City Council

Recent Posts

Prairie Lights: A light lament for a lack of character(s)


Now that the election is over and we know who the new City Council members will be, I wish them all well and godspeed. We appear to have a good crop of people and perhaps we can look forward to some good things getting done, which might give us some reason to believe — national politics notwithstanding — that there is hope for our system of government. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Civic duty deadline fast approaching: Election today


We’re not saying that anyone reading Last Best News hasn’t voted in the Billings city election yet, but not quite half of the voters who received mail-in ballots had returned them as of Monday. The Yellowstone County Elections Office sent ballots to 54,436 voters in this election, and as of the end of the day Monday, 26,793 had been returned, for voter turnout so far of 49.2 percent. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Spending on mayoral race edges close to $100,000


When he announced that he was running for Billings mayor, Jeff Essmann said on Wednesday, “I had people telling me early on that I’d need to raise a hundred thousand bucks.”

He said he told those people that that was not realistic, that it would be impossible to raise that much money for a municipal election in Montana. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Park board seeks tax boost for backlog of improvements


Rick DeVore and Tom Rupsis have been making the rounds of civic and business groups in recent weeks, pitching a proposal from the Billings Park, Recreation and Cemetery Board to levy new taxes to maintain and expand city parks. They are scheduled to address their most important audience on Nov. 6, when they make the case for the tax increase at a work session of the Billings City Council, hoping the council will vote in favor of the tax increase before new council members are seated in January. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Does it matter if vote-seekers vote?


After almost 40 years in the newspaper business, I am used to being criticized for what I write. But I have to admit to being caught off guard by the people who thought my recent story on the voting habits of Billings City Council and mayoral candidates was somehow unfair, or even unnecessary. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Here’s how often those seeking your vote cast ballots


Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the voting record of George Blackard, a City Council candidate in Ward 4, who was inadvertently left out of the original story. Among the 12 people running for Billings City Council and the mayor’s office this year, three have perfect voting records, casting ballots in every election as far back as electronic records stretch. (more…) Continue Reading →

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One Big Sky Center could get larger, developer says


The Billings City Council heard a brief update Monday night from the president of the company that has taken the lead on a proposal to build a multimillion-dollar project in downtown Billings —which could be larger than originally planned. Bob Dunn, president of the Hammes Co., didn’t have much new information to share Monday, but he did say the partners involved in the One Big Sky Center would have a “concept development plan” done in November. The council previously set a Dec. 11 deadline for completing a development agreement between the city and the developers. (more…) Continue Reading →

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More forums planned for council, mayoral candidates


Interest in this year’s City Council and mayoral races continues to run high. After a record number of people voted in the Sept. 12 primary, narrowing a crowded field of candidates to two in each of the council’s five wards and two in the mayoral race, additional forums have been scheduled in advance of the Nov. 7 general election. (more…) Continue Reading →

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On the record, Ward 4: Two candidates vie for opening

Two candidates are competing to replace Al Swanson of Ward 4, who is not seeking re-election this year to the Billings City Council. The name of a third candidate, Rick McIntyre, will appear on the ballot, but McIntyre told Last Best News he has decided to withdraw from the race. Ballots were mailed out Aug. 25 for the primary election. For this mail-in-only election, all ballots must be mailed back to or brought into the Yellowstone County Elections Department by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. Continue Reading →

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On the record, Ward 3: Open seat draws 4 candidates

Three candidates are vying to replace Rich McFadden of Ward 3, who is nearing the end of his second consecutive four-year term on the Billings City Council. The City Charter limits council members to two consecutive terms.

Ballots were mailed out Aug. 25 for the primary election. For this mail-in-only election, all ballots must be mailed back to or brought into the Yellowstone County Elections Department by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Continue Reading →

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