Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Growth is what we need, so we need Heather Branstetter for Wallace Mayor

| October 28, 2021 10:25 AM

Four years ago, I was very happy to support Lynn Mogensen for mayor. She convinced me she would work with anybody, be inclusive and transparent. We would all work together to promote and grow Wallace.

Every four years, there is an election and review of progress. These goals are further away than ever. Our little town is the most divided I have ever seen. Neighbor against neighbor, people who have been friends for decades no longer speaking to each other. I know of people being threatened for talking to the wrong person. Threats to some for what campaign poster you put up. Vulgar name calling is at an all-time high. Lies and disinformation are being used to fuel a candidate based on fear of building 200 condos on the South Hill. There are no proposals to do this.

Another misconception is that Weir Gulch and South Hill are landlocked. The city never vacated old street, rezoned and changed the tax code. People have been paying residential property taxes for decades. The Hill has to be rezoned and the tax code changed to do this. If that gets accomplished the city is liable for a change of private landowners' change in property value. That on top of a growing list of other potential lawsuits. I hate to think that we spend more money on litigation than solving other problems. Wallace soon will be without a doctor or a bank. There are a growing number of homeless kids in our school. 30% of our buildings are empty. Is this what is meant with a slogan of “Keep Wallace, Wallace?”

We need growth. I believe to get it, we need Heather Branstetter. She is the right person at the right time. It’s refreshing to have a candidate who is listening to the people and businesses. Heather will shape a Wallace for all of us. When I look at my list and hers I'm astounded at how close we could be. I'm for the development of the two upper streets, Chestnut and Oak. These streets have been engineered and on city maps. They have infrastructure close by. I am for the development of Weir Gulch. The bottom of Weir Gulch is a great location for low income housing. Heather is aware of that and said she would research needs, write grants and do these things on an expedited basis. The bottom of Weir Gulch might even make a great dog park. Heather has told me the two upper streets pose a list of challenges, but may be doable. A fire barrier is badly needed, which she is for. I am not for building on the upper face of South Hill, Heather isn't either. Heather wants selected logging, where unused roads are pulled down, hydroseeded and slash cleaned up. We don't want a longing job like Lynn's and Dean’s West Hill. Heather is all in on Wallace to work toward a more vibrant economy. She promises to work with new businesses, something we haven't had a lot of lately. Heather is all for zoning overlay for the South Hill. Me, I'll wait and see what's in the zoning change. They are quite often top secret until they are announced. To me, it's a hidden agenda.

To all the citizens of Wallace, always know if it wasn't for people and families like the Magnusons, Zanettis, Morbecks, Calahans, Zellers and the generosity of Hecla- Wallace wouldn’t be the unique city it is.

In closing, I have considered Lynn Mogensen a friend for decades and hope to be for many more. Growth is what we need, so we need Heather Branstetter.