Billings City Council Ward 1 candidate John Armstron


I want Billings to become the most progressive and appealing city to live in, not only in Montana but in the United States. I see a city that leads in addressing and handling homelessness, unsafe streets, vagrancy, mental illness and crime. I see a city that is taking care of its central needs before annexing in new growth. I see a city with ample pedestrian and school crossings. I see a town with strong schools and a quality of life that attracts a quality work force.

How will I work to achieve my vision of Billings while serving on the city council?

I will study thoroughly any initiatives, proposals, and bills presented to me and get assistance if I need it to understand them. I want to cast informed votes that will best serve the people of Billings.

I will come up with my own ideas of how to better our community. I will also work hard to balance our budget and keep it balanced. I will ensure that our community servants do their jobs and will expect officials, personnel, and groups who receive taxpayer dollars to serve the community and not their own interests.

What skills and experience do I have that qualifies me to represent my ward?

I have been in business in Billings most of my adult life. I have built and developed properties and know how to bring projects to completion within budget. I have experience in bidding, designing, managing, and developing projects.

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In 2004, I developed and built a commercial building at 1511 Sixth Avenue N. I still own and manage this building. In 2005, I started Q’s Art & Framing at this location and continue to manage this business. In 2015, I was selected Montana Encore Entrepreneur of the year, an award given by the U.S. Small Business Association.

My college education focused on business at Montana State University Billings (Eastern Montana College when I graduated).

I have traveled abroad extensively and believe that experience has broadened my vision as to how the United States compares to other countries. Every time I return from extended trips abroad or within the U.S., I am happy to be home in the state and community I dearly love and where I feel safe.

I also worked as a reliability inspector at two of the three local oil refineries. During this rewarding career, I worked at home but also traveled abroad and domestically. From that experience, I understand the energy sector. I still have strong contacts from that career and have many lasting friendships. I traveled to Puerto Rico, Aruba, Singapore, and South Africa on work assignments. This business travel gave me a wealth of experience and knowledge of how other countries deal with problems. I experienced the safety and vibrancy of business in downtown Singapore versus the other extreme in Johannesburg. Why the difference, you might ask? One city has strong law enforcement while the other city does not.

I have been involved in civic affairs for the last 25 years. I have served on the Billings Industrial Revitalization District board and have been chairman and vice chairman on the North Park Neighborhood Task Force. I currently serve on the Mayor’s Traffic Commission, the Brownfields steering committee for Big Sky Economic Development, and as treasurer for North Park Task Force.

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Opinion Editor

Opinion editor for The Billings Gazette.