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Resort Tax Board seats up for election

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By Amy Smit

On June 15, the Big Sky Resort Area Board of Directors appropriated over 2.4 million dollars to various organizations for infrastructure and programming in Big Sky. At that meeting, the Chair challenged those in attendance to consider running for one of the four board seats to open this Nov. The elected board serves on a voluntary basis and oversees all aspects of the collection and appropriation of Big Sky’s 3 percent sales tax.

Three seats are full four-year terms. The fourth seat is a two-year, unexpired term. In the 2009 election two candidates tied, so the Board appointed one. Since an appointment is not the same as an election, an election must be held for the remainder of the term. Interested parties must specify they are filing specifically for this seat, and voters will choose one candidate in this category. Otherwise, they will be placed in the election pool for a four-year term.

To run, download the “Oath of Candidacy and Special District Candidate Petition for Nomination” from, or contact the BSRAD office in the RJS Building (above Grizzly Outfitters and next to the Medical Clinic of Big Sky). Potential candidates can also contact the Gallatin County Election Office at (406) 582-3060, or at 311 W. Main, Room 210 in Bozeman.

File the form with the Gallatin County Election Department no later than August 25, 2011 at 5 p.m. The two-page form requires a minimum of five signatures by registered voters who reside in the Big Sky Resort Area District. Charlotte Mills from the election office suggests collecting extra signatures to be sure five qualify. The candidate’s signature must be notarized or signed in front of a deputy at the Gallatin County Election Department.

The Board meets monthly to oversee the Administrative Officer, review financial reports, deal with collection or enforcement issues, and receive public comment. In May, board members review all applications for funding and host a Q+A meeting. Funding decisions are made during the June meeting. All meetings open to the public.

Board members make important decisions about the Big Sky community and serve as a sounding board for the public. In some cases, they make difficult or controversial decisions about funding or enforcement.

If you like what the Board has done in the past, you have a chance to keep it happening. If you disagree with decisions the Board has made, you have a chance to argue for a change of course. If you know someone you feel would be a good fit, please encourage him or her to run. Two of the incumbents do not plan to file for reelection.

Amy Smit is the Big Sky Resort Area District’s Administrative Officer.

Megan Paulson is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Outlaw Partners.

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