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Letter to the Editor: Resort tax board seeks community input

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To the Editor:  

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve you as a board member of the Big Sky Resort Area District (resort tax). Having grown up in our small town, I take a lot of pride and responsibility in serving you in my role. The District’s priority is our community and the well-being of its members. The Resort Tax is the primary public funding source of Big Sky and therefore it is critical that you help to inform our ongoing decision-making.

As the new District Board Chair, I would like to challenge our community to learn about Big Sky’s needs and priorities, “voice” your perspective through public comment, and stay engaged. The District hosts frequently occurring public meetings and makes important decisions on a regular basis–-yet we only hear from many of you during our funding decisions in June.

Coming out of the pandemic, the engagement from our neighbors has declined. After allocating $7,057,754 to 47 projects from 26 sponsoring organizations, I was surprised to see a 50 percent decrease in responses to our post allocation community survey. Of those that did respond, nearly 40 percent indicated they didn’t attend or watch the allocation discussions, but still commented on the decisions made. As your elected officials we want to hear from you. I hope you can begin to engage more regularly and year-round, so you are informed on the context of the decisions, and we are informed on your community vision.

If you have questions, comments, or ideas to increase engagement, please feel free to email me at sarah@resorttax.org. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at an upcoming District meeting.

Sarah Blechta

Board Chair, Big Sky Resort Area District

Big Sky, MT

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