10 thoughts on “Questions & Comments?

  1. I want to know what you mean about affordable housing. Right now the city seems to think building tiny houses that families can’t fit into and selling them for almost $200,000 is affordable for working families. We need more trailer parks and apartments that regular people can afford. My grandchildren are 6th generation Bozemanites, and can’t afford to live here. We have a huge need for workers in Bozeman, but they cannot afford to live here on the wages paid, and cannot afford the gas and hours needed to live in Three Forks or Manhattan and work in Bozeman. This has resulted in businesses closing, or reducing hours they are open. How do you plan on solving the problem of affordable housing?

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    • Hello Betty!

      I totally agree with you on the trailer parks and the apartments being a much more realistic solution than the tiny houses. The “Community Housing Action Plan” was just released, and I was really glad to see that it included trailer parks/mobile homes, apartments, and condos as solutions………because the last time around these things were not included and instead the focus was the unfortunately unrealistic dream for most people of “starting out” in Bozeman in a detached home.

      My goal will be to find a funding solution for affordable housing that doesn’t increase taxes for everybody else, because then the existing long-term Bozeman residents start to get taxed out of their homes. If our population comes in above 50,000 after the upcoming census then we should have some federal funding opportunities open up, in addition to more Low-Income Housing Tax Credit project opportunities open up. And if we can keep the pressure on MSU to continue to build housing for more of its students (currently only about 30% of MSU students live on campus) then that will help.

      Anyway, I have spent about 6 years living in a trailer in Bozeman, half of that while working 2 jobs, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that as a housing solution. Same thing for high-density apartment building rentals.

      “Workforce Housing” will indeed be the primary focus of my Affordable Housing efforts.

      Thanks for your question, Betty!

      -Brian

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    • Unless you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth the chances of you affording the cost of living in the Bozeman area are zero–zilch–none! I retired from the military. There are no handouts no matter where you grow up. So “get on the bus” and stop whining! This is United States of America!! Move to where you can get the job you want AND afford the cost of living. And when you have made YOUR way in the world you have the choice of coming back to Bozeman, but you probably won’t want to because it will be full of people from some where else that only know “hurry up”. Make your own way, be proud and stop whining. So get after your future and don’t depend on anyone but yourself! In many countries I’ve worked in/been assigned to the people there had NO choices! Good luck.

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  2. Two questions before I cast my vote;
    1. Do you support protecting LGBT employees from employment discrimination in both public and private employment?
    2. Do you support raising wages in Bozeman?

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    • Hello Amber!
      1. Yes, absolutely!
      2. My general answer is “yes” but the issue is more complicated than it might seem at first. Before we were to enact some kind of minimum mandatory wage for Bozeman we need to have a conversation that includes the small locally owned independent business owners. The ones that I know are already paying most of their staff more than $15 per hour, but their starting wage is down between $11 and $12. Their concern is that if they raise the starting wage to $15, then the ethical thing to do is also to adjust everybody else up, and that’s where the cost can become a burden. And that’s where they might have to actually cut staff in order to stay above water. And that’s all that some business owners are doing – – just staying afloat – – they’re not all wealthy people who are paying their staff as little as possible so that they can keep as much as they can for themselves. In many cases they are paying as much as they can, because the job market is very competitive and they want to attract the best, longest-staying employees that they can. So to some extent the market has already adjusted the minimum wage for Bozeman up from the $8.50 currently required by law. And what Bozeman Health just did by moving their starting wage up to $15 was commendable and hopefully the sign of more to come in Bozeman. Anyway, kind of a long-winded answer, Amber, but again – my answer is yes, but let’s talk about it. Thank you! -Brian

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  3. Hi! I am very concerned with the road conditions that plague Montana’s roads during the winter. I am currently doing much research on the cost vs benefits of salt vs sand, and the safety. Using salt prevents 85% of the weather related accidents and is more cost effective. Sand works for the first 10 cars that ride over it, is more expensive all around, requires cleanup in the spring, and becomes a powder in the air that adds to air pollution] Montana is #3 for highest yearly fatalities in the country.
    We use sand. [Wyoming #1, they use sand like us] That is a great concern that I feel really needs to be addressed. By the way Mississippi is #2 and I really dont know why lol.
    I have 2 ‘baby’ teenage drivers and want them to be safe, and every other driver in Montana. I want to see black roads again!
    I hope you choose our safety over anything else [including peoples fear over salt ruining cars- which with regular car washes prevents any harm] I would love to discuss more how this change can help our community for the good.

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  4. Hello Mr.Lameres,
    I am a student at MSU and can tell you that the most expensive housing in town is on campus. By applying pressure on MSU to build more on campus housing, does that also that also mean pressuring them to have more affordable housing? Housing p With increased “on-campus” housing, would you be expanding the footprint of campus as well?
    Currently, most of the housing growth is in West Bozeman on county lands that have little to no urban plan in consideration. Do you support an overall urban development plan that would slow the tide of sprawl? For example, creating a minimum housing units per acre model? This would increase density, which is crucial to the effectiveness of mass transportation. Increased density, is not a concept generally viewed positively by Montanans, but having controls on how building in the county will allow the city grow without filling the valley.
    To the true crux of my question, do you believe the government should play a role in how the town grows? Or should we leave the issue to developers, who are in search of profits?

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    • Hello Alex – my short answer is “yes” I do believe government should play a role in how the town grows. I will actually be up on campus today between 1:00 and 3:00 PM in front of the library if you’d like to discuss this more. Otherwise I will answer more later after work. Thanks Alex!

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