As part of E-City Beat’s continuing effort to help our readers make informed decisions as voters, last month we sent questionnaires to all local legislative candidates in the upcoming general election informing them that we would publish their responses without editorial comment.
Here are the four questions we asked:
- What do you see as the top two issues facing Montana and Cascade County in the next 5 years and why are you the best candidate for the district you’re running in to tackle those issues?
- Identify at least one issue you see as an opportunity to work across party lines on and describe how you will do that to accomplish what’s best for your constituents.
- Why is Cascade County/Great Falls so far behind other Montana cities and counties in growth and economic development and what do you plan to do about it as a legislator?
- Do you think we need some form of a sales tax or other solution in Montana to help offset property taxes and why or why not?
Democrat Carlie Boland and Republican Steven E. Galloway are the candidates in House District 25. Boland did not respond to our request.
Steven E. Galloway
1. What do you see as the top two issues facing Montana and Cascade County in the next 5 years and why are you the best candidate for the district you’re running in to tackle those issues?
I believe we may see more brick and mortar businesses gone as the internet takes away their transactions. With the possible loss of tax basis it can put more pressure on the remaining tax base. It is imperative that we strive to bring in new businesses and responsibly develop Montana’s natural resources creating new tax revenue. I have over 42 years in business and have a lot of experience that is applicable to these issues.
We need to create a better strategy for addressing the drinking and drug problems we have. We need to co-ordinate efforts between the community , law enforcement ,Judges, treatment programs, and offenders to help them rehab and not just jail them. It is destroying families, bringing the community down and filling our jail. I understand from personal experience how hard it can be. I quit drinking over 38 years ago and the Lord has lead the way for me. We have to find funding programs for recovery and we will save in the end.
2. Identify at least one issue you see as an opportunity to work across party lines on and describe how you will do that to accomplish what’s best for your constituents.
Mental health has become the leading illness in the U. S. We need to address this by making access to help more readily available. During the legislative interim study on prisons I had the opportunity to hear from several Sheriffs that feel a portion of their jails are filled we people who were having a bad day so to speak, mentally struggling with something that lead to law enforcement being involved. I could see us having an evaluation center of some type or intake to see if being off meds or something else lead to a bad situation and we could find a better solution then tax payers paying to jail the individual.
3. Why is Cascade County/Great Falls so far behind other Montana cities and counties in growth and economic development and what do you plan to do about it as a legislator?
Part of this issue is the lack of attracting new business to our area. I have lived here all my life and not much has changed since we lost the smelter and its job force. We use to be one of the largest cities in Montana. We really need to ramp up our efforts to attract tourist. We need to be aggressive in attracting or enlarging existing business. We need to have a business mind set which I have gained in my 42 plus years in business. This again needs to be an across the board effort in the community.
4. Do you think we need some form of a sales tax or other solution in Montana to help offset property taxes and why or why not?
I never have been a fan of sales tax. It creates a whole new bureaucracy , that has to be fed just to collect and administrate it. It has a negative effect on low income and retired fixed income folks, as they can least afford it. Montana is known as the treasure state for a reason! We need to responsibly develop our natural resources to the benefit of Montanan’s. We need to utilize our existing tax base to create an inviting atmosphere to create new and grow existing businesses. We need to enhance our tourism attractions. We can achieve this by applying principled efforts and incorporating a coordinated effort statewide .
Having spent some time during the last legislative session visiting my wife Representative Lola Sheldon Galloway from House District 22, it became clear to me she was making a difference. I came away feeling we could use more business experienced COMMON SENSE representation. This is why I decided to run for Senate District 12 , I want to apply the knowledge and experience the Lord has blessed me with in running 4 businesses, raising 6 kids, serving in church leadership positions, boy scouts, coaching multiple sports, caring for aging parents till they passed, and dealing with my sister being murdered in 1982. My parents taught me to work for what we have. I don’t give up, I will work hard for you. I would love to hear what issues are on your mind and important to you!
Steven E Galloway
Candidate for Senate District 12