Karen Datko is running for Ward 4 council person against Matt Boucher in the elections underway.
If elected, she hopes to revitalize Havre’s east side, which she thinks is sometimes neglected.
Datko, 58, was raised in Pennsylvania and attended high school in Uniontown, Pa. She received her undergraduate degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania and got her master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.
Datko is the secretary of the Hill County Democratic Party and the precinct captain of precinct 10 of Hill County.
She is currently a freelance editor and writer for a financial website. She was previously the lead blogger and editor of the MSN Money website. Before that, she was the managing editor for the Havre Daily News from 2001 to 2006. She has worked as a reporter at various newspapers around the country for 30 years, including the Sante Fe New Mexican, the Bozeman Chronicle and others.
“(At the Bozeman Chronicle) I fell in love with Montana and hoped for an opportunity to return,” Datko said. “My job allows me to work anywhere in the world, and I chose to live here.”
Datko said her family consists of two dogs.
When asked what she hopes to accomplish if she is elected Ward 4 councilperson, Datko said, “one of the reasons I’m running is I’ve wondered, along with others, if the people living in the east end of Havre are getting their fair share from the city.”
Datko said if she was elected, she would make sure that the people living in the east end of Havre got their fair share.
“The infrastructure (in the east end) doesn’t seem as well-maintained as other parts of the city,” Datko said. “Maybe we do, but there is a very widespread perception in the east end of town that that isn’t the case.”
Datko said that, while she has been campaigning, people mostly have asked her about the infrastructure of Havre.
“We have an aging infrastructure,” Datko said. “Some of the (water) lines are ancient and need to be replaced. We need to not only fix the roads, but what’s under them”
Datko mentioned that Mayor Tim Solomon’s capital improvement plan was a good step in the right direction.
Datko said that she would focus on reviving the east end.
“There are too many vacant, dilapidated structures on the east end, and something needs to be done about that,” Datko said.
She also said that she would like to see more community involvement in the working of government and City Council meetings. She said people have complained about the city council meetings because there is very little discussion and they don’t know what council members are voting on when the council talks of the items on their agendas.
“It would be nice to have some discussion,” Datko said. “Also, I think it would be nice to stream the council meeting on the city website. Let’s use some of that technology.”