City managers in Whitefish say they’ve received an application for a special event permit from a neo-Nazi website. But, it’s incomplete.
A few weeks ago, the Daily Stormer proposed an armed march against Jewish families and businesses in Whitefish in January.
It says it’s defending the parents of Richard Spencer, an emerging white nationalist leader who lives there part time. They say a local realtor urged his mother to sell her local business and donate the profits to the Montana Human Rights Network. The realtor has not commented on the allegation.
Whitefish City Manager Chuck Stearns says he received a special event application Monday for a march along 2nd Street from Memorial Park to City Hall on January 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He added the city is reviewing the application, but cannot act on an incomplete application.
Chief of Police Bill Dial says local law enforcement has a plan in place if the march occurs and is cooperating with federal, state and county law enforcement, including the FBI. Speaking at the Glacier Country Pachyderm Club meeting in Kalispell last week, Dial said he thinks it’s unlikely the march will happen.
Story updated 1:30 p.m. on January 10, 2017:
City Manager Chuck Stearns says the Daily Stormer only sent the first page of a four-page application and a $60 money order to cover the required $125 parade application fee.
The city also needs a map of the proposed route, a certificate of insurance naming the city of Whitefish as an additional insured and proof of notification of business and property owners that would be affected by the street closure.
The Daily Stormer sent the first page of the application, which had been previously posted on its website, by USPS mail. It can resubmit a completed application by fax or email. City Manager Stearns says it usually takes several days for all departments to respond with comments and recommended conditions to a special event permit application. The fire chief, police chief, Public Works director and Parks and Recreation director all need to sign off on the event.