SHAPING OUR FUTURE: A Conversation on Local Government Review

SHAPING OUR FUTURE:
A Conversation on Local Government Review
Hosted by Yellowstone County Citizens Council

Tuesday, April 30, 6-8 pm
Billings Public Library
510 N Broadway, 59101

Join Yellowstone County Citizens Council for a free panel discussion about our local government review!

Panelists:

  • Kathleen Gilluly, Retired Editor/Publisher at The Laurel Outlook
  • Don Jones, Yellowstone County Commissioner
  • Kendra Shaw, Billings City Councilmember
  • Chuck Tooley, Former Billings Mayor 

 

Our distinguished panel of experts will discuss:

  • The purpose and process of a local government review
  • The strengths and weaknesses of our current local government
  • Potential benefits and drawbacks of establishing a Local Government Review Commission
  • How you can get involved in shaping your local government
 
Background: What is a Local Government Review?

Every 10 years, the Montana Constitution gives voters a say in how their local government is structured. Each Montana county and incorporated city or town has the right to decide whether to review their local government, including here in Yellowstone County.

2024 is one of these years, and voters will be asked if they want to establish a Local Government Review Commission. This commission would be tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of our current county or city government in meeting the needs of residents. 

Voters will see two government review questions on the June 4 primary election ballot, one for Yellowstone County and another for the specific city or town where they live.

Why is this important?

Our government structures and the decisions made by those elected to government offices have a big impact on our lives. These include decisions about:

  • Our taxes and how they are spent
  • Planning for our city streets and local infrastructure
  • Zoning for our neighborhoods, subdivisions, and communities as a whole
  • Public parks and recreation spaces
  • Public safety and emergency services

 

Questions prompted by this review include:

  • Do all voices get heard when decisions are made?
  • Do residents have enough say in local decisions?
  • Is our ward and district structure fair and does it reflect the community’s makeup?
  • Should we limit how long elected officials can serve?
  • Is our government prepared for the future?
  • How can we best utilize technology to improve services?
  • Does our government reflect the diversity of our community?

This is a critical opportunity to learn more about our local government review! Please Join us at the Billings Library on April 30th!

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