The Student News Site of Park High School - MT

The Geyser

The Geyser

The Geyser

Retired PHS teacher and current coach Lane running for county commission

Courtesy of Joey Lane

Former Park High teacher Joey Lane retired in 2023, and since then, the transition into focusing on the ranch has made Lane restless. Community members look up to her and she was approached about running for County Commission by some of her neighbors. After spending time thinking about the option, Lane made the decision to run for the Commision for zone 3.
“I started looking at some of the different issues and that made me interested,” Lane said. “This could be something different that would really intrigue me and interest me, and also I’m trying to keep my marriage together,” she joked.
When asked how her experience in the school district would help her on the county commission, Lane listed many reasons, including interacting with the public as a teacher.
“You have to learn how to interact with the public, which is what an elected official has to do too,” she mentioned, “so if you’ve only worked in the private sector, you know, you might not understand that dynamic.”
Lane’s priorities as commissioner would be budget management and improving infrastructure. She says there’s “some real problems with our budget,” and it comes down to the fact that 50.7% of land in Park County is owned by the federal government.
“That means we can’t tax. You know, property tax is our main income producer and we can’t tax over half of our county, so that kind of limits our tax base.”
One of Lane’s solutions to this is what’s called a gateway county fee. A gateway county fee is a flat rate fee for people entering national parks, but can only be implemented by counties that don’t have a sales tax, which Park County and the entire state of Montana don’t. A gateway county fee would help pay for one of Lane’s other priorities, improving infrastructure in Park County.
“We have some real problems with our infrastructure and our safety,” she said. “Being a gateway into Yellowstone Park, we have like 17,790 people, but we have over a million visitors entering the park through Park County.”
Lane mentioned all the stress the visitors put on the roads, sheriff’s office, and the hospital, which she hopes to improve as commissioner. She similarly seeks to grow the industry in Park county “so that we could get some outside investors to come in and invest in our county and create some jobs, therefore widening the tax base, bringing in more income for everybody, helping our schools out with more kids in the schools and just kind of growing our community. “ Though change isn’t popular throughout Park county, Lane sees it as a pivotal method of support.
Election Day is June 4.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Geyser Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *