Meet the candidates - Mayor

Mayor
Thursday, October 14, 2021

The City of Glendive is currently in the midst of a municipal election. There are two contested races; the race for mayor and the race for City Council Ward 2. Absentee ballots have been mailed. Registered absentee voters who have not received their ballot should contact the Dawson County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Residents of Ward 1, Ward 3 and Ward 4 will not receive ballots for council elections as those seats are uncontested.

Mayoral candidates include Jerry Jimison, Teresea Olson and John Stonehocker.

Ward 2 candidates include Ryan Albright, Luke Gambee, Jason Sasse and Jason Stuart.

Ballots may be returned by mail or in-person to the Dawson County Courthouse. They must be received before 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

***Editor's note: All candidates were provided with the same questions and given the same amount of time to answer. They wer all encouraged to submit or present themselves for a photo. All answers printed are reproduced exactly as submitted, without editing, other than for format.***

 

Jerry Jimison

Tell us a little about yourself (Family, current occupation, education, etc.).

I was born in Sidney, MT but arrived in Glendive when my parents, Ray and Ethel Jimison, moved here in 1949. I was the oldest of six siblings. All six of us graduated from Dawson County High School. My current family consists of four grown children. I became a widower in 2019 when my wife of 49 years, LaDonna, passed away after a seven year battle with ovarian cancer. My four grown children are DeVonna Snow of Bismarck, N.D., Cole Jimison of Menlo Park, Calif., Tiffany Coon of Glendive, Mont. and Michaela Murphy of Glendive, Mont. They have combined to bless me with 12 grandchildren, with eight of them living right here in Glendive. My current occupation is Mayor of Glendive. I am retired from both a nine-year teaching career and 30-year career with the BNSF Railroad. My education consists of a high school diploma from DCHS, a Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State University in Bozeman with a double major in Education and History, and graduate credits in School Administration from MSU.

Why have you chosen to run for office?

I have chosen to run again for office as I feel although the City Council and myself have done great things for Glendive, there are still a few unfinished things we need to accomplish. With the CARES Act funding and the ARPA funding coming to cities and towns in Montana, we need to take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild more infrastructure that is old and also connect West Glendive with a new water line bored under the river while funding is available. I want to see Glendive work with the county and State of Montana to take advantage of all the opportunities we have here in Glendive to develop tourism and job growth.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for growth and prosperity in Glendive?

Our biggest opportunities for growth and expansion are here and waiting. With the city council approving construction of the Wastewater Treatment Facility, they built it large enough for the county residents to use it also, so West Glendive did not have to build a separate one, but also built it 30% over what we need now to accommodate growth without added expense. The water plant upgrade and expansion increased our ability to produce clean drinking water from three million gallons per day to eight million gallons per day if needed. They looked into the future and made sure we were ready for growth. With the new subdivisions north of the interstate, we have over 17 acres of developed land ready for growth. The last 10 years have also seen five new motels and five new restaurants and eating establishments in Glendive. The number one industry in Eastern Montana will always be agriculture, but with new infrastructure, we can now make a case for tourism and industry in our area. The addition of city water to Makoshika Park will help increase tourism there, along with the Lower Yellowstone Project to develop fishing, camping, boating, agate hunting and other recreational opportunities on the Yellowstone River.

What issues or challenges facing the city do you have a particularly strong stance on and how would you respond to those issues?

A big issue is trying to get the message out to some people about what a great community we have. I could write a book about all the advantages we have here in Glendive and why Glendive is the best city in Montana under 20,000 people to live in. A lot of the people don’t realize what we have. Sort of like you can’t see the trees because of the forest. That includes all the great, talented, caring people we have in the community that make Glendive a great place to live. My hope is to continue to point those things out to people.

In Glendive’s form of government, the mayor has little executive power. Given that, what in your opinion is the primary or most important responsibility of the mayor?

In Glendive’s council/ mayor form of government, the council does have lots of power. They approve the resolutions, approve the budget, make the ordinances, award the contracts and set policy. The mayor does have administrative powers and can veto legislation. He is responsible for setting the council agenda, putting together information for the committee meetings and overseeing the day-today operations of the city. That being said, I see the major duty of the mayor as promoting Glendive and all we have. Being a cheerleader for our city has always been a major duty of mine. As a result, I serve on state-wide boards representing Glendive. I am past president of the Montana League of Cities and Towns, am currently the chairman of the League Nominating Committee, serve on the MMIA Board of Directors, am past chairman of the Board at MMIA, was appointed by the governor to the Rail Service Competition Council where I was chairman for three years and used that position to improve agriculture shipping in Montana. We are well positioned for any growth opportunities that may come our way and I believe as Mayor, I will be able to help that along.

 

Teresea Olson

Tell us a little about yourself (Family, current occupation, education, etc.).

