Q2 Rewind: City Administrator Al Thelen says goodbye to Billings - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Q2 Rewind: City Administrator Al Thelen says goodbye to Billings in 1985

Posted: Updated: Feb 05, 2018 07:16 PM

BILLINGS - City Administrator Al Thelen steered Billings through a remarkable growth spurt in the early 1980s. He was credited by his contemporaries with getting the city's finances in order, but not without drawing controversy.

During Thelen's tenure, he endured a strike of city workers in 1980 and a voter challenge to the city charter. He also butted heats with real-estate brokers and developers over system development fees placed on new homes, which were meant to help pay for the expansion of the city's water and sewer infrastructure.

Watch the video to revisit Q2 coverage over Thelen's departure and get a sense of the issues from that time.

Of the issues Thelen faced, he said his biggest disappointment was that the state Legislature prevented cities from pursuing additional forms of revenue.

Before managing Billings, Thelen was the city manager in Helena. Afterward, he had a successful career in local government and consulting. He died in 2014 at the age of 80. 

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