North Fork boards see some changes

| August 12, 2020 7:02 AM

Usually the North Fork Preservation Association elections are just a renewal of officers and directors. John Frederick for example, was president for twenty-some years and the board remained virtually unchanged. Not this year. Debo Powers, president for the last several years stepped down and Flannery Coates was elected president and Debo will be the new vice president. Leaving the board are Steve Gniadek and Frank Vitale and the board will now consist of Diane Boyd, Bill Walker, Jube Zeigler and Roger Sullivan. Randy Kenyon will serve as treasurer and Suzanne Hildner is secretary.

The North Fork Landowners on the other hand reelected all but one member of the board. Reelected were President Bill Walker, Vice President Steve Kelly, Treasurer Chris Heitz, Secretary Karina Pettey and Director Kevin Ulrichson. Newly elected board member is Kenna Halsey to a two-year term. Holdover board members are Jim Rittenburg and Irv Heitz who will be up for reelection next August.

In addition to being elected to a two-year term as director of the NFLA, Kenna will likely also be appointed to the Land Use Advisory Committee. It is unknown if Flannery Coates will now serve on the LUAC or will appoint someone else since the agreement provides for the NFPA to have one member on the committee-- the president or their designee. NFLA members are board members only.

The LUAC seems destined to have a busy year. Already three requests for exceptions to the land use plan have been to the Flathead County Board of Adjustment. The LUAC voted unanimously that the Board of Adjustment should deny all three. The Board of Adjustment did deny two of the applicants and the third was tabled at the request of the applicant. That request will be considered at the next board meeting. The North Fork LUAC is expected to continue to oppose the request.

These three requests seem to indicate a need for a text amendment to the North Fork Plan to clarify the intent and regulations. LUAC chair Randy Kenyon stated that they will meet as soon as possible to hold election of the chairman and secretary and consider further activity.

Gary and Karen McDonough hosted another fantastic fish fry last weekend. Due to another commitment I was unable to attend but did enjoy a phone conversation with the Keltners and a brief meeting with their daughter Kari and her husband Chris the morning after the fish fry. The McDonoughs praised Tom Hoiland, Kevin Ulrichson and David Silverstein for their help and that of everyone who made the party a huge success. Masks and social distancing have become the norm at Community Hall events but they are not likely to become a habit. There is still a lot of concern about the coronavirus, especially with the recent spike in Flathead County. We are all looking for an end to the virus and a return to our normal North Fork social activity. Hopefully this will all be behind us by next summer.

Larry Wilson’s North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.