I am running for the Billings City Council because I want my hometown be the best it can be for all of its citizens and visitors. I want Billings citizens and visitors to feel safe and be safe in our city. I want Billings to have a diverse, stable economy with strong existing businesses, and straightforward, uncomplicated processes for owners to establish new businesses here.

Billings’ growth should be well-organized and systematic. We need an effective, available workforce for employers and good jobs for our workers. More affordable housing is needed and homelessness must be addressed.

Billings citizens should be given opportunities to financially support our parks, trails and public recreation. Billings’ city government should continue to use citizens’ tax dollars responsibly, encourage citizens to express their opinions about issues that come before the City Council, and promote energy conservation in all of its operations.

I will strive to fulfill this vision by working with other council members, city staff, boards and commissions and by collaborating with organizations that are already working to achieve these objectives to ensure an integrated, consistent approach. Such organizations include the Big Sky Economic Development Authority, Chambers of Commerce, our local colleges and university, hospitals, and the many nonprofit agencies who assist our citizens. I will thoroughly investigate public safety issues, needs, resources, citizens’ concerns, and funding options. I will be available to all citizens, open to their ideas, and trustworthy in my actions.

I am in favor of specific projects and strategies for Billings including completion of the Inner Belt Loop and Billings Bypass, 24-hour access on North 27th Street over/under the railroad tracks, a water treatment facility in the West End, and the roundabout at 62nd and Rimrock Road.

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I am the most qualified candidate to represent Ward 5. I was raised in Billings, graduated from Billings Central High School and Eastern Montana College (now MSUB), and have lived here continuously since completion of my military service in 1974.

I bring deep experience in public safety and in planning, both essential for a successful city. Public safety: Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy and detective; Billings Crime Prevention Council chair; Billings Police Commission chair; and Yellowstone County Youth Services Board. Planning: Yellowstone County Board of Adjustment; Billings Zoning Commission vice-chair; and City/County Zoning Code Assessment Re-Code vice chair.

My work experience includes the U.S. Air Force as a commissioned officer (2 years), Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Department (9 years), and the banking industry (27 years), including First Interstate BancSystem vice president and corporate security officer (10 years).

I am a common sense leader and I know how to work respectfully with others. It would be an honor to represent the citizens of Ward 5 on the Billings City Council and I appreciate your vote.

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Opinion Editor

Opinion editor for The Billings Gazette.