Let’s MAKE BOZEMAN PART OF MONTANA AGAIN!

The People of Montana spoke loud and clear in the 2020 elections.

And here’s what they said:

  • The free market and limiting the role of government is how we best respect the dignity of each individual person and promote equal opportunity for all.
  • The only way we all prosper is when we unite in our shared values instead of letting our differences divide us.
  • The United States of America is the Land of Opportunity – not the Land of Guaranteed Outcomes as called for under the Progressive ideology which is rotting our great Nation.
  • When the going gets tough, Montanans get going.  Success must be earned.  Reward comes from hard work, not from the government.

Over the years you’ve probably heard the joke, “the nice thing about Bozeman is that it’s only 15 minutes from Montana!”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  

Bozeman is at a crossroads. We can either continue down the path of becoming exactly like the places everybody is fleeing. …. OR ….. we can choose to be a kind, welcoming, law-abiding community united by our shared values of hard work and respect for one another.

Indeed, as I shuttle motel guests to and from the airport I regularly hear complaints from out-of-state folks about their hometowns being overwhelmed by runaway growth, just like Bozeman.

They too have seen their real estate prices skyrocket.

So Bozeman is not alone. This is a problem nationwide.

As echoed by our out-of-state visitors – including motel guests who are in the process of moving here – more and more we’re hearing that:

The reason people are flocking to Bozeman is less and less due to Bozeman being so great …..

…… and more and more because the places these people are fleeing have become so terrible.

The Progressives in Bozeman are nice people and they mean well ….. but we need to pull back on the reins before it’s too late. We’re even closer to being a Sanctuary City than you might think.

So please join me and let’s MAKE BOZEMAN PART OF MONTANA AGAIN!

Affordable Housing

I will VOTE NO on the additional COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX LEVY to be proposed on this November’s ballot.  

I’m not proposing here that we cut any funding currently going towards Bozeman’s Affordable Housing efforts.

Instead I’m saying, “ENOUGH TAXES ALREADY !”

Why is the General Fund in crisis mode again already? Isn’t that part of the same story we heard about why the Parks & Trails District needed to have its own special tax?

What happened to the $2.3 million per year that was freed up in the General Fund when the Parks District was created – – just over a year ago?!

More to come on that……

ARGUMENTS AGAINST COMMUNITY HOUSING TAX LEVY:

  • PERMANENT
    • Make no mistake about it, once you vote this tax in, IT WILL NEVER GO AWAY.
    • If you vote against it, that does not mean you are voting against community housing.
    • It means you are telling City staff to continue to fund affordable housing out of the General Fund.
    • Which means there will be more pressure to try harder to make the problem go away.
      • And we do want the problem to go away, right?
        • Or are we saying that wealth redistribution is the only solution?
    • We hear a lot from the people who can’t make it or who are really struggling to make it.
      • What about the people who ARE making it?  We don’t hear much from them.  Maybe they have something to teach us. 
  • Bozeman Code Audit To Create and Preserve Housing
    • Indications are that some changes are probably needed to facilitate affordability:
      • if you watched the 07/13/2021 Commission Meeting, during the Community Housing Mill Levy discussion you will recall Public Comment reminding us that ……. in order to provide affordable housing …….. the Bridger View Redevelopment project required 19 relaxations to current subdivision and zoning regulations.
      • You may recall the very first project heralded as a success under the then-new inclusionary zoning ordinance, The Lakes at Valley West Phase 3, was a Planned Unit Development requesting 21 relaxations overall, with 3 of those being specific to affordable housing.

  • Metropolitan Area designation
    • Let’s wait for the effects of the Metropolitan Area designation to kick in and see how much federal money for housing Bozeman might receive. 
      • The reason people are flocking to Bozeman is less and less because Bozeman is so great and more and more because the places these people are fleeing from have become so terrible.
        • So a federal solution makes more sense.

  • Throwing good money after bad
    • What we’re currently doing isn’t working.   Even the experts at HRDC (who I know to be very sharp and resourceful) can’t be helped by the current programs.  
      • So isn’t this new tax just throwing more good money after bad?

  • Deed restricted property will create slums
    • For years I’ve heard that deed restrictions are a bad idea because they just exacerbate the problem by creating concentrated poverty and hampering the ability of low-income families to build wealth through equity.
    • But now deed restrictions are being showcased as a successful solution, specifically in the Midtown Tax Increment Financing District, which was recently heralded by this Commission as a great example of how to use this new Housing Tax on future projects throughout the City.

  • Davis Lift Station
    • The new sewer lift station in northwest Bozeman will open the door for thousands of housing units to be constructed.
      • We have time to wait – no other proposed solution is likely to occur any faster.

        More to come……..

I’m running again!

Vote_Brian_LaMeres_Bozeman_Mayor (Small)

Why?

After the 2017 election I told myself that I’d “probably never do that again!” …… but since then too many things have happened to rile me up.

For example:

 

  • Bozeman Public Safety Center:   Yes, of course I agree that the Bozeman Police, Courts, and Fire Department needed something done about their facilities.   But I still agree with Sheriff Brian Gootkin that the best and safest solution involved working with the County.
    • The City just absolutely needs to work better with the County and with other agencies.    The egos and personalities involved need to be replaced by somebody who can put Service Over Self.

 

  • Decision on Parks and Trails Special District:   Initially this Commission was not even going to put this decision out for a vote by the Citizens of Bozeman.   I can’t even fathom how any Commission could make such a conclusion on an issue of such obvious importance, regardless of any persuasion by staff.
    • You either know these things in your gut or you don’t – you shouldn’t need to have the Bozeman Chronicle set you straight.   This decision was an immediate no-brainer to me.
    • And yes, there are other implications here regarding the alarming power of the unelected bureaucrat under the City’s current form of government.
      • Just like in 2017, I still think we need to switch from a Strong City Manager form of government to a Strong Mayor form of government so that your voice will be stronger!

 

  • Exit of former 3-time Mayor and current Commissioner Jeff Krauss:  I think Jeff Krauss is a living legend in City politics, and over the years I have agreed with almost everything he has said and done.   Jeff has chosen not to run again in the upcoming election, so I will do my best to continue the excellent stewardship he has demonstrated in committing to limited government and in keeping a watchful eye on your tax dollars.

 

  • “HOW” rather than “WHAT”:  Above are just some of the issues that made me decide to run again.   As you can tell, I am more about the HOW rather than the “what”.
    • the WHAT is up to YOU.  You are in charge!   Whatever is important to you is important to me.   Affordable Housing, Parking, Water Conservation, Sustainability and Climate Change are just some of the concerns you have voiced, and I’d love to hear more.
    • And what’s really important to me is making sure that whatever you want done gets done right!

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