by Nathan Boddy
Last week, the Bitterroot Star ran a side-by-side look at the candidates for Ward 2 on the City Council. In this week’s installment the candidates for Ward 1 have their opportunity to introduce themselves to readers. In the upcoming election, incumbent Kristi Bielski, will be challenged by Dean Knudsen for the opportunity to represent much of Hamilton’s east side.
Both candidates, prospective and incumbent, have been asked to write a piece about themselves and to answer the following questions:
1. Why are you running for a seat on the City Council?
2. What issues are most important to you and why? (Feel free to add ideas that you might bring to the table.)
3. Why are you the best candidate for the position?
My name is Kristi Bielski (Ward 1). I have lived in the city of Hamilton for 12 years and have enjoyed all the great things our little town has to offer. My family really enjoys our parks and safe community. I am employed at GSK and my son attends Hamilton School district.
I have been working diligently for the city of Hamilton’s citizens and am eager to continue building on what has been accomplished during my time on the council. There are numerous much needed projects happening in our city and I intend to see them through to completion. The projects include the much needed new fire hall, infrastructure improvements and the north urban renewal district project. I see great potential for the future of our city as we continue to work together to make Hamilton an even better place to work and play.
Responsible growth is important to me. It is important that we collaborate with local businesses and other government agencies to address our pressing need for housing and Jobs. I support the addition of new businesses, affordable housing, a safe community for all and a thriving park system.
I am proud of what has been accomplished during my tenure on city council; some of which include the new justice center, skate park, fairgrounds road improvements, addition of Steve Powell and Skalkaho Bend Parks. Due to my experience, vision and willingness to listen and learn, I feel that I am the best person to represent the people in the city of Hamilton.
Dean M. Knudsen
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share a bit about myself and why I’ve decided to run for City Council here in Hamilton.
First and foremost, I’m a born again (John 3:3) follower of Christ Jesus. I’m a father of three grown daughters and the husband of my beautiful bride and helpmate Lori. I grew up in Southern California and spent the last 26 years on the Monterey Peninsula before buying a home in Hamilton last year. I’ve been self employed as a General Contractor for the past 32 years. I currently have a Home Repair & Handyman business serving Hamilton and the surrounding cities. As a lifelong athlete, I love the outdoors and most activities that will get me out into it. I am a former high school football coach and love working with kids and am very much an advocate for the family.
The reason I have decided to run for Hamilton City Council is because I believe it’s needed after attending several Council meetings. It just doesn’t seem that the majority of folks are being heard or represented at least from what I’ve witnessed. Partly their fault I must say, and will address below.
You asked what issues I’d like to tackle if I were to become a Council member. First I’d like to work on getting a better showing from the community at the meetings so they are informed of what is going on in their city with their taxes. They shouldn’t merely trust their officials as many have agendas etc. The people owe it to themselves and their families to be involved with what is being decided. The Council serves the people and must be kept and held accountable. Period. Secondly. There seems to be this push for growth and affordable housing. Is growth really what’s best for Hamilton and is it truly what the majority of the tax paying citizens desire? Will affordable housing truly be affordable? If so, who and what economic status etc? What about water? Is water that abundantly available to provide for such growth? What about traffic? Do the majority of residents want 1st/93 to become another Reserve Street? Growth happens I get that, but to what end? I want to know who is “truly” behind it, and who will suffer because of it? These are just a few questions I will need answers to before I’ll ever get behind policies for growth. I watched many small towns in California go from orchards to concrete jungles and bumper to bumper traffic etc. I’d hate to see that happen here if it’s not what the masses truly want.
You ask why do I feel that I’m the best candidate? I don’t necessarily as that would be to me a bit presumptuous and or arrogant seeing that I haven’t yet lifted a finger… Proof is in the action and not merely words. You’ll have to get back to me on that one after I’ve been elected.However, what I can say with certainty, I will do my utmost to fairly and honestly represent and serve the people of Hamilton to the absolute best of my ability. Thank you again for the opportunity to share!
All the best to my fellow candidate!