Nov 2, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterThe race for Pavillion City Council was uncontested before primary elections in August, when residents of the small town voted for Eileen Smith as a write-in candidate.
Smith will run against incumbent Tauna GroomSmith and challenger M.J. Larsen for the two four-year positions available on the council.
Two unexpired two-year terms also are open, and incumbents Bud Kisling and Danette Williams are seeking re-election to those seats.
Smith said her friends helped her decide to run for election.
"They had asked me and at the last minute I guess I said yes, so they wrote it in," she said. "I guess they just wanted to, maybe so there would be a little competition."
She described herself as very willing to learn about the operations of the city.
"I just want to go in there, not with any ax to grind, just to try to help our town," she said.
Smith has lived in Pavillion for about 12 years, working in Fremont County School District 6 for about 10 years. Before that she worked as a secretary in Red Lodge Mont., for 25 years. The Montana native said she has enjoyed her life in Pavillion.
"I like it down here; I think it's a great place," she said.
Pavillion's incumbent, who has sat on the council for four years, said she loves the town.
"I just want to give back to the community as they've given to my family," she said. "What I can do to serve (Pavillion), I will do."
She has lived in the area since 2001, and GroomSmith said both of her children attend Wind River schools.
"My son is a senior, and he started actually when he was a kindergartener," GroomSmith said.
There aren't any issues that she would focus on in particular on the council --GroomSmith said she simply enjoys visiting with residents and hearing about their concerns so she can try to represent them well on the council.
Larsen talked about several issues he would like to address in Pavillion, beginning with problems regarding trash collection locally. He approved of the recent move to longer hours at the trash transfer station serving Pavillion, but he worried about people who live and work in even more rural areas.
"What's that going to do to people in other towns that have to work miles away?" he asked.
Larsen complimented FCSD6 on its schedule that allows for four-day school weeks. He said the day off leaves more time for children to help their parents with chores, and it also serves as an incentive for students to work hard while in class.
"They can't do anything on sports until their grades are up, and if they have a lowering or a failing (grade) they have to work on Friday making it up," he said. "They miss out on all the games they could be going to and participating in."
He thinks property lines in Pavillion could use some attention.
"You can never see a straight line in this town," he said. "I'd like to get property lines straightened up."
The former town judge also said a grocery store and fueling station could do a lot for the town. The 83-year-old was born in Montana but has lived in Pavillion since 1961.
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