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Tom Zurbuchen

Who is the City Council representing?

Recent actions of the Billings City Council leave me wondering who they represent. First they voted to spend tax dollars to lobby the State Legislature for expansion of Medicaid. What Medicaid recipient pays property taxes or lives in non-rent-subsidized housing? The local match for Medicaid…

January 11, 2015 12:00 amLoading…

City of Billings takes aggressive stance when it comes to lawsuits

The city of Billings is defending itself in 19 lawsuits filed in District Court, and is the plaintiff in two other cases — one of which involves the Billings Gazette.

December 24, 2014 6:00 amLoading…

City needs more officers on the streets

The events on Nov. 5 at Fuddruckers point-out a serious problem within the Billings Police Department. Only nine officers were available for duty for a shift. During the recent public safety levy campaign, we learned the City has 143 officers. That number is verified in the FY15 budget.

November 23, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

New sidewalk policy will help eliminate 'trippers'

Billings could soon become a safer place for pedestrians, bicyclists, skateboarders and people in wheelchairs.

November 04, 2014 6:00 amLoading…

City must show how all all General and Public Safety funds are spent

If the Public Safety Levy passes, the city will increase personnel in the city attorney's office, which is funded by the General Fund. These positions are a benefit to police and fire.

September 19, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Officials argue public safety levy would cover rising cost of police, fire protection

Officials argue public safety levy would cover rising cost of police, fire protection

City and business leaders began the conversation Tuesday that will lead to a November vote by Billings residents whether to increase their property taxes to pay for additional police, fire and other services that would cover anticipated growth over the next decade.

September 09, 2014 10:30 pmLoading…

Excessive COLA's in public safety levy proposal

Everyone knows we need more police officers in Billings. However the new public safety levy has COLA raises in it as well as longevity pay, increased benefits, pay for promotions and for advanced training totaling 4.5 percent.

August 10, 2014 12:00 amLoading…

Proposed new road not a threat to Mary Street

I keep seeing yard signs saying Save Mary Street and letters in the a recent Sunday Gazette saying bypass ill-planned, and on Tuesday not a bypass.

April 28, 2014 12:00 amLoading…
Garbage fees will rise beginning July 1

Garbage fees will rise beginning July 1

When it came time to hike garbage pickup and landfill fees Monday, the Billings City Council chose an option with a smaller initial increase over one that would have increased the charge $2.01 per month beginning July 1.

April 14, 2014 9:59 pmLoading…
Billings City Council approves pedestrian bridge over train tracks

Billings City Council approves pedestrian bridge over train tracks

By the slimmest of margins — 5-4, with 1 abstention and one council member absent — the Billings City Council on Monday approved a construction and maintenance agreement that will lead to the building of a pedestrian bridge connecting Minnesota Avenue to Montana Avenue at North 25th Street.

March 24, 2014 10:09 pm Related Loading…

Who represents the city's interests in pay negotiations?

There seems to be a huge problem with the way Billings negotiates union contracts. Every employee's first and foremost concern is for more compensation. This is a fact of life. So who is at the negotiating table?

August 04, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

City Council passes unsustainable budget

The City Council has adopted a budget that spends more than it receives in revenue for the General Fund and the Public Safety Fund. These are the primary funds where property taxes go. This is an unsustainable and incomplete budget!

June 16, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

City stuck on cutting services to balance budgets

Attending the City's Community Conversations, it is clear the Council is stuck on cutting services in order to balance future budgets. They presented three programs that clearly show tax expenditures and little or no revenue as follows:

September 28, 2012 12:00 amLoading…

Parks proposal circumvents city charter

This proposed new citywide Parks Maintenance District is being created wrong. It is a city tax increase with no direct vote of the city residents as called for in the Billings City Charter. The present system has worked well for years, including Cobb Field and a new library.

November 18, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

Proposed ordinance would place tough restrictions on vacant eyesores

The first draft of a proposed ordinance against boarded-up houses would put tough restrictions on vacant homes in Billings.

July 31, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
Turnout strong at SD2's public forum

Turnout strong at SD2's public forum

Heights residents filled the library at Castle Rock Middle School Thursday night and spoke their mind. 

January 06, 2011 9:15 pm Photos



City staff failing to follow council's direction

The concept of an Inner Belt Loop (connection between the heights and west end) has been with us for several years. At the City Council meeting on Feb. 12, 2007, Larry Brewster made an initiative to direct staff to begin buying right of way for the IBL starting next budget cycle. After discu…

November 28, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

Poor excuses for city to delay Heights loop

City staff and the City Council are considering delaying the Inner Belt Loop (Wicks Lane/Zimmerman Trail) connection for two years. All the reasons for delay are excuses as they will still be there in two years. They are:

October 31, 2010 12:00 amLoading…

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