LETTER: Brenneman Best Man for the Job

By Beacon Staff

If Pam Holmquist and her supporters are to be believed, Brenneman has single-handedly wreaked havoc on Flathead County. That should come as a humorous surprise to the two other sitting and previous commissioners. It takes at least two votes for commissioners to take any action. Budget items require a unanimous consent. If Brenneman critics are to be believed, why did the other commissioners sign on with their approval?

As to lawsuits, in the past six years commissioners Dupont, Lauman, Hall, Williams and Gipe have all faced lawsuits. That’s just the reality of governing and the “sue” mentality of those who don’t get their way. The only ones who come out ahead are the attorneys. The misrepresentations by Holmquist, and her supporters, sound strangely like President Obama and the Democrats in Washington, D. C., blaming everything on the Bush administration. These allegations are clearly hypocritical.

Flathead County, as well as our nation, needs a balanced voice to govern fairly. It has been through balanced leadership that Flathead County is currently strong financially. There are adequate cash reserves, the budget process is timely and the commission continues to evaluate necessity and efficiency of all departments. Should commissioners unanimously agree on everything? The “rubber stamp” mentality leaves no room for fair discourse and debate, the opportunity for all sides to be heard.

There have been numerous positive achievements by the sitting and previous commissioners. While Joe never takes full credit for cooperative efforts by the commission and Flathead citizens, he does take the initiative to find solutions to problems. Brenneman is responsible for initiating grants to address long standing and ignored stormwater pollution and flooding in Bigfork. This was not “single handed.” Brenneman has a talent for bringing people together to solve a problem and empowering citizens to help solve those problems. The Bigfork Stormwater Project is widely supported by the citizens of Bigfork who realize the threat to future economic stability by polluted waters and hope to preserve our natural resources as a legacy for our children and grandchildren. Economic stability and growth in the Flathead Valley is largely dependent on clean water in our rivers and lakes.

Brenneman was instrumental in establishing the Flathead County River Commission, which provides leadership to address erosion problems along Flathead all rivers. This includes incentives and tax relief for vegetative buffers or other Best Management Practices along our waterways. He helped establish the Flathead Regional Wastewater Management Group, a first of its kind regional approach to effectively deal with human caused wastewater.

Brenneman worked to bring over $4 million in grant funding for much needed radio equipment for Flathead County. He pushed for a fully consolidated 9-1-1 Communication Center and negotiated agreements between cities and the county to make it happen. Public safety and health is a priority of all three Commissioners.

Clearly the other commissioners supported these efforts. That’s the point. We have three commissioners who provide a balanced government for Flathead County.

On a personal level, my support for Joe is simple. He’s honest, hard working and knows how to listen. Joe does not have a political agenda, nor do I. He is simply the best man for the job.

Sue Hanson