Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

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Articles written by Don Larson

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Consolidation an answer to high cost government

It is time to fully examine the idea of combining Missoula with the county to streamline our governments. Communities such as Butte - Silverbow have done this successfully and dramatically reduced government costs by increasing efficiency. There is o...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    August 6, 2020

Let's get back to the drawing board for the sewer

Missoula County Health Department Specialist Jim Erven doesn’t seem to get it. The residents in the Seeley Lake Sewer District fully understand the Health Department is a bully, it does its work poorly and the $40-million sewer project it is pushin...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    July 2, 2020

Daines, be honest and tell us how you will bring back jobs

Steve Daines’ campaign ads that claim he will bring back the jobs from overseas suggest he is either stupid or naive.  Here’s why... The jobs, if they ever were in the U.S, went overseas because there is cheaper labor and less government...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    June 18, 2020

Tax relief for Montana property owners?

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are at more than 100,000, more than 40 million people have filed for unemployment and the U.S. economy is officially in “recession.” While Montana has experienced relatively few deaths, its economy, too, is taking a...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    April 23, 2020

Restoring the right to vote

SEELEY LAKE - I would like to remind Sewer Board candidate Kyle Zumwalt, the Sewer Board and Missoula County, their actions overturning the 2016 public vote declining the project caused the lawsuit. The solution is obvious - restore the voters...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    April 16, 2020

Vote Morris and Gilpin for a change in direction

SEELEY LAKE - I am writing to recommend Tom Morris and Jason Gilpin for election to the Seeley Lake Sewer District board. Here is why. With only one recent exception, current board members have blindly pursued an exorbitantly expensive sewage...

 

New candidates bring possibility of change

SEELEY LAKE - Missoula County officials have spent more than a half-million taxpayer dollars in the past decade trying to sell a community sewer here in Seeley Lake. Unfortunately, the proposal the sewer board settled on stinks. It does not clean up...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    November 7, 2019

Another opportunity to protest the Sewer

SEELEY LAKE - Sewer District residents have an opportunity to again protest against the proposed sewer project. The District’s engineering firm is asking to schedule meetings with residents to identify septic and line locations assuming...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    October 31, 2019

Missoula policies do not fit healthy rural economy

Commissioner Josh Slotniks’ suggestion that Seeley Lake create a Business Improvement District suggests a certain naivete, or to use a football metaphor, a rookie mistake. Seeley’s business community seems fine. That we have to commute to...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    October 10, 2019

The Health Department is damaging Seeley Lake's economic health

SEELEY LAKE - President Trump’s trade war with China is expected to cost Montana families an extra $1,000 next year. Missoula County Commissioners have just announced an 11 percent increase in property taxes for 2020. Medical costs are out the roof...

 

Sewer Rules & Regulations - A must read

SEELEY LAKE - The Sewer Board has published proposed rules for governing its sewer operation. They are a must-read and are available online, at the County annex and the Seeley Lake Public Library at Seeley-Swan High School. They are disturbing. They...

 

Everyone should have a say in sewer debate

SEELEY LAKE - The sewer debate is about justice and fairness. Here are a couple of parameters. We all perform the same daily bodily functions, whether we’re registered to vote, own property or not. Fairness suggests we ALL have a say in this sewer...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    August 22, 2019

Sewer proposal unpopular, unworkable and unaffordable

SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Sewer Board continues to abuse the citizens it was elected to represent. At its meeting last week it quickly disregarded a petition signed by 182 residents opposing mandatory hook-ups and voted 3-1 to mandate them.  It...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    August 8, 2019

County misrepresents dangers of nitrates in Seeley Lake

County Health employee Jim Erven misrepresented and exaggerated (yet again) the dangers of nitrates in a recent letter to the Sewer Board. He says high nitrate levels in the groundwater can cause blue baby syndrome and fish kills, neither of which...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    July 25, 2019

Sewer cost rising, board missing cost savings

SEELEY LAKE - The Sewer Board circus continues. Last week it approved a resolution for public review which would require EVERY property in the sewer district to hook up. Remember, if you have two lots under your home you will pay two debt service...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    June 27, 2019

Health Department stripping private property rights

SEELEY LAKE - The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled property owners can go directly to Federal Court if they believe local government regulations....such as the onerous health department septic regulations here in Seeley Lake..... have deprived...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    June 20, 2019

Sewer Board meeting location change

SEELEY LAKE - Citizens for Sensible Wastewater Solutions mailed letters to sub-district one residents urging them to attend the Thursday evening Sewer District Board meeting. The location of the 5:15 p.m. meeting has been changed from the Seeley...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    June 13, 2019

Sewer decision is still in residents' hands

SEELEY LAKE - Eighty thousand dollars per lot – that is roughly what Sewer District residents will pay for the proposed sewer. If your home happens to sit on two lots you will may be obligated for $160,000 of the roughly $40 million, 40-year bond...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Don't miss the meeting - engage and understand

SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Sewer Board has drawn up a draft “user agreement” for we sewer district residents. That’s the agreement between the board and we “customers” which must be in place before we receive sewer service. It is...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    May 16, 2019

Residents have a right to know cost

SEELEY LAKE - After a winter of wrangling and struggling, the Seeley Lake Sewer Board seems no closer to an equitable funding formula for its sewer proposal than ever. The costs, in fact, seem to be going up and Missoula County officials have reneged...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    October 4, 2018

The community can and should do better

SEELEY LAKE - The fine reporting effort by Andi Bourne on the Seeley Lake Community Park reveals how badly we have failed as a community in maintaining this valuable asset. Back in the eighties we played a LOT of baseball at the community park....

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    August 30, 2018

Enough taxes!

Your Missoula County property taxes just went up another 4.85 percent. The Commissioners quietly raised them last week with little debate or fanfare. That’s on the heels of a $138 million school bond issue two years ago and just before a new...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    July 26, 2018

Council Sewer Endorsement - Reckless and Irresponsible

SEELEY LAKE - The misguided effort by Community Council member Lee Boman to secure an endorsement of the Seeley Lake Sewer proposal is reckless and irresponsible....for several reasons....here are  few:: • Mr. Boman is a relative newcomer to the...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    May 17, 2018

Floodwaters Raise Sewer Questions

Floodwaters in three of the four sub-districts of the Seeley Lake Sewer District should give present and future Board members pause. Those areas should probably never be built on because they are wetlands and the homes already in those areas should...

 
 By Don Larson    Opinion    December 7, 2017

A Need for Clean, Transparent Government

SEELEY LAKE - To retain our clean, transparent water in the Seeley -Swan watershed we must FIRST have clean, transparent government...We have not enjoyed that in the divisive sewer proposal discussion. Here are some examples of shady, secretive...

 

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