In my last column, we learned about determining Big Sky’s location by its various boundaries—it’s complicated. In this column, I present the rest of the story regarding local jurisdiction. Big Sky is an unincorporated census-designated place that straddles the Gallatin/Madison county line. It’s piecemealed together by seven districts, which deliver many of the services typically provided by a municipality. Thus, two sets of county commissioners and seven sets of district directors serve as Big Sky’s authority figures.
All of the districts’ board members are volunteers. In addition, there are more than 100 homeowners associations that provide administration, maintenance, and order to neighborhoods dotting the landscape. The Big Sky Owners Association was instrumental in creating many of these districts. And last but certainly not least, we have a robust assemblage of nonprofit organizations who fill in the gaps of community operations. Volunteers galore!
In an effort to simplify this complex set of governing bodies, here is a table detailing the districts’ board members, how their positions are determined, and a bit of history for good measure. [The table colors correspond to the map color in the previous post.]