Sixteen years ago. That was the last time a public safety mill levy was approved by the voters of Billings. Since then, our public safety services have been working off of a 2004 budget while our city has grown and virtually every price associated with operations (gas, salaries, water, vehicle maintenance, etc.) has increased as well. What we have wasn't meant to be sustainable and it clearly isn't working in 2020.
Everyone in Billings has a better quality of life when our public safety needs are met. This includes less crime, better response times to accidents and fires, more specialty personnel when needed/wanted, more advanced equipment/tools for those specialty personnel, more confidence from businesses to set up shop here, more confidence from donors/sponsors looking to invest here, etc.
This vote is long overdue and the ripple effect is pretty massive either way. If we as a community don't vote for this, there will be a reduction in the services we currently have. That alone is unacceptable. Please vote yes for yourself, your kids, your neighbors — everybody benefits. Adequate public safety is incredibly important and we have a chance to repeal and replace the existing policy to maintain (not increase) existing fire and police services. Please do the right thing and vote yes.
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!