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Martin, Uden seek Ward 2 Council seat
Sheena Martin is running to represent Ward 2 on the Miles City Council because she would like to see Miles City's local government move and lead in a more positive direction, she said in a candidates questionnaire.
Martin is a realtor at Hardesty Real Estate and is in her third year as president of the Eastern Montana Board of Realtors.
"As a professional in the housing industry, I have a thorough understanding of our housing market and economy. This gives me an excellent perspective for looking into solutions objectively and from a business standpoint," she wrote.
She has five years of experience in finance, so she would be able to work with the budget.
"I am also a working-class parent who experiences Miles City at that level. I have a first-hand understanding of the issues surrounding housing, employment, industry and education," she wrote.
Martin attended the University of Hawaii and Washington State University.
She was born and raised in Hawaii and came to Miles City in 2011 when her husband, Bryant, returned here to practice law at Lucas & Tonn, P.C.
"Right now, Miles City is facing a few large challenges, including balancing a budget and finding a solution to our flood zone issues. More than anything, I would like to bring a different viewpoint to tackling these issues. There just aren't very many business-minded individuals serving on our council right now, which presents a bit of a learning curve when looking at managing aspects of government (which is similar to managing a business)," she wrote.
She feels the flood zone is the most pressing issue.
"Housing values determine a large number of economic factors, and it's unsettling to watch our housing market teeter at the hands of unknown flood insurance premiums," she wrote.
"Managing our infrastructure is also a pressing issue, especially when we are faced with having to deal with potential growth and a growing interest in our commercial industry.
"Another facet in all of this is our local government's ability to both organize and prioritize. We need to focus on what is most important and make a concerted effort to find solutions for those matters first.
"We also need to bridge the gap between the city and the county. It is incredibly important for us to work together," she wrote.
Martin has a website at milescityliving.com.
Councilman John Uden is running for his third term representing Ward 2 on the Miles City Council.
After eight years on the council, Uden feels the council members have worked hand in hand solving many of the existing problems, but several problems continue, like the aging Tongue River and Yellowstone River dikes and the outdated sewer and water lines.
The dike problems are "by far the most pressing issue, but at the same time we are faced with a water treatment plant that shortly will not meet the standards set by the Dept. of Environmental Quality. Additionally, much of our water and sewer lines on both the north and south sides of Miles City are going to have to be replaced in the not-too-distant future," he wrote in a questionnaire given to candidates.
He added that regenerating the Main Street business district and replacing the aging streets and alleys also need resolution.
Uden was born in Mitchell, S.D., and his family moved around a lot when he was growing up, settling in Miles City.
He graduated from Custer County High School, attended Miles Community College and the University of Virginia. Later he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration online through the Pacific Western University.
In 1968 he became a Miles City police officer, later worked as a detective and retired in 1988 as the assistant chief.
That year he became a state probation and parole officer with the state, from which he retired in 2010.
During his criminal justice careers he attended the National Fire Academy (became a certified arson investigator), the FBI National Academy (graduating with an emphasis in criminal justice administration) and was the only officer in eastern Montana to become a certified hostage negotiator.
He has lived in Miles City for more than 49 years.
"In 2005 I decided to run for the City Council and to devote my efforts and energy to finding solutions to these and other problems the city was facing as a result of decades of inaction by local government," he wrote.
He has been the chairman of the Human Resource Committee, Public Safety Committee and City Health Board. He has also served on the Finance and Administration Committee and the Public Services Committee.
"My management training both with the Miles City Police Department and the State Department of Corrections provides me with a working knowledge of management issues in each of our departments," he wrote, also citing involvement on both sides of labor negotiations.
His goal is to secure 30 years of funding for the dikes, to bring them up to the standards.
"I would strive to secure this funding with the first four years of repayment being deferred so as not to saddle our residents with the additional taxes for loan repayment and at the same time the cost of the ever-increasing flood insurance. This must be a joint effort of the entire city council and the mayor in conjunction with local businesses, the Miles City Economic Development Council as well as county, state and federal government resources," he wrote.