EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – Today’s meeting of the Big Sky Resort Area District tax board opened with a surprise announcement from Chairperson Jamey Kabisch that he would be resigning, effective immediately.

“After quite a bit of consideration, thinking about the direction of the board and the session here today, I’ve decided that I’m going to step down from the resort tax board,” Kabisch said.

The morning session of today’s meeting was dedicated to a presentation by Future West, a Bozeman-based nonprofit consulting firm that helps communities find solutions to challenges unique to their town, or in Big Sky’s case, a census-designated area.

The resort tax board invited Future West to present insight into the development of a community-wide strategic plan, which may include a broadening of the resort tax board’s role should that be supported by the Big Sky community, and a responsibility the board wants to take on.

“I’ve loved serving with all of you, this has been terrific,” Kabisch continued. “But I think going forward, I was just reflecting on some of the candidates that we had in the last election, and I think that all of them would do a better job than what I would do, helping to drive this community forward.”

In addition to Sarah Blechta and Steve Johnson, who were elected to the resort tax board in May’s election, the other two candidates were Paul “Buz” Davis and Craig Smit. After the board recessed for lunch today, Johnson suggested that they reach out to Davis to ask if he’d be willing to serve out Kabisch’s term. The motion passed unanimously.

When reached for comment, Davis said he wasn’t surprised when Kabisch stepped down, noting conversations the two of them had had over the past year. Davis declined commenting on whether he would accept the appointment, until he had been contacted by the resort tax board.

Kabisch served on the board since 2011, and was elected to a second, four-year term in 2015. He did not immediately reply to an EBS phone call seeking further comment on his decision.