I was encouraged to run for the Billings City Council representing Ward 2 by many friends. People who know me, who know my values and understand my personality including my strengths and weaknesses have been very supportive.
Representing 27,000 residents (plus or minus) who live in Ward 2 is a tall order. It is going to take someone who is a good listener, someone who can gather as much information as possible and attempt to make the best decision for those residents as well as the residents of the city.
Visiting with many citizens not only in my ward but across our community, one of the main concerns I’m hearing is people are concerned about safety. That is a very broad term. It can mean safety related to traffic; safety related to increased crime in neighborhoods; safety related to emergency services; safer bicycling routes or a safer downtown area.
One of my primary interests is the completion of the Inner Belt Loop as soon as possible. This connector will provide an additional route from the Heights to the West End and vice versa. It will provide an economic boost to not only the Heights, but the city of Billings. One can’t discuss the Inner Belt Loop without including the Outer Loop and the bypass linking the Heights with Lockwood.
Our community also needs to be acutely aware of the upcoming need for additional jobs. We will need to fill 5,000 jobs just in the health care sector alone. Where will these people come from? We must position ourselves to attract the best and the brightest employees and entrepreneurs that we possibly can.
Like it or not, our city is growing. We need to properly manage that growth. People are moving here to be closer to family and health care and for ease of transportation and travel. The addition of American Airlines has proven to be a valuable addition to our transportation options.
We are facing a critical time for our community. The council will be hiring a new city administrator. There could easily be four or five new faces on the council. We need to be ready to set the course for Billings for the next 20 or 30 years.
One of my strengths comes from my background. Growing up on a farm/ranch in northwestern North Dakota our family I learned responsibility and not to be afraid of hard work. Everyone had a job to do and you were expected to get that job done.
I’ve always believed that TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More. The City Council is like a team. Our community needs to be a team. The council is a team responsible for setting policy and moving the city forward through a managed and structured plan. I believe that as part of that team, I can provide a portion of the needed leadership to move Billings forward because “Together WE can”!