanced EMT, and current council member for Ward 2. I favor governments that are run by the people, of the people, and for the people. I feel that I have proven time and time again that I listen to the concerns of the people and act on the concerns. I love Stevensville and the people in this town. While I may not be from here originally, but Stevensville is where I choose to be from. I promise that if I am elected to finish this term, that I will continue to be a representative and voice of the people, I want to work with the people to help solve any problem that arises in this town, and look forward to meeting more of my neighbors.
Hamilton City Council
Following are statements of Hamilton City Council candidates in the only contested race.
Ward 1 (4-year term)
Joseph David Petrusaitis
(no photo available)
I’d like to thank the voters of Hamilton for electing me in previous elections for the council and mayor positions for the past 20 years. As your council representative, I will continue to work with the other members to maintain our exceptional water and sewer infrastructure, protecting parklands, repairing streets and sidewalks, and upkeep of city properties. I have always listened and tried to work with all types of people, even when we disagree! My main responsibilities are: 1. Oversight of the budget, 2. Listening to the needs of the citizens and property owners, and 3. Introducing legislation to improve the quality of life for our growing city. Please call me if you have any questions: Joseph Petrusaitis, (406) 381-2879.
I love our community, and I am inspired to connect with you to preserve what we cherish and to continue to grow Hamilton for our future. I am running for City Council to honor the work and ideas that have come before and to use the talents and resources available to enrich our vibrant City of Hamilton.
I have lived in the Bitterroot for 14 years and Montana 20. I graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Political Science. I am a mom to two boys both born at Marcus Daly Memorial and now attending Hamilton Public Schools. For the last 8 years I have stayed home with my two boys ages 8 and 5. I have stayed active in the community volunteering with several non-profit organizations as well as our local schools. My husband, Christian Pruitt, has worked at GSK Hamilton for 19 years. We love living in the Bitterroot Valley and being members of this special Hamilton Community. We give back where we can because we feel so fortunate to live here.
I believe in capturing opportunities to invest in our community in thoughtful ways, to ensure a healthy future town for our children to enjoy. I want to see a community with vibrant parks and safe, walkable neighborhoods for residents of all ages. Hamilton, our future looks bright. Let’s get involved together!