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1. The most important issue for residents in Ward 5 is public safety, specifically crime and traffic violations. The majority of crime in Billings is drug related. To address it, I will work to promote inter-agency cooperation for prevention, enforcement, and treatment of illegal drug users. To address traffic violations, I will work with city administration to develop strategies for more effective traffic enforcement.

2. I do not believe that the city should balance the budget using reserve funds. The City Council must either increase revenue by putting a vote before the taxpayers or by reducing city services. Ultimately, this decision may need to made by our citizens.

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3. Parks, trails, and public lands provide livability and quality-of-life features for the health and well-being of our citizens, they promote economic development, and they attract the people we want to move to Billings. I will encourage efforts to explore private-public funding opportunities, grants, and volunteer efforts to maintain and improve these assets. I will also work with the other City Council members to ensure ongoing city support for parks, trails and public lands.

4. City government should coordinate economic development efforts with Big Sky Economic Development Authority. We need to retain our current population base, grow and expand existing businesses, and attract new people and businesses to our community. We can accomplish this by having adequately funded public safety services, good infrastructure, well-maintained parks, trails, and public lands, and quality entertainment and recreation venues.

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Opinion Editor

Opinion editor for The Billings Gazette.