Havre Daily News
A retired Northern Montana College professor has filed to run for a vacant Ward 3 seat on the Havre City Council. Republican Bob Kaftan filed Wednesday with the Hill County Clerk and Recorder's Office for the Novem-ber election.
Democrat Bob Kaul has also filed for the Ward 3 seat.
Kaftan, who has lived in Havre since 1966, said he decided to run because he wanted to be more active in the community.
"I like the city," he said. "I like the people. I've been sitting on the sidelines, not getting involved, and I thought I should."
Kaftan said he wants to encourage and assist Havre Mayor Bob Rice in continuing to improve the city. Rice said today that he is undecided about whether he will seek a second term.
"I think we're making good progress in infrastructure and in the parks," Kaftan said. "We've got some beautiful parks, and they have to be maintained."
One such infrastructure improvement will be the First Street reconstruction project. The work, slated to begin in 2007, includes resurfacing the road, replacing sidewalks and adding landscaping. The City Council voted in November to raise city water and sewer rates to aid in the replacement of the lines that run beneath the thoroughfare.
Kaftan said the project will cause some disruptions for businesses and residents along First Street, but the city needs to work with its people to make everything go as smoothly as possible.
"These improvements are going to make some things inconvenient," he said. "In the long run, it's going to be better for the city. We need to be patient. We need to communicate with the people and let them know what's being done."
The city's possible involvement in the Rocky Boy's/North Central Regional Water System is another big issue, Kaftan said. On April 4, the City Council voted to pay $21,000 to the regional water authority to study the costs of connecting to the system, which will bring water treated at Tiber Dam at Lake Elwell to at least 18,000 residents across seven counties.
"I would intensly be interested in seeing that we take whatever effort it takes to understand the problems and the benefits," he said. Kaftan said people in city government need to continue to work together to better Havre.
"We need to listen and try to understand each other," he said.
He added that he wants to see more people get involved with community affairs and city government.
Ward 3 council member Tom Farnham is not seeking re-election.
Republican council member Terry Schend is seeking re-election in Ward 2, as is Democratic council member Allen "Woody" Woodwick in Ward 4. Neither is opposed. Ward 1 council member Dana West is not seeking re-election. No one has yet filed for her seat.
Democratic council member Pam Hillery has filed to run for mayor. She also is unopposed.
Havre City Judge Joyce Perszyk has filed for another term, and is unopposed.
The filing deadline for the November election is June 30.