Questions & Comments? Aside July 6, 2019August 1, 2019 Brian LaMeres Please post your questions and comments here – thank you! Like this:Like Loading... Related
14 thoughts on “Questions & Comments?”
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?
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!
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.
Thank you for your service in the military, Blaster!
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?
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
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.
What about the impact of salt on the waterways?
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?
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!
Hi! I’m quite concerned, and frankly disgusted, with the number of people “living” on the side of roads all around Bozeman. People refer to the large number of run-down, barely-functional campers parked near WinCo as ‘the Bozeman slums’. These people are polluting that area and illegally dumping their black water directly into the sewer system. While affordable housing may be on the docket, it’s not going to clean up that area, or address this problem quickly! Most people I know don’t want Bozeman to turn into another tent city like Seattle, or have a homeless problem like LA. What is your plan to clean up Bozeman and make it beautiful again?
Hello there! I too am very concerned by this and very concerned by what I see in places like Seattle and other cities on the West Coast. We absolutely need to nip this in the bud before it becomes more rampant. You may be aware of this, but right now our Police cannot fine or forcibly remove these people because a recent Court ruling says that doing so violates their rights under the 8th Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) UNLESS there is a Shelter open where they can go.
Since Bozeman’s Shelter isn’t open year-round, urban camping has therefore been determined to be legal when then the Shelter is closed.
Chamber of Commerce business owners want the City to use its Affordable Housing money to keep the Shelter open year-round so that urban camping is never legal in Bozeman, and I support that.
However, the obvious question is “what happens when the first shelter is full?”
Admittedly I don’t have a detailed plan, but I guarantee you that I will address it.
I will start by asking questions like “how come the homeless guy camping at the Bozeman Ponds said in the newspaper a month ago that he came to Bozeman from Missoula because in Missoula they made him take his tent down every morning, and he’d have to put it back up again every night, but here in Bozeman he’s allowed to keep his tent up all day and all night?”
Not only that, but you may have seen behind Kenyon Noble on Patrick Street where there is a tent set up permanently in the road alongside the curb, yet at the same time other good people in town are getting Parking Tickets.
How can that be when Missoula and Bozeman are supposedly subject to the same law?
Well, the answer is in how it’s being interpreted at our City Hall.
It’s not our Police Department’s fault.
Some of you may recall that in 2017 I suggested that Bozeman change its form of Government from Strong City Manager to Strong Mayor because right now your City Manager is the most powerful person in your government, yet he doesn’t answer directly to the People.
Well, I would expand that statement now to say that BOTH your City Manager AND your City Attorney should be elected, because there is too much personal discretion granted these people in how they carry out Policy.
They are only supposed to CARRY OUR / EXECUTE Policy, they are not supposed to make policy or really even influence it.
But after 25 years at City Hall, I can tell you that is not the case.
Anyway, the last thing I want to do is come off as heartless in this matter. I have built relationships over the years with the people at HRDC, and when they say that most of these homeless people are the victims of unfortunate circumstance, then it’s hard for me not to believe that. But my gut and my personal experience of working alongside homeless people over 25 years ago tells me that there are also some of these people who place a higher importance on beer, cigarettes, and gambling than they do in taking care of their wife and daughter.
And I just cannot have the good people of Bozeman who have been playing by the rules all their lives have their taxes go up – and in many cases get taxed out of Bozeman – to pay for the bad choices made by other people.
So again, while I don’t have a concrete plan in place, I guarantee I will dive into this wholeheartedly (I have a vested interest, I just had to remove a homeless person sleeping against the back door of my Better Half’s business a couple weeks ago) and I will find out what’s really going on here, and I will make sure that all the good questions that the people of Bozeman have will be answered, because you absolutely deserve to know what’s going on here. Thanks for your question and feel free to call me if you want to discuss further. -Brian
Hi Brian, as you are very well aware, our country is becoming more and more divided along party lines. That said, knowing what political party you identify with will teach us a whole lot about you and your beliefs on our government and the direction of our country.
What political party are you registered with? Many of us must know before we cast our votes.
Thank you for the question. Well, I don’t believe I’m registered with a political party, although I have given money to the RNC. Rather than a political party that I identify with, I’d say that “conservative, free market, limited government” would describe me best. I’m concerned about our Country – I don’t think we are headed in a positive direction. BUT, I need to be and I will be a Mayor for everybody in Bozeman. Thankfully most of the issues that are dividing the Nation are not issues that the City Commission deals with in any given meeting. And as you’re probably aware, this is a non-partisan election. So anyway, I would rather focus on what we all have in common and try to build on that as I do what’s best for Bozeman, and then just agree to disagree on the divisive issues. But if I’m forced to take a position when those issues do come up, I’m going to use my own values and the information at hand to make my decision. If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to give me a call. Thanks Tina! -Brian