Missoula Commissioner Faces Challenge from Local Businesswoman
Though the County Commission is a partisan office, Chambers said the County Commissioners must serve the public, not their own political affiliation.
“I am Republican, but I would like to say, when I actually campaigned for Barbara Evans when I was six years or eight years old. I really don't think that the county commissioners, the city council or the mayor was ever a party line position,” began Chambers. “I don't quite know when in history we became party line, but I really believe that we are servants of the Missoula County citizens and that's the type of leadership I lead under.”
Chambers said the current commissioners are spending far beyond the ability of taxpayers to afford.
“We need to start serving the citizens by reducing our property taxes, taking the revenues that we've had from the state legislated out to help our schools and help our roads and, and generate more back to our inflation and population growth,” she said. “I feel, and with no disrespect to our three county commissioners. but when you make a budget and then go to the ATM machine to get the money out to fit that budget, then that’s not the way I've ever run a business. I run a business by looking back two years ago at what I made, minus 15 percent; make my budget and then work within my means and I would like us to do that.”
Regarding bond issues such as the fairgrounds project, Chambers said it’s time to stop asking the taxpayers to fund such projects, and leave it up to the private sector for support.
“I want to look at the community coming together just like the university does with their buildings,” she said. “I feel that the fairgrounds should give that opportunity to free enterprise and community giving. I'm sure there's a lot of large livestock ranches out there who would love to hang their hat on a 4-H barn, so let's do some let's do some local fundraising. Let's not tax the citizens through a bond they cannot afford to go to the fairgrounds.”
Chambers also said she disagrees with how the current commissioners are handling crime in Missoula County.
“I don't believe in soft punishment,” she said. “I'm sorry, but I raised my kids that while they're young, their noses were in the corner, and after that it was it was grounding and it was hard punishment for their crimes. I believe that we also need to increase our detention center and bring it back to more of a jail where we actually give rehabilitation to those that have had a criminal record and those that can completely can't quite conform to what the rules are of our of our community. So I would like to work with our sheriff and our deputies and our detention center on more of a one on one basis as a county commissioner.”
Chambers and her husband own Charter Construction in Missoula County.
KGVO has reached out to Commissioner Strohmaier to also appear on Talk Back.