Three candidates vie for Ward I council seat Heidi Sparks is newcomer to politics

By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
Heidi Sparks

Heidi Sparks faces incumbent Doug Poehls and challenger Evan Bruce in the upcoming city election. Although she is new to politics, she pays close attention to both local and national news. She has lived in Laurel for 10 years and said she would champion the city as well as the residents in her district.
“I think change is good,” Sparks said. “Laurel is a great community but there is opportunity for improvement.” She questioned whether the city makes the best use of tax-payer money, citing basic infrastructure, road conditions and the water intake.
“I don’t think Riverside Park is being handled the best it could be,” she added. “The Laurel Rod and Gun Club is eager to lease. If the city doesn’t want the buildings or to deal with them, we should let them [the clubs].”
Sparks is originally from Billings where most of her family remains. She is the daughter of Earl and Sharon Henderson.
“My husband is from Miles City and we wanted to live in a smaller community,” she explained. Sparks has two step sons and is extremely happy with Laurel schools.
As a longtime member of the Masonic groups, Daughters of the Nile and Eastern Star, the council candidate believes in contributing to the community.
“That’s how I was raised,” she said. “I grew up believing in giving back.”
Sparks works for First Interstate Bank in the credit card division at the operations center in Billings. She recently got an MBA through Walden University.
“Well, I got my undergraduate degree in biology,” she said. “Then I decided I liked the banking business and thought the MBA might help my career.”
Because she recently completed roles that took major time commitments with the Masons, Sparks said now is a good time for her to try her hand at local government.
“It’s time for changes and it’s time to throw my hat in for sure,” she said. While Sparks thinks shaking things up once-in-a-while is important, there are many aspects of life in Laurel and local city governance she thinks are up to par.
“The Laurel Volunteer Fire Department does an excellent job,” she said, “and overall this is a great place to live. But, I think there are things that can be improved upon.”
If elected, Sparks will be dedicated to the job, she said.
“I’m absolutely prepared for the time commitment,” she said. “And, Laurel needs some movers and shakers.”

(This is the first in a series of profiles on the candidates running for open seats in the city election. The Outlook also plans to send a questionnaire to all candidates and print their responses closer to the date of the election.)

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Monday, July 8, 2019
• Christmas to Remember meeting, second Monday, 1 p.m., at Reese & Ray’s IGA, call 248-8557 for information

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