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Libby City Council candidate: D.C. Orr

| October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

Editor's Note: The Western News submitted a series of questions to candidates in the Libby City Council election. This candidate is vying to fill a seat for an unexpired position.

Describe yourself.

I am the third generation of my family in Libby, raised the fourth generation and am enjoying the company of the fifth generation. I have been married to Marianne for 30 years next month. She worked 22 years in the Rosauers bakery. Our kids are Adam and Ashley. Adam is chief mechanic for Noble Excavating. Ashley is a stay-at-home mom with her three boys.

What is your present occupation?

I am a contractor who has helped people achieve the American dream of home ownership for over 30 years. I love my work.

Why are you running in this election?

I have a gift for cutting through the political posturing and bringing issues into focus as they pertain to our bosses, the taxpayers. I believe politics should be transparent, open, honest … and limited. If special interests are lobbying behind the scenes, I think our deliberations should include the ramifications of catering to those special interests and should be public.

What should be the city’s top three priorities?

1. Institutional controls will hit everyone in the pocketbook. Why leave this decision in the hands of the profiteers and self-interested?

2. Infrastructure, including police and fire protection.

3. Government should encourage free enterprise. Not discourage, control or tax it out of existence. When people are left to pursue their dreams, we all profit.

What has been the present council’s biggest achievement?

The greatest achievement of this council, from what I have seen during my short tenure at least, has been something that is not very public. Our greatest achievement has been establishing open communication and cooperation among the council. There have been some great team-building efforts. When we all share the information needed to make the tough decisions, we are at our best. When one person tries to act unilaterally and secretly, it upsets the whole process.

What has been the present council’s biggest weakness?

Buckling under to county influence in city affairs. The attempt to disrupt our city police force was a county ploy. The county seems to have taken a position that they can raid our coffers for county benefit. That is unfair to city residents who are forced to shoulder a bigger burden forced on them by a bigger bureaucracy. The City-County Health Board is a perfect case in point. This board is made up of two city members and six county employees. The city has no say in Health Board matters like the institutional controls I mentioned before. It is a County Health Board affecting city residents. It is a sham that has taken city sovereignty away from the people we serve.

What do you love most about Libby?

The people. We still have that small-town flavor where grocery shopping is a social event. Going to the post office can take an hour because of the discussions that get started there. As a contractor, I know that small-town friendliness resonates with people traveling through this town, and I have heard that reason for moving here many times from my clients. Libby is great because good people make their home here.