By Alan Sorensen
Facing off for alderman in Ward 3 precincts 1, 6, and 9 in Havre are Republican Kevin K. Allison and Democrat Jack R. Brandon.
Allison is entering the political arena as a candidate for the first time.
I figured theres a need for a little bit of a change, Allison said. Ive always held the belief that if you dont like the way things are going, you should roll up your sleeves and do something about it, instead of leaning back and being passive about it.
Allison, a safety manager for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad diesel shop in Havre, and his wife, Wanda, an RN, are in their fourth year in Havre. They have four children: Amy, 14, is a student at Havre High; Emily, 11, goes to Havre Middle School; Julie, 9, attends Devlin; Sam, 4, is enrolled at St. Jude preschool.
Allison, who grew up in a small Wyoming community and served eight years in the military, said he decided to run because of national and local trends. He said the time for talk is over and the time for action is here.
Every small community within several states in this region has problems with getting new business in, Allison said. We have some of the greatest resources here, with MSU-Northern. We have all kinds of talented people, educated, with no place to go.
With the decline of agriculture in the area comes a need for other types of industry, he said.
If we can entertain some decent companies that wont compete with our businesses here in Havre, we have the resources here to handle that: the airport, the railroad and local transportation companies.
Allison said he can be objective about the campaign and city government because he has no ax to grind with any community members or his opponent.
I dont stand to lose or gain anything from this, Allison said. Its exciting if you can actually get out there and give something of yourself, instead of saying give me something.
Jack R. Brandon grew up in Chinook, went to Northern Montana College for a couple of years, was drafted and served in Korea for 16 months, returned and completed his education at NMC. He married a Havre girl, Dolores Love, and began his teaching career.
He retired a couple of years ago after 30 years of teaching math and computers at Havre Junior High and Middle schools.
I was encouraged to run in the first place, Brandon said. And after giving it some thought, I thought Id like to work in the city council and get involved in the community.
I think the fact that I know a lot of people in the community and talk with a lot of people in the community and share the issues with the people, I think thats important.
Brandon said his work on committees and boards over the years has prepared him for council work.
One thing I do know, because of the complexities of the issues at times, people rely on your good judgment, he said. There are things that you just dont have time to share with others and they rely on your good judgment.
Brandon said he is aware of some serious issues the council will have to deal with in the near future.
Ive done as much research as I can at this point, and I know weve had some serious problems with our water and our sewer.
He also considers salaries and contract talks very important issues.
Being familiar and interested in computers, I think communication is going to become more important in city government, he said. I think its important to make Havre an attractive place for (area farmers and ranchers) to retire.
Brandon said hes prepared to do a good job for the people of Havre and the surrounding area.
I guess the main thing is that I dont have an ax to grind, he said. I just want to do a good job in city government, study the issues and vote my conscience. Im not going to be a fence rider.