By Bonnie Davidson
The Courier 

Meet The Valley County Candidates

 


With absentee ballots out and over 250 votes already in, that last push for candidates to get their story out there is in full swing. The Glasgow Courier hopes to educate voters on who’s on our ballot in our local county, both contested and non-contested candidates.

All county contested candidates were asked two questions:

• What is your platform for this election? (This question is about your philosophy.)

• What experience or qualities do you think you could bring into the position?

The candidates were given approximates 150 to 175 words to answer each question. Non-contested candidates were asked to give a brief background and experience.

**Website note: Only contested candidates' responses are posted here.

VALLEY COUNTY COMMISSIONER

RUSSELL DAHL

In visiting with many of you, concern has been expressed about the need for transparency in government, I concur with that concern. I respect Montana's open meeting law and will not tolerate "good old boys back room deals.” I believe I offer a balanced approach to local government. I recognize the importance of the city-county library, the county health department, as well as the big items like the county roads and bridges. I feel it is very important the entire budget is considered, from county employee payroll, to major infrastructure. The short term through the long term planning when looking at the cost versus benefit to the taxpayers and residents.


My family has a 100 year history of small business and agriculture in Valley County. I have Bachelor's degree in Finance from Carroll College. I have had the privilege of serving as the Glasgow's Chamber of Commerce president in the 1980's as well as working locally in banking. I served as a director on the Montana Board of Housing during the 1990's. As director, I was responsible for review and approving multi million dollar budgets. For the past 20 years I have had the pleasure of being a professional pilot for Stat Air Ambulance. I hold an Airline Transport Rating. I would like to continue my community service by serving as your county commissioner.

PAUL TWETEN

My platform as a county commissioner canadidate is to keep Valley County strong. I think we need to take advantage of all the grants and cost sharing programs wae can. I also believe we should implement capital improvement funds to provide funding for large projects. I think a long-range plan for all departments should be done to accommodate changes we can expect from oil and gas development, population changes, and many other factors that may occur in our county. I totally believe in being proactive, not reactive, in the operation of our county departments. Valley County is where I will live my life and I am thankful that I can raise my family here. As a commissioner I believe that I am accountable for my actions and should be accessible to the residents of Valley County.


For the last 14 years I have been fortunate enough to work for the Valley County Road and Bridge Department and have worked in all the area’s. While working for Valley County I have worked with road, bridge, special fuels, 10 mills and the 2 mill emergency budgets. I’ve also worked with most of the county's other departments. I work extensively with the Valley County DES coordinator, the state DES. and FEMA to help bring in funding to build new bridges, replace culverts and fix roads from flood damage.

I also farm on the farm I was raised on in the grain community north of Nashua. I have served on various boards over the years and I’m currently serving on the Valley View Home Board. I believe my willingness to work hard, listen, learn, be accessible and my background in agriculture, construction and working for Valley County gives me the experience to be a good commissioner for you, the taxpayers of Valley County.


Valley County Sheriff

JOE HORN

My philosophy that I work and live by is to treat others the way you would want to be treated. If elected I hope to improve working relationships with other law enforcement agencies, implement a deputy reserve program with training and work on structuring shifts so deputies have less turnover and provide better coverage throughout the county. I believe in an open door policy. I also want to ensure that money spent on maintenance and equipment stays local, so your tax dollars stay local.

My employment covers over 25 years of law enforcement experience. I have also worked two years at at a maximum security penitentiary for two years as a correctional officer. I served 10 and a half years as a deputy sheriff and a year and a half as an undercover drug enforcement officer. I've worked for 12 and a half years at the Glasgow Police Department and I still work there. I'm also a military veteran who served during the Vietnam War.

GLEN MEIER

I believe the biggest threat in our nation, state, county and city is the recreational use of illegal drugs. I have noticed in the last 12 years as sheriff, what it is doing to our country, state and this county. The statistics are showing a tremendous increase of drug related crime. Thefts, assaults and drug related crimes. Our jail has suffered, added stress due to inmates being booked in while on drugs. Illegal drugs are also adding to our involuntary mental commitments. I will continue to fight the use of illegal drugs and face any threat or problem that may arise in Valley County.

I am proud to say in April, I started my 40th year in law enforcement. I work for the oldest law enforcement agency in the state of Montana for 28 years. I was then elected sheriff of Valley County and have been elected for three terms. I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved during that time. My experience and record speaks for itself. I have always had an open door policy if anyone has any questions.

VALLEY COUNTY JUSTICE OF PEACE

CHRISTINA HILLMAN

I filed to be a candidate for Justice of the Peace simply because of the love for what I do. I've been asked what my "agenda" is for running and my answer has always been the same. I don't have one. Going into a position such as this requires objectivity and making promises will taint your ability to be objective. The only thing I can promise is to do the job according to the law and with integrity. I'm married and a mom to two beautiful girls that I really want to set a good example for.

I've worked as a legal assistant in Bozeman for one year, and eight and a half years here in Glasgow. The majority of my experience comes from the civil and criminal cases that I've worked on throughout the years. I've worked on "both sides of the fence" when it comes to criminal law in that I have experience in criminal defense and, most recently in prosecution as I currently assist the Glasgow City Attorney. I've also done a lot of work for civil matters so I am familiar with the rules of procedure. I'm very excited about the prospect of a local drug court being introduced into Valley County and the opportunity to work with the program. It really does mean a lot to me, being raised in Valley County, to keep the integrity and sustainability in the position.

I would really appreciate the opportunity to serve.

CHRISTINE GAMAS – WRITE IN

My platform is being myself, I don't make promises that I can't keep. I'm understanding, compassionate, committed and want to see people succeed in life. I've been an acting Justice of the Peace and I would have minimal conflicts of interest in the future. When the doors open at 8 a.m. I will be there until the day's work is done.

The past seven years as clerk for the Justice of the Peace, I've gained the experience and working knowledge of the job. I have filled in for past judges when needed. I would be able to continue with the job. Training would be minimal as I have attended numerous training sessions. By using Full Court on a daily basis, by entering civil cases, citations, importing, and getting the initial appearances ready. The experience of jury and bench trials, both criminal and civil and continue to learn as every case is unique. Thank you for this opportunity and again I would be honored to serve Valley County as Justice of the Peace. Please write in Christine, or C. Gamas.

DAVE GORTON

I want to bring a new level of professionalism to the Justice Court, and I believe that I have the unique combination of legal education and experience to do that. I firmly believe that everyone appearing in the Justice Court should be treated with respect and fairness, and that outcomes in court should be based on what people do, not who they are.

I am a third generation Montanan, a graduate of the University of Montana and I've been a licensed attorney for 39 years. I've practiced civil and criminal law in all levels in the state of Montana, and I've practiced law in the largest county and in some of the smallest counties in the state. I was a member of the Supreme Court's Commission of Courts of Limited Jurisdiction for four years. From my own legal experience, and my experience as a member of the commission, I have a statewide perspective on how courts should operate.

I will be a hands-on judge, who will roll up his sleeves and get the work done.

 

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