A little less than two years ago, the voters of Helena put their trust in me as the City of Helena’s newest City Commissioner. Two years later, I am pleased to share some of the exciting work happening in the City and lend my strong support for my fellow commissioners Ed Noonan and Kali Wicks now running to hold their seats and continue the important work for the residents of our community.

When I started my term, I heard from many community members that they wanted to see a city commission and city government that is more responsive to the daily needs of residents. From improved street maintenance and snow plowing to taking a more proactive role in economic development, the Helena City Commission has been more responsive to Helena residents.

I am honored to serve on this commission with such a dedicated group of individuals. While each of the five of us brings unique experiences, we are committed to working together to find solutions to issues in our community.

Commissioner Ed Noonan has been a true leader in Helena, and I have learned a lot from working with Commissioner Noonan over these past two years. I continue to be impressed with Ed’s responsiveness of individual community needs, responding to every constituent email he receives and using this feedback to help shape solutions. Recently, we received feedback from Helena neighbors on the proposed changes to downtown zoning. As a result, Ed suggested changes to respond to the concerns, while also ensuring we could continue to encourage smart development in our downtown area. Ed pushed last year for the City to expand public transportation to provide services on five holidays that had not been provided in the past. Ed’s solution-oriented perspective has pushed the Commission to not just identify needs but to find ways we can move forward to better serve our community.

Commissioner Kali Wicks has brought an entirely new perspective to how the City does business. I appreciate Kali’s commitment to public process and ensuring that the City is more proactive in communicating efforts with residents. Just recently, as a result of Kali’s incredible work, the City established a public information officer, to provide a more systematic process in notifying the community of proposed changes and upcoming projects. Kali’s long-time service in the Helena area has served her well, as she brings a unique perspective to how the City can partner with local businesses and non-profits to improve outreach, address growing housing needs, and facilitate smart economic development.

As voters receive their ballots for the upcoming November election, Helena will decide if they want to continue the more responsive, service-oriented style we’ve seen in the past two years. I ask the voters to support Commissioners Ed Noonan and Kali Wicks so they can continue their solid work, and I look forward to accomplishing even more with them in the coming years.

Heather O'loughlin is a member of the Helena City Commission. 

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