By Abbie Digel Explorebigsky.com Editor

Because Big Sky is an unincorporated town, there
is no local government. Instead, it’s run by a group
of diligent county districts whose decisions directly
impact the community.
This is the first in a two part series that will provide
an overview of 11 different boards and show citizens
how to get involved.
To run for a seat on any of the districts below, contact
the Gallatin County elections office, or visit its
website to see current board vacancies.
Big Sky County Water and Sewer District No. 363
The Big Sky County Water and Sewer District is
a special purpose unit of government organized to
regulate and operate the water and sewer systems
in Big Sky. Created in 1993, the district is
governed by a seven-member board of directors.
Board meetings are held monthly at the district
office, generally on the third Tuesday of each
month. The public is welcome.
Get involved:
Elections occur about every other year, or whenever
a board member’s term is up. The most recent
election was November 2011. Appointed directors
have six-year terms, and elected directors
have four-year terms. There are no term limits.
One appointed director must always be from
Madison County.
In 2012 the appointed seat terms will be up and
in 2013 two more terms will expire All current
directors can re-run or be re-appointed. Board
members must reside or own property in the district.
(406) 995-2660 bigskywatersewer.com
Big Sky Fire District
The mission of the Big Sky Fire District board is
to represent its constituents, provide resources
needed by the Big Sky Fire Department, preserve
the trust and property of constituents, and protect
the lives, health and safety of residents and visitors.
Get involved:
The board is made up of five elected, three-year
termed positions. There is no term limit. Elections
are staggered, depending on when terms
expire. The public is invited to attend Fire District
meetings on the third Wednesday of every
month at the fire station at 8:30 a.m. Contact the
fire station for updates and times. (406) 995-2100 bigskyfire.org
Gallatin Canyon/Big Sky Zoning District
This advisory committee is made up of five
people appointed by the Gallatin County Planning
and Zoning Commission for two-year terms.
Every September, at least two of the seats are up
for appointment. Look for notices for new applications
in late summer from the Planning and Zoning
Commission. There are always opportunities
to apply, but knowledge of current events within
the district is required.

The GC/BS Zoning district advisory committee
meets the first Monday of every month at the
Water and Sewer building in Big Sky. The Planning
and Zoning commission hold hearings on
the second Thursday of every month at the courthouse in Bozeman.
Get involved:
Call the county planning department at (406)
582-3130 for more information, or check the
Water and Sewer building in Big Sky for meeting
times.
Big Sky property owners in Gallatin County may
be affected by proposed changes to the Gallatin
Canyon/Big Sky Zoning District regulations. A
public hearing to review and take comment on the
proposed changes is set for Monday, Jan. 9, 2012
at 9:30 a.m. at the Water and Sewer building.
Resort Tax Board
The Big Sky Resort Area District is governed by
a five-member elected board of directors. Board
members must live within the boundaries of the
district and serve a four-year term once elected
in a November general election in odd-numbered years.
Registered voters who live within the boundaries
of the Big Sky Resort Area District may vote in
the election.
Get involved:
Board meetings are held
the second Wednesday
of the month. The
upcoming meeting
is Jan. 11 at 11 a.m.
in the district office
(above Grizzly Outfitters).
The first half of
the meeting is open
to the public. Contact
Whitney Brunner, the
administrative officer,
with questions on how
to become involved,
or for future meeting
dates. bigskyresorttax.com
The Ophir School District
The Ophir School District is governed by
a five-member Board of
Trustees. The noard’s
powers and duties include
the broad authority
to adopt and enforce
all necessary policies
for the management
and government of
Ophir School. Trustees
hold office for terms
of three years, or until
their successors are
elected and qualified. Terms of trustees are staggered as provided by law.

School board elections are held on the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in May of each year.
Any qualified voter of the district is can legally
become a trustee.
Get involved:
Upcoming meetings are Wednesday, Jan.18 at 3:30
and Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the library. ophirschool.org
Gallatin County Water quality district
Created by the Gallatin County Commission in
1995, this district covers the middle third of Gallatin
County and includes the municipalities of Bozeman,
Belgrade and Manhattan, along with Gallatin Gateway
and the Four Corners area. In 2010, the Gallatin
Local Water Quality District Board approved expanding
the district boundary to the north, west and
south. The communities included in the expanded
area are Logan, Amsterdam, Churchill and Big Sky.
The District is governed by the nine-member Water
Quality District Board of Directors.
Get involved:
There is still no official position for someone from
Big Sky, but community members are invited to the
Water Quality district’s monthly meetings on the
first Thursday of the of every month at 8:15 a.m.
at the Bozeman courthouse. For more information
contact Alan English, District Manager, at (406)
582-3148.