I am writing this letter to endorse Jeff Essmann for mayor. I feel this is a critical juncture for the city of Billings, and Jeff is the right person to meet the challenges facing the city.

The people of Billings demand better services, real and perceived, and a limited amount of revenue to provide them. This means hiring a new city manager; management of traffic, better allocation of public safety assets in high crime areas, and other infrastructure necessary for orderly economic and population growth.

Essmann has many years of experience in the Montana House of Representatives and as president of the Montana Senate. He has dealt in a rational and professional manner with many of the same issues and challenges. He understands the necessity of setting priorities for spending and the discipline needed to achieve and fund the objectives that are best suited for his constituency.

Jeff's opponent, in conjunction with the Billings Chamber of Commerce and The Billings Gazette, has repeatedly advocated imposing a sales tax on the citizens of Billings. He does not mention the possibility of a spending problem and not a revenue shortfall. He has indicated that without a sales tax, spending will continue and property taxes will go up.

Now is the time for the leadership of Jeff Essmann.

Lloyd C. “Sonny” Lockrem Jr.