Congratulations and best wishes to Matt Boucher, who ran a fine campaign and defeated me in my bid to represent Ward 4 on the Havre City Council. I met Matt on the campaign trail and was impressed by his thoughtfulness. I think he will listen well to his constituents in Ward 4.
I also would like to thank those Ward 4 voters who supported me.
Despite my loss, I think my message resonated with voters on the East End. We often feel that we’re not getting our fair share of city resources. Our streets are in bad repair and the infrastructure beneath them is antiquated. I told voters that I would find out if we are, in fact, getting the attention we deserve and that, if we’re not, I’d work hard to correct that situation.
I also talked about the challenges the city faces, with its very limited revenues. We need to reach consensus on how to pay for the upgrades to our streets and water and sewer lines. It’s a tremendous challenge, particularly on the East End, where landlords who don’t live here are reluctant to participate.
In my visits with voters, I found great reason for optimism. Young people are buying old buildings on the East End and renovating them into lovely homes. But there are also too many abandoned buildings and rentals that are in terrible decline.
We need more citizen involvement in city government in Havre. Our needs on the East End won’t be addressed until we all make a greater effort to speak up. I hope that the new City Council reaches out to residents and listens carefully to what they say.
Karen Datko, Havre