City Council

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Democrats sponsor city candidate forums


With the city primary election set for Sept. 12, a little less than a month away, the Yellowstone County Democratic Study Group, also known as the Democrats Breakfast Club, is offering a few more chances to see City Council candidates in action. The Democratic group has already hosted two events for mayoral candidates and another for Ward 3 City Council candidates. This Wednesday, it will have City Council candidates from Ward 1 — Joshua Kostelecky, Charlie Smillie and Mike Yakawich — as speakers at a no-host breakfast forum at the McCormick Café, 2419 Montana Ave., starting at 7 a.m.

There will be a question-and-answer session and the public is welcome. There is generally enough time for any person to ask specific questions of the candidates. Continue Reading →

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Buoyed by city support, ABT backers look to big expansion


Thirty years after the community saved the old Fox Theater in downtown Billings, Larry Martin is convinced the community will rally again behind a dramatic overhaul of the Alberta Bair Theater, successor to the Fox. “At this point, it’s impossible to imagine downtown Billings without the Alberta Bair Theater, and I think the bulk of the community sees it that way,” Martin said. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Update: Last-minute filings make for crowded city election


Update: Seven more candidates filed Monday afternoon to run for the Billings City Council, making this the most crowded city election in nearly 20 years, maybe longer. With the filing officially closed as of 5 p.m., there are now 26 candidates vying for the mayor’s position and five open seats on the City Council. According to records on the Yellowstone County Elections Office website, that eclipses the number of candidates in any city race going back to 1999, the earliest year for which results are posted. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Foes of landfill expansion prepare for Tuesday hearing


Billings lawyer Joel Guthals isn’t sure how much effect his words will have, but he plans to testify Tuesday night on the proposed expansion of the Billings Regional Landfill, and to submit written comments as well. The state Department of Environmental Quality will be conducting the public hearing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the gym of Blue Creek School, 3652 Blue Creek Rd. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Time for the city to admit it lost again


The good news is that the Billings City Council intends to debate in a public meeting whether to appeal a District Court ruling in a pay dispute with the city’s police officers. The bad news is that the council will be taking advice from the city legal department, which should have been able to read the plain language in the police contract to begin with, and which foolishly prolonged a court fight over that language, all the while running up a higher and higher tab—which now stands at about $3 million. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Big downtown project faces questions, serious doubts

Backers of the huge building project proposed for downtown Billings will have to persuade a majority of the City Council to put up at least $30 million in public funds for the project to work. The tougher job might be winning the support of the city’s finance director, Pat Weber, to whom a lot of council members will be looking for guidance. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Opinion: Red Lodge citizens left out in mayor selection


Tuesday night, our democratic principles took a blow in Red Lodge. In an overflowing City Council meeting, the vacant mayoral position and future direction of our city was decided by five city councilmen despite the requests of our citizens to hold a special election allowing us to decide who will serve us as mayor. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Neighbors of city landfill wary of expansion plans


This story has been updated. People who live near the Billings landfill are raising questions about plans to expand the facility. They are also concerned, again, about a state law that gives the city blanket approval of such plans, and makes public comment on the plans a meaningless formality. (more…) Continue Reading →

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