The next few years will be an important time for Billings in that we are hiring and will be on boarding a new city administrator. Tina Volek has done a fine job over the past 13 years, but with her retirement the City Council will have the opportunity to redefine expectations and the working relationship for their one employee. It will be important that a council with experience be on board to undertake this endeavor. Every new incoming council member will take time to learn the process and get their feet under them and, unfortunately, there will precious little time for the basics in this election year.

I look forward to the continued evaluation of One Big Sky Center, one of the largest possible projects that the city of Billings has undertaken in years. While this project is in its infancy it is important that City Council embrace the opportunity and demonstrate to all that the city of Billings invites growth opportunities in our community. That said City Council must also be diligent in the vetting process and have all of the tough discussions needed, but with respect and in an open forum.

Continued efforts to work on homelessness and shore up public safety will certainly be a priority as it has been for me in my current term. I will continue to look outside the box as we did with the officer to patrol parks. Billings has made it clear that parks are an important feature and investments have been made in response. It is City Council's responsibility to assure that our investment is used to its fullest.

Feeling safe in our parks is an important aspect to growing the already impressive number of residents that visit and utilize the amenities.

I continue to support my decision to fund a second ROC (resource ourtreach coordinator) for the city of Billings to help curb chronic inebriation and drug use. My support for the second ROC is based on that ROC being utilized in areas outside of downtown. As more pressure is put on this population, it is important that we do not force them to migrate to other areas of Billings in an unmanaged fashion.

It is important to point out that all of the opportunities I have discussed rely on funding and the fact is that most all issues that come before City Council come down budget. I know have been a good steward of the city budget but I see my responsibility as not always looking for ways to cut the budget, but rather to assure that monies spent beyond the required services benefit the largest number of Billings residents possible and affect positive, healthy, sustainable growth.

Shaun Brown is seeking a second four-year term to represent Ward 5.

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