Saturday, January 28, 2023

In the minority

by By Larry Wilson
| December 14, 2022 7:40 AM

I know I have not written a column for several weeks. Usually, when I don’t write it is because not much has happened on the North Fork. That is not the case this time. If anything there has been more happening than usual in the Fall.

Biggest thing was the election. All of the hype only succeeded in making me disgusted with both political parties. One candidate calling their opponent a snake, the other ridiculing a lawyer for defending an accused rapist. The only bright spot was the House District 3 race. Both candidates were young recent graduates from Columbia Falls High School.

Both conducted a spirited, excellent campaign and I feel we will be well represented.

I’m not so sure about the state or federal government. I am more convinced than ever that one party rule stinks. The Democrats have made a mess of the federal government and I suspect the Republicans will do the same to state government. Time will tell. For sure the worm will turn. In the past whenever one party controls both the legislative branch and the executive branch they overstep and the voters will throw them out.

Hunting season is another big fall activity. There did not seem to be as many hunters as usual and hunter success was down too. Exception was Marc Heaphy who is a real hunter who is out in the backcountry every day and has been known to pack an elk or moose out for miles with only his wife for help. He got his elk and wife Margaret bagged a deer so they won’t starve this winter unless a lot of unsuccessful hunters stop by for dinner.

The one activity which occupied the time of North Forkers was the effort to pass a text amendment to the North Fork Plan. This effort started two years ago and involved hundreds of hours of research, meetings with the County Planning Board and finally, meetings with the County Commissioners to approve or disapprove the text amendment.

At every stage, locals were asked for their opinions. Throughout the process local comments favored the text amendment by a wide margin. At the final meeting with the Commissioners 12 testified in favor and only two testified against. I was there but did not testify either way.

I did listen carefully to the locals and the Commissioners. I felt that the Commissioners had studied the documents, testimony and emotions and raised logical questions. In the end they disapproved of the proposed text amendment and I agreed with them even though I was in the minority. Officials always need to consider unintended side effects and I think that is what they did. Fixing one thing and creating two or more negative side effects is not good planning.

What do you think?

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