Mayor Jim Smith

James Smith, for mayor

Thom Bridge,

James Smith

Age: I will be 69 on November 15, 2017.

Address: 510 State St.

Contact info: 406-443-0606 (Home).

Education: BA in History from Carroll College, 1970. MPA (Masters in Public Administration) from Montana State University, 1992.

Occupation: Retired as of Dec. 31, 2016.

Relevant experience:

Most of my experience comes from nearly 40 years of lobbying at the Montana State Capitol. I was fortunate to see many great leaders at work over the years. I saw men and women with strong beliefs and different political philosophies, from all over this vast, diverse state working together for the good of Montana. It inspired me, and I did my best to learn from that experience. From my clients in the nonprofit sector I learned how difficult it is to get help to people who need it, how great those needs actually are, and how generous a community Helena is. The sheriffs I worked for taught me to remain calm when the situation gets stormy. Owning a small business taught me the importance of customer service, holding myself to high performance and ethical business standards.

Why are you running for this office?

Leading and serving the people of Helena has been a productive and rewarding experience. As mayor I’ve met the greatest people in the world: the people of Helena. There is not a more generous, more welcoming, more kind group of people. Nor in my opinion is there a better city in Montana, or anywhere else for that matter. Over the years I’ve established priceless relationships with folks in their neighborhoods, or at their workplaces, or through their service on the various city boards and commissions. They have inspired me. My health is good. I believe I have the energy, understanding and optimism required for another term as mayor. There’s lots to do in the years ahead and I want to be part of the doing.

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What do you hope to accomplish in this office?

The work of governing a city is never complete, and there will always be new challenges and opportunities facing Helena. I do think there are things we need to continue working on in the next four years: the west side annexation; the regulatory requirements coming in the areas of water, waste water, storm water and streets; the upkeep of our parks, trails and open lands; wildfire mitigation on our borders; working on downtown revitalization; and in the 6th Ward/Railroad district; improving the intersection at malfunction junction; collaborating with the Helena School District; working with Lewis and Clark county on land use policies and our many other shared concerns; cooperating with the Helena Housing Authority, the Regional Airport Authority and the many non-profit organizations in the city.

I’d like to complete all of the tasks, projects and efforts outlined above. In so doing, I’d like the people of Helena to know that the entire city government---its mayor, commissioners, manager and employees--- is a good steward of their hard earned money, be it in the form of taxes, fees or assessments.

Why should people vote for you?

People ought to vote for me if they like the way Helena looks and feels. After 16 years in office I bear some responsibility for the overall condition of the city. I have a voting record and people will no doubt evaluate it and vote accordingly. I’ve tried to be a good listener, a fair decision maker, and to base those decisions on what I believe is best for all the people of Helena.


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