Saturday, November 5, 2011

Protecting Clean Water and Recreational Opportunities

Friday, November 4, 2011

On the trail with Frank: Wrap-up

Dear Friends & Neighbors-

The final day of this long election will soon be upon us. If you supported me with your vote, I truly appreciate it. If elected, I will prove to you that you voted well.

If you have not yet voted, please do so before Tuesday afternoon and drop off your ballot at Whitefish City Hall. Also, please consider voting for John Muhlfeld for Mayor, and Richard Hildner and John Anderson for City Council.

Let's not forget that part of this process involves having fun. Muhlfeld, Hildner and Anderson will be joining me on Sunday from 4PM to 6PM, at the Great Northern Bar to celebrate a well-fought campaign. A keg of beer has been provided to serve all of our friends and supporters. Please stop by and join us. It will be great to see you.

Tuesday evening, beginning around 8 PM, we will all be at the same Great Northern Bar to watch the vote count and be with our friends. Please join us then, as well.

Whitefish is a wonderful place to live and work. I look forward to serving you once again on the Whitefish City Council.

Monday, October 31, 2011

On the trail with Frank: The Ask

Dear Friends & Neighbors-

Over the past five weeks I have sent you this newsletter so that you would have a better idea about who I am and why I want to serve on the Whitefish City Council. I've written about recreation, fiscal responsibility, jobs and the economy, water quality and clean politics. I hope you have found these letters informative.

This election campaign has been strenuous and enlightening. I've spent many hours talking directly with citizens at their doors, at events, in coffee shops and watering holes. I have a good perspective on what matters most to folks and how they want Whitefish to be managed.

A message I have heard loud and clear is that people are sick and tired of dirty, negative politics. It has no place in our town. People also want to have confidence that our City Council will spend our dollars responsibly, looking out for our near term and long term financial health.

People also want a revitalized high school that will serve our students, our staff, the attractiveness of our City, and because it is simply the right thing to do.

Now it is time to vote. If you have not already mailed your ballot, I respectfully ask for your vote. If you have already voted for me, I thank you for your confidence. But there is one more thing: During this campaign I have grown to know and respect three other candidates. Please consider voting for John Muhlfeld for Mayor, and Richard Hildner and John Anderson to join me on the City Council.

Whitefish is a wonderful place to live and work. I look forward to serving you once again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the Trail With Frank: Clean Politics

Dear Friends & Neighbors-

Over the past few years we have seen Whitefish politics turn dirty. Generally, our candidates have not caused the problems; surrogates in the form of political action committees have tried to mislead voters and personally attack opponents.

Most Whitefish voters don't like these tactics and they only serve to increase voter anger and diminish voter participation. I've never engaged in negative campaigning and I never will. Nor do I want surrogates being negative on my behalf.

Negativity takes its toll on all of us. It confuses voters through confusing messaging and leads folks to make decisions they would not have made if they had true information before them. Even worse, negative campaigns can do real damage to our City. Let me explain: When some recent mailers claimed that Whitefish taxes and expenditures are too high (claims that are clearly false), prospective employers could interpret Whitefish as a bad place for business.

Additionally, voters might see the false statements as a reason to defeat a future high school bond issue. It is the height of selfishness to sacrifice our prosperity and our children's education for the sake of some short-term political advantage.

Whitefish is small enough and good enough to refrain from dirty politics. As a candidate and a councilman, I will never go negative. I believe in open government where citizen's concerns are heard and folks feel appreciated in the process.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

On the Trail With Frank: Water Quality

Let me state the obvious: Water quality is important to the future of Whitefish. We get our drinking water from Whitefish Lake, we recreate there, and visitors come to our town to experience the beauty of Whitefish Lake. As a community, we must do whatever it takes to assure the quality of our Lake. It is essential to our economic well-being.

We have good institutions in place to help oversee water quality. The Whitefish Lake and Lakeshore Protection Committee regulates what can be built in the lakeshore zone, as well as what flora can be removed and how lawns are fertilized. The City Council should support their work by supporting vigorous enforcement of our regulations including levies of fines for violations.

All Lakeshore regulations must rational and clear. City employees must be up to speed on the purpose of Lakeshore regulations, as well as how they should be enforced. Our recent past has taught us that our citizens will not accept burdensome or misunderstood regulations.

Formed in 2005, the Whitefish Lake Institute is a non-profit organization that does scientific research and water quality monitoring on our Lake. WLI also conducts education programs in our schools and elsewhere to protect and improve water quality and fish habitat. The City has been supportive of WLI in the past and continued support is important.

We cannot just hope that our Lake will be healthy and clean. Active stewardship is necessary to assure that pride in Whitefish Lake is well deserved.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Balanced Leadership

Monday, October 10, 2011

On the Trail With Frank: Jobs and the Economy

Dear Friends & Neighbors-

Wall Street greed, the inability of national government to correct large problems, and a worldwide recession have large impacts on our local economy. Yet, there are things we can do at the local level to bring jobs to Whitefish and improve our position. In order for potential employers to look favorably upon Whitefish, we must have a well-functioning and stable city government.

We must mind our budgets while maintaining sufficient reserves to take care of our obligations and remain flexible in the face of unforeseen circumstances. It sure doesn't hurt for potential employers to see a city council working with its citizens in an open and respectful manner.

The natural beauty of our home as well as the wonderful amenities that have been built largely drives our economy. Whitefish folks have been very successful building public/private partnerships for trails, theaters, the library, ball fields, the dog park and the Wave. The involvement of our community members in creating amenities is what brings tourists and future residents here in the first place.

Additionally, our infrastructure must be well maintained. Traffic should flow and streets and sidewalks must be clean. Essential services like water, garbage collection and natural gas must function well. Planning and information services must be understandable and user-friendly. Our lake and beaches must be clean and attractive. Our economy absolutely depends upon clean water.

Lastly, I believe our city should take an active part in lobbying for good transportation. Several years ago the US Congress threatened to cut funding for Amtrak. Airlines have cut service to the Flathead as their situations changed. The City of Whitefish must be a strong voice in seeing that our transportation needs are met.

If we manage our city government well and live within our means, Whitefish will see the prosperity we have grown to expect.

Note: The election ballot is mail-in only. Ballots will be sent out on October 19th and must be returned by mail or to city hall by November 8th. You must be registered to vote at your current address to receive your ballot.