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On Supporting Local

I penned this letter to the editor, which is scheduled to run in the April 24th, 2024 edition of the Choteau Acantha, because the City of Choteau is moving their website from a WordPress platform that I have designed and hosted at no charge for the community for years, to a non-local, faceless WYSIWYG platform:


I am writing to voice my concern about the City of Choteau’s decision to move the city’s website hosting to a faceless corporation and away from a local business. This decision is particularly concerning given the emphasis our elected officials put on support of our local businesses and local collaboration.

For over seven years, my business, Steve Dee Designs, has not only provided free web design and hosting services to the city but has also donated and deeply discounted these services for local nonprofits, including the Montana Dinosaur Center, the Choteau Lions Club, the Choteau Chamber of Commerce, the BTMC Foundation, and Friends of the Choteau Dog Park. I am committed to enriching our community through technical expertise and personalized service and that commitment reflects the spirit of mutual support that I have endeavored to uphold, particularly during my tenure as President of the Chamber of Commerce and on the Choteau City Council.

The choice to overlook local expertise in favor of a faceless out-of-state company does not align with our city leaders’ public dedication to “shopping local” and supporting homegrown businesses.

Local businesses are the backbone of Choteau’s economy and the fabric of our community life. When we choose to support local businesses, we invest in more than just services; we invest in relationships and a shared future. With that in mind, I strongly urge our city officials to adopt a policy of using local businesses before considering out-of-town vendors. Additionally, I hope the city will reconsider its decision and reopen the bidding process to include local firms for the city’s website. This approach will not only harness the specialized skills and commitment of Choteau’s own residents but will also reinforce the commitment to supporting the local businesses.

It is time for the actions of our local government to align with the values it claims. Let us truly practice what we preach and demonstrate a genuine commitment to supporting the local businesses that do so much to support our community.

Yours in Service,
Steve Dogiakos

Peter, Sandra, and Steve Dogiakos at the 2023 3 Rivers Annual MEeting

Unlocking the Potential of Rural Communities: The Power of Community, High-Speed Internet, and AI

Rural communities across the country are facing new challenges and opportunities as we move deeper into the 21st century. From economic development to community building, there are countless ways in which we can work together to build stronger, more vibrant communities that can thrive for generations to come. In this speech, Steve Dogiakos, a community leader and entrepreneur, explores the power of community, the importance of high-speed internet, and the potential for AI to transform rural communities like ours. Through his own experiences in Choteau, Montana, Steve demonstrates the incredible potential of rural communities when we come together to support one another, invest in our infrastructure, and embrace new technologies. Join us as we explore the possibilities for unlocking the full potential of rural communities, and discover how we can build a brighter future for ourselves and for generations to come.

Choteau's Railroad Crossings - Informational Update

BNSF Update

I wanted to take a moment and update the citizens of Choteau about the status of the BNSF railroad crossings, particularly the crossing east of Rex’s on Hwy 221. Mayor Lannen and I have been reaching out to a variety of contacts at BNSF over the last few months to find someone who could help us address the damaged crossings. Frankly, most of our outreach resulted in phone calls that ended in excuses as to why the work could not be undertaken.

After navigating our personal and professional networks to find a contact at BNSF willing to take responsibility I found Ross Lane, BNSF’s Regional Public Affairs Director. Ross recognized the urgency of the safety issues with the BNSF railroad crossings and agreed to help Choteau by coordinating with several BNSF departments to create a plan to address our safety concerns.

Within the week of first contacting him, Ross promptly got back to me and formulated a plan to bring the interested parties to the table to fix the problem. By Friday of last week, Ross, his team, and I made a plan for a temporary patch repair to be completed this month (November 2018) and a permanent fix involving MTDOT and BNSF next spring. I have made a commitment to follow up with Ross and the BNSF maintenance team to make sure they fulfill their promise to Choteau in a few weeks and in the spring.

For immediate and up to date information about this and many other issues facing our City, please Like Steve “Dee” Dogiakos on Facebook at https://facebook.com/dogiakos

Thank you to all the community members for their concern and input, and thanks to Mr. Lane for helping us advocate for our rural community.

"...We have identified a dozen key projects to stimulate Choteau’s economy, ranging from public works projects, led by Choteau’s Public Works Director Mike Maples, to community enhancement projects like revitalizing our very own Choteau/Teton Public Library as a technology and community hub over the next couple of years."

Choteau Acantha: Main Street Montana Announcement

“I’m passionate about Choteau. I’m passionate about Choteau’s economy and the ski resort is an integral piece of our economy. In the winter months when we don’t have the park to park tourists and visitors, the ski resort helps provide a buoyancy to our economy.”

KRTV Teton Pass Ski Resort Grant Story

Choteau Mayor Dan Lannen Congratulates Dogiakos on His Appointment

Niles West Class of 2003 Alumnus Appointed to Choteau City Council

Choteau, Mont.: Surrounded by family and colleagues, Niles West alumnus Steve Dogiakos
was sworn in as a Choteau City Councilor at the July 3rd Choteau City Council meeting.

“I am thrilled to continue to serve the Choteau community and look forward to working toward
the betterment of the Choteau community,” said Dogiakos.

While a student at Niles West, Dogiakos participated in Student Senate, Choir, Band, Theater
Crew, and earned the Eagle Scout award with Morton Grove Boy Scout Troop 228. Dogiakos
currently serves as a Director for the Choteau Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the
Choteau Area Port Authority, owner of Golden Triangle Goods and Steve Dee Designs, and
volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America as a Unit Commissioner and District Digital
Communications Chair.

“I fell in love with Montana as soon as my plane touched down in Missoula. Rural life affords me
opportunities to volunteer and to have a meaningful impact on my community. I love living
where everyone knows my name,” Dogiakos opined.

For more information about what Steve has been up to, or to contact Steve, visit
https://dogiakos.com/ or https://facebook.com/dogiakos.