My 4 children and I moved to Glendive over 20 years ago where I started employment at Glendive Medical Center as a physician assistant. My children are now amazing adults, married to incredible spouses. At present, I have 7 grandchildren. It’s a blessing to still have children and grandchildren who make their home in Glendive! Currently, I hold Montana state licenses as a physician assistant, registered nurse, and massage therapist. I continue to work with GMC, and also have been a small business owner for over 15 years (first starting in my home and then moving to my own brick and mortar space). Since a teenager, I have worked hardbusgirl, waitress, parts person at Carquest, certified nurse assistant, RN, PA, and massage therapist. Community safety and prosperity are very important to me. During my years in Glendive, I have volunteered with many organizations, helping make Glendive a better place. I am honored to have assisted develop several programs in Dawson County: our Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE), community SART (sexual assault response team), and newly formed Eastern Montana Human Trafficking Taskforce. I am a founding board member for Makoshika Wellness and member of Revitalize Glendive. I am currently a board member for Glendive Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, active member of Friends of Makoshika, and am a spokesperson for the Lower Yellowstone River Corridor Project. In my younger years, I volunteered as an EMT, 4-H leader, Cub Scout leader, Girls Scout leader, and the Fallon County Search and Rescue.

Why have you chosen to run for office?

As mentioned previously, community safety and prosperity are very important to me. Although many things can be accomplished as a volunteer, true progress oftentimes requires the presence of a publicly recognized position. As Glendive and Dawson County continue to grow and change, so do our needs. Being a spokesperson as the Mayor of Glendive would put more traction and muscle behind changes that are sought.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for growth and prosperity in Glendive?

Glendive has many assets. Our location is incredible. We are on the interstate, our closest large towns are 50, 80, and 100 miles away! We can be a center of industry and business. We have Makoshika State Park in our back yard, bringing in record numbers of visitors in 2020 and 2021. The Yellowstone River runs right through our town, an untapped resource of economy and tourism. Most importantly, we have a treasure of small business entrepreneurs - brick and mortar businesses, home businesses, and farm and ag businesses! We have community members who are volunteering their time and energy to create beauty and prosperity in Glendive and Dawson County.

What issues or challenges facing the city do you have a particularly strong stance on and how would you respond to those issues?

Funding will always be a challenge to any city. Working as a team with Glendive’s elected councilmen and women, as well as all experienced community members is the only way to build on the good work that has already been done. Being open-minded to all solutions and ideas is imperative to Glendive’s success. Aging structures create challenges. Supporting our local volunteers who seek to beautify Glendive is a priority. Offering incentives to building owners to encourage maintenance and improvements must be investigated. Our Downtown Masterplan Committee has recently been developed and is working on goals and an action plan. Creatively finding resources to support these projects without raising taxes will be an exciting challenge!Economic development and success of our local businesses is very important to me. Working with our Chamber of Commerce and both Economic Development organizations will help elevate our local economy. Safety is essential: emotional, family, personal and community. Supporting all programs that improve community safety is key: suicide prevention and crime stopping, domestic violence and sexual assault victim assistance. Eliminating child abuse, elder abuse, and even animal abuse is important. Building upon our current programs must be encouraged. I respect our active and retired military, law enforcement, and service people (EMTs, first responders, and firefighters). I thank you all for your service. No improvements can be made to Glendive or Dawson County without you!

In Glendive’s form of government, the mayor has little executive power. Given that, what in your opinion is the primary or most important responsibility of the mayor?

The Mayor of Glendive must be a spokesperson for the community members. The mayor helps communicate Glendive’s concerns with the City Council. The mayor helps the Council be empowered to make decisions for the betterment of Glendive. It is the responsibility of the Mayor to dispatch the Council’s decision, completing tasks assigned by Council members. The Mayor of Glendive represents Glendive at a county and state level. Unfortunately, the Mayor also becomes the sounding board for all disgruntled citizens and must have big enough shoulders to carry that load. The mayor must be a voice of encouragement and motivation for constant improvement in Glendive.

 

Tell us a little about yourself (Family, current occupation, education, etc.).

I have lived in and around Glendive since 2008. I began working in the oilfield around that time and am currently a Lead for a production company. I enjoy training and working with my team to produce oil and gas for the nation. I have a bachelor’s degree in business management and enjoy reading books. I am very conservative politically and believe strongly in individual liberty. A moral nation is a free nation. I vigorously promote the trades and education and know that diligent application of knowledge maintains our standard of living and quality of life. I am the father of four children and believe strongly that families are the glue that hold society together. A family and value based community is something I value greatly.

Why have you chosen to run for office?

I have chosen to run for office with the hope that I can be influential in maintaining and improving the quality of the Glendive community. Integrate positive community influences into city government and help build upon the momentum of positive influence.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for growth and prosperity in Glendive?

People are what create opportunities. We have a great group of people who continuously strive to grow and improve the town. The river, and Makoshika park are wonderful attractions for the town. The interstate running through has barely begun to be capitalized upon due to City Limits. The ability in the modern economy to work remotely will be a source of population increase and additional revenue for the city also.

What issues or challenges facing the city do you have a particularly strong stance on and how would you respond to those issues?

City limits are desperately in need of expansion to incorporate additional tax base and increase revenue. Adding to city limits will require additional and upgraded infrastructure that can be costly and will be a challenge to overcome. The city codes are outdated and need to be reviewed and rewritten to better complement the community in which we live.

In Glendive’s form of government, the mayor has little executive power. Given that, what in your opinion is the primary or most important responsibility of the mayor?

Even with limited power a person can have a great amount of influence. By spreading positivity and fostering an environment of collaboration between the city and the citizens we can build a prolific and dynamic community.

 

 

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