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Written by Steven Palmieri of Polson–published last week in the Valley Journal and the Lake County Leader.

People in the City of Polson recently voted to reevaluate their current form of managerial government, which is not elected. This decision provides for a five member review board to be elected in November to study how other cities’ governments run.  More importantly, this board will determine what form of government will be best for Polson’s future.

An elected board reviewing whether an unelected government is right for the city of Polson is definitely a step in the right direction toward an open government.  Fortunately, there are seven candidates who applied for these five positions; if there were an insufficient number of candidates, the city commissioners would have had to appoint the rest.  Had that action been necessary, it would have meant that unelected board members would be reviewing an unelected city government.  If that possibility raises no concerns, then the people of Polson are so far removed from a representative form of government that it is no wonder that the proposed tripling of water & sewers rates over the next three years will ultimately be swallowed without even burping.  That apparent irony is sad.

However, equally disturbing is the disclosure that at least one of the candidates, Karen Sargeant, has openly stated in the August 21 Leader that she is in favor of continuing Polson’s present form of government.  If other candidates have a similar biased belief, then all that will be achieved with this board is an expensive pat-on-the-back for the current government and yet another bill for Polson residents to pay without any return.

Polson has afforded itself the opportunity to review its very expensive current form of unelected government. This opportunity should not be wasted.  Vote in board members who are unbiased and who are driven by what’s best for Polson residents.

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