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Columbia Falls mayoral race: John Rallis

| October 20, 2021 6:40 AM

By CHRIS PETERSON

Hungry Horse News

John Rallis is giving it another shot in the Columbia Falls mayoral race. This time as a write-in. Rallis, 82, ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Mayor Don Barnhart back in 2017.

His platform has familiar themes from his last campaign.

“I want to see the city grow and change into a real city,” he said.

Getting there in Rallis’s view, would require a full-time mayor position. Currently the mayor position is part-time, with a salary of $400 a month.

He was said if he was elected mayor he wouldn’t even go to city council meetings. He said the office of the mayor would be independent and would manage the city outside of council.

“I’ll be fighting city council on issues,” he said.

He would rid the city of the city manager form of government, he said.

Rallis said he voted for the resort tax, but he thought its scope was too narrow. He said he’d like to see a 5% sales tax and a business license tax, so the city would have the funding it needed instead of relying on outside sources.

He said he wants to grow the city’s industrial base and he wants to see another national park that would encompass Columbia and Teakettle Mountains and extend all the way to Canada.

Rallis is single. He has four grown children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Rallis, like Chris Sellman, who is also running as a write-in, will not appear on ballots that were mailed to voters late last week.