HELENA — Emily Dean says the city of Helena is at a “crossroads,” and she wants to serve on the Helena City Commission to help address the challenges that are coming.
“I believe right now is the time that we need to make some very strategic decisions,” she said. “As an advocate and an educator and a community member, I understand a lot of the things that keep our families up at night, and I’d like to be part of finding solutions for those.”
Dean works as a communications specialist for the Montana School Boards Association, and previously worked as a school teacher. She said she sees campaigning for the city commission as a way to continue her advocacy.
“I believe in a Helena for the many, and I think that we need to be sure that we are advocating for those who may not always have a seat at the table,” she said.
Dean said the city government needs to be more transparent in its operations. She argued, when the city makes changes, they will be more successful if they work proactively to get input from the people affected.
“I don’t believe that our city commission can simply expect the public to read the agenda that’s posted every other week and know what all of it is supposed to mean and know when the public needs to be at city commission meetings providing input,” she said. “So I believe that means that our city commission needs to do more to reach out to those individuals that are affected by our decisions that are coming up.”
Dean said one of the biggest issues Helena will face in the coming years is dealing with growth, and she believes the city commission needs to take an active role in preparing for it.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary resources,” she said. “I think the city could be doing more to facilitate our vast nonprofit community, interacting with the needs of our business community and our educational institutions.”
Dean is one of six candidates running for two seats on the Helena City Commission. You can watch MTN’s full interview with her above.
Interviews with the other city commission candidates are available here.
Ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 16, and they must be returned by Nov. 5.