By James Shipman
For the Courier 

Carney Runs for Commissioner

 

January 31, 2018



Editor’s note: The most recent addition to the list of candidates for Valley County Commissioner is Jim Uphaus. Check back for more candidate profiles in coming weeks.

We have another newcomer to local politics. His name is Mike Carney. As former business owner and Boy Scout of America volunteer, Carney is looking to take a new direction in life by running for the Valley County Commissioner seat. Anyone that knows him, knows they can call him anytime they need a hand. Even though he has zero experience in public office, Carney says he is ready for the challenge and plans to bring his varied experience to the table. And experience is not something he is short on.

Carney is a Glasgow native who has spent most of his life living on the Hi-Line. He started his own business in Malta in 1989, with MJ’s Trading Post and eventually sold his business to work for the Boy Scouts of America (BSoA). Working with the Boy Scouts of America as a professional, he has traveled all over northern Montana from Fort Kipp to Glacier. During that time, he was district executive and district director for the BSoA. In terms of administration, it doesn’t seem much different than what the county commissioner is responsible for, as Carney was accountable for setting and implementing policy throughout his district and responsible for organizing training and events. This experience could prove invaluable to Carney if he were to be elected.


Even though he hasn’t run for office before, public service is part of his character. After leaving the professional side of the BSoA, he continued to volunteer his time to teach upcoming Scouts and help uplift his community as a whole. He even did a little teaching in Nashua. He is well rounded in his experiences and not ignorant of his faults. Running for office isn’t something he is done before, and he admits he is nervous. Because he is a newcomer, he isn’t trying to cause any waves and make sweeping changes. Carney doesn’t claim to have all the answers but is willing to learn what is needed to accomplish the job. As he put it, “There are two sides to every story.” By listening to the concerns of the county, Carney is confident he can make informed decisions to benefit the county as a whole.

Despite being “out of his element” as he describes, I believe Carney is well suited for the job. He has the right temperament and genuinely cares about his community. His lack of experience in public office can be offset by his years of administrative experience. Now he must get out and convince us why he is the best for the job. And the competition is fierce. With two qualified challengers, it won’t be easy for Carney, but his candid approach and warm personality should serve him well. Just don’t be surprised if you can’t get him to stop talking. Remember your advice Carney, “Talk, but listen.”


The filing deadline for open county positions is March 12.

 

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