Charlie Loveridge – Ward 3
I am running for Billings City Council for the people and to bring fresh, much needed common sense private sector ideas to the council. Address violence in the streets, rampant drugs in our community, homelessness, high property taxes and fees and preserve the splendor that is Billings. I feel my longtime business experience and as a lifetime resident will bring a different perspective to the council that is much needed.
- Improve the safety of Billings: Violence, Drugs, Homelessness
- Analyze funding options for public safety
- Improve housing priorities
- Economic growth: Public and Private
As Billings has grown, about 2% normally, this new amazing growth raises concern on how we will continue to keep up with housing, safety etc. The jobs market seems to be void of workers as everyone one of my peers laments the incredible difficulty in hiring personnel as of lately. Housing needs to be dealt with. Many of the developers and entrepreneurs that can help remedy this are under amazing constraints. Reducing unnecessary and repetitive regulations from the city, county, state and federal governments would assist in allowing private investors to increase housing options in Billings. I also would like to see the re-code readdressed as it seems to be imposing limitations throughout the city on housing opportunities and affordable housing.
I do support the safety mill levy. The results I would love to see are reduced crime, drugs and continued support for the first responders and reducing fire calls.
Public/private partnerships to create additional economic growth. Public infrastructure like the MetraPark Vision, that I have been championing for the last year and a half, would bring significant private investments to grow the downtown, surrounding areas and provide a significant economic engine for the surrounding areas. I believe that projects such as this will encourage substantial growth while retaining and attracting more talent throughout the county. Shiloh Road is a perfect example of this.
Reducing additional burdens on the taxpayer is first on my mind. We all know local option tax will not be approved by the voters. Moving forward to repair infrastructure that does not create additional maintenance/staff. Additional funds in the future from the federal government should not be expected to fund projects paid for by these projects. We must, as a council, continue to strive to make good fiscal decisions that best serve our city and our neighbors.
I am in favor of a dedicated park levy that the voters vote for. I think new subdivisions can have green space without the city dictating what it is. I think it is difficult for the city to afford developing and maintaining all the parks. Especially as the city is struggling to take care of the ones we currently have.
As I stated earlier. Eliminating increasing arterial fees like the city council just increased on large footprints that is aimed at the very developers and entrepreneurs that will create affordable housing is a good step in the right direction. Reducing property taxes to encourage new home owners. The last year with the pandemic has created a mess that we have never seen in this nation. Increased product cost, which thankfully are beginning to shrink a bit, increased regulations have resulted in lesser homes being built. As the pandemic begins to get under control I hope we begin to see these trends reversing. The re-code has done great harm to builders and developers pushing forward to build affordable housing in our community. Government needs to reduce their footprint and allow the marketplace to be free for growth.