I have lived in Montana for all my 54 years, being born and raised in Billings then coming to Bozeman to attend Montana State University back in 1985.
I graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business – including both the Finance and Accounting options – and passed the CPA exam in 1992.
I wasn’t able to find a job in my chosen profession right away – but I knew that I wanted to stay in Bozeman – so I continued to work at the Lewis & Clark Motel where I had been employed since 1988 and where I met the love of my life, Lisa, whose father Bill designed, built and operated both the Lewis and Clark Motels of Bozeman and of Three Forks.
Bill is one of the most amazing people I have ever known, and it was very difficult and sad for me to have to tell him that I had to go work someplace else to try out my college degree.
But alas, in 1996 I did finally land a job which would meet the experience requirement for me to be a licensed CPA. The job was in the City of Bozeman’s Finance Department, where I started as an Accounting Technician, eventually became Assistant Controller, then Controller, then Controller / Software Application Manager.
You can view my resume’ to see the many skills and knowledge I gained through my City experience, including serving over 20 years on City Advisory Boards such as the Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund Board and the Community Affordable Housing Advisory Board.
If you’re concerned about my lack of Commission experience and about my ability to run a public meeting, then I invite you check out the many years of video on the City’s website showing the CAHAB Board Meetings that I ran as Board Chair. Sometimes those meetings got a little “spicy”, yet on multiple occasions I received written praise from City Management who had been in attendance for a job well done.
I retired from the City after 25 years of service back in November of 2020.
Since then I have again been busy at the Lewis & Clark Motels of both Bozeman and Three Forks, where my main goal is to simply try to make Lisa’s life easier. (and no, I haven’t received a Performance Evaluation yet, and yes, I am a little nervous!)
On any given day I might work on QuickBooks or Income Taxes, or I might be down in the Laundry Room folding sheets and towels. Or I might be changing a burned-out light bulb in the swimming pool. Or I might be trying to fix somebody’s computer, but eventually probably just advising them to restart it…. 😊
But by far my greatest learning experiences have come from the many conversations I have had with motel employees, MSU students, motel guests from both Montana and out-of-state, contractors, vendors, and other Bozeman business owners. These conversations continue to offer me great insight into the daily realities faced by people in Bozeman – real people, not just data from studies.
At home I live very happily with Lisa, who has been my best friend since we met in 1988. Living with Lisa I have come to know first-hand the challenges and sacrifices that an independent small business owner in Bozeman must make just to keep the doors open.
The work ethic and integrity that I observe daily in this small business owner are exactly what citizens should demand from their government, and that’s what they’ll get from me.
I’m running for Mayor because I believe in a fiscally responsible, transparent, and accountable local government which appropriately treats its citizens as if they are the ones in charge.
Government can never forget where the tax money comes from and who is in charge – the People. Life is very challenging for many Bozeman residents, and it takes a lot of work and a high-level of self-discipline and sacrifice for the average citizen to just get by from day to day and month to month. Our local government needs to be held to this same standard of discipline and responsibility.
Under my leadership as Mayor, Bozeman will help those who legitimately need help, but we’re also going to be showing some “tough love”. Only through careful and responsible resource management can Bozeman successfully meet the challenges that lie ahead.
I’m greatly concerned about your City taxes going up year after year despite this Commission expressing that Property Tax Relief was going to be one of their Priorities.
I’m greatly concerned that a majority of this City Commission has expressed that they are on a journey in the direction of reducing your police budget.
More to come on those topics and others…….
Regardless of who you vote for, please make your voice heard on November 2nd.
Thank you for your time!