Havre Daily News
A BNSF Railway conductor has filed to run as a Democrat for the Havre City Council.
David Brewer is seeking the Ward 1 seat being vacated by Democrat Dana West, who is not running for re-election. Brewer is the first person to file for the seat. The filing deadline is June 30.
Brewer said today he considered running before but never actually took the step. Havre has some changes on the horizon, however, and he said he wants to be a part of it.
"There's a lot of big, important things coming here in the future," he said. "Havre's on the pinnacle of making some leaps and bounds, and I'd like to be involved."
The First Street reconstruction project, a Montana Department of Transportation undertaking that will commence in the spring of 2007, is one of those important things, Brewer said. It will take at least two summers to complete and cost between $17 million and $20 million. With a project that large, there are bound to be some problems, Brewer said, but city officials must work with the public and local businesses to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.
Another concern on Brewer's mind is Havre's water situation. The St. Mary Diversion rehabilitation effort and the Rocky Boy's/North Central Regional Water System are two huge undertakings, he said. The St. Mary Diversion is an aging canal structure that transports water from the St. Mary River to the Milk River. It is badly in need of repairs, which are estimated to cost more than $100 million. The Rocky Boy water project will transport treated water from Lake Elwell to about 18,000 residents on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation and in towns across seven counties. The Havre City Council decided to pay the project's organizers $21,000 to study the cost of connecting Havre to the system.
"Those are two big projects," Brewer said. "I just want to be involved and see how they can get off the ground."
Brewer also is concerned about recent discussions around the city about racial tension and a perception that there may be discrimination against Indians in Havre.
"I'd like to be a part of trying to ease that tension," he said. "Those folks belong in the community and contribute a lot to Havre."
Brewer said his past experience lobbying state legislators could be an asset for the city. He spoke with representatives in 2001 about wildfire prevention concerns and this spring about clarifying laws dealing with grandparents who raise their grandchildren. Brewer is a grandparent raising a grandchild.
He said his employment with BNSF would not adversely affect his ability to serve on the council if he is elected. He is able to have some flexibility with his schedule, he said.
"There are ways to make sure that I'm available," Brewer said.
Before working for the railroad, Brewer served as an advertising representative for the Havre Daily News.
The city's primary election is Sept. 13 and the general election is Nov. 8.