My name is Alexander Clark and I am running for City Council, representing Ward 5. I have been voting for many years and the one thing that always swayed my vote was a question I would ask myself: Would I invite this person into my home? Politicians tend to have multiple identities. There is the person you see, the person behind closed doors and lastly, the person with an agenda. I am running a campaign built on honesty and transparency. There are no multiple sides to this candidate, just one. I am also running a zero-dollar campaign. Though not easy, it is still possible to get elected spending no money. You can do this by meeting your constituents, attending events and utilizing social media.
I am a father, an Air Force veteran, and a student in my senior year at Montana State University Billings, majoring in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. I also work for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County where I run a teen program based out of the Lockwood School District. These things allow me to not only feel fulfilled in everything I do, but collectively, allow me to be fully immersed in everything this community offers.
My top three priorities when elected are funding the public safety fund without placing undue stress on the general fund, identifying alternative sources of revenue for the city, and working with local leaders to create a more engaging and inviting environment for younger talent.
A 2012 city of Billings citizen survey indicated that the people of this city prioritized improving public safety. Reviewing the expected 2018 city budget, there is an item that addresses this issue. The public safety fund receives the majority of its money from the general fund. Even with additional funding from the safety levies, the transfer from the general fund to the safety fund, is expected to grow and remain a significant burden on the general fund. We have a responsibility to address the public safety fund without burdening the general fund.
In 2015 a coalition was established to push legislation in favor of allowing cities in Montana the ability to impose a local option tax. This tax would be used for specific projects and last a specified amount of time. We are at a time where our city is growing and we can no longer force our property owners to be a significant source of city revenue. I recently received an A from the Billings Chamber of Commerce. I did this by proposing to work together, educate our citizens and contact our legislators, allowing us to finally push forward the local option we need.
Lastly, we are at a point in our history where one of the greatest generations in America is about to hand over the reins to the modern greatest generation. We need to work with local industry leaders to create a more inviting and engaging city. A brighter Billings for all.
When those ballots come out, vote Alexander Clark for Ward 5.