Helena Magazine

Hear from City Councilwoman Laura Joseph in this month’s council update

Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Last year, 2022, was the year of direction; your city’s leadership team aimed high and charted a solid path toward success. Among the most notable of these plans and preparations are: 1) adopting a proactive, fiscally responsible plan to manage the city’s road repairs, 2) passing a budget that addresses several deferred infrastructure maintenance issues, 3) approving a partnership with U.S. Steel to build a new town center and athletic complex, and 4) adopting a new comprehensive plan to guide our path. Now that we’ve rung in the new year, the city will begin working in earnest toward achieving the goals that we set in 2022.

Paving bids have been accepted and, soon, repairs will commence according to the plan mentioned above. Up next will be new LED lighting to enhance visibility and safety at the tennis courts, the Jane B. Holmes Public Library, and Lee Springs Park. And finally, the new EV charging station at the sports complex is expected to be operational by the end of this month. Work continues at Joe Tucker Park, as we wait for a critical part to arrive before completing the remaining repairs, pouring the sidewalk, and finishing up the road work.

Soon, Helena will receive our portion of ad valorem tax revenue (around $1.3 million), and those tax revenues will help fund many of the projects mentioned above, as well as other budgeted projects this fiscal year. In the coming months, it will be important for Helena’s leadership team to remain focused on prioritizing the approved budget items, staying the course, and achieving our goals, despite temptations to fund things that are not included in this year’s budget. As we approach the kickoff dates for these exciting projects, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the City Council as we strive to continue making smart, fiscally responsible decisions for our city.

I also want to point out that none of this could happen without you. As Helena’s citizens, you’ve placed your trust in us to speak for you, make decisions on your behalf, and represent your values. I can’t think of a more meaningful privilege. Gaining consensus among 20,000 residents is nearly impossible, but communication between citizens and your city’s leadership team is critical to ensure that Helena continues moving in the right direction. Your elected leaders must also do our part – because along with the privilege of service, comes a duty to value and follow the will of the people. Please continue to email your feedback and try to attend meetings and work sessions whenever possible. Our meetings are the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, with work sessions starting at 5pm and Council meetings at 6pm. Help us do the best job that we can for you; good communication between Helena’s citizens and elected leaders is essential to ensure that our city continues to grow even stronger and more connected. I hope to hear from you soon!