Andrea Davis

I’ve been in the mayor’s seat in Missoula, Montana, now for three months. The view from here is vast. I am honored to serve this vibrant, expansive community. Throughout my campaign, I listened to the concerns and aspirations of our residents, and I am working to turn those conversations into action.

My administration is focusing on key priorities aimed at fostering transparency, community engagement and the well-being of our beloved city.

Council Accessibility and Enhanced Communications: Our City Council is the heartbeat of our local democracy, creating policies for the protection and benefit of residents’ health, welfare and security. I am committed to working together to improve accessibility and responsiveness for our constituents. Efforts such as Council work sessions that involve community members in crafting City initiatives will bring diverse perspectives to the table.

Homeless Encampments and Ensuring Public Health: The issue of unsheltered neighbors sleeping in public areas requires a thoughtful and collaborative approach. I have convened a work group made up of the full Council and community members who offer a diverse set of experiences to inform a comprehensive strategy that addresses public health and safety concerns while respecting the dignity and rights of our unhoused neighbors. It will meet several times this spring and make recommendations to City Council. Together, we can find solutions that reflect the compassion and resilience that define Missoula.

Code Reform for a Modern City: To keep pace with the critical needs of our community amidst the extensive project to modernize our development regulations, we will soon introduce amendments to the zoning code. This will result in immediate changes that will support new housing development, improve the efficiency of the development review process and better implement our existing policy goals. Communication about these changes is available on the Engage Missoula website, along with details of how the public can engage and comment before or during Planning Board and City Council hearings in March.

Urgent Call for Fire Initiative Support: The safety of our residents is non-negotiable. Despite the challenges posed by the property tax environment, we cannot afford to delay the much-needed fire initiative. I urge our community to come together to support this critical endeavor, recognizing that our collective safety is paramount. Let us prioritize the well-being of our neighborhoods and invest in the resources necessary to protect our homes and families.  I am asking the City Council to approve a resolution to place the fire initiative on the June primary ballot.

Building Budget Transparency: Missoula deserves a government that is open, accountable and responsive to the needs of its residents. We are embarking on revitalizing our budget processes, placing a premium on community engagement. I intend to move the executive budget presentation to the end of the process, after the Council and public hear departmental presentations and priorities. This is the reverse of the traditional presentation of the Mayor’s Executive Budget at the beginning of the budget process. This change will allow involvement from Council members and the public to be better reflected in the budget we ultimately adopt.

Understanding the intricacies of our city programs is essential for informed decision-making. We will conduct a comprehensive program inventory, providing simple and accessible summaries for each one. This process is not just about numbers; it's about demonstrating the value these programs bring to our community.