Press Release – County Commission Passes Resolution to Place Gallatin County Urban


Penny Johnson
Communications Managers HRDC
303-828-8481 (mobile)

Public transit and HRDC Streamline advocates testified in support of a proposed Urban Transportation District at the Gallatin County Commission meeting held earlier today.

Commissioners listened to the public comments on the UTD proposal before voting to place it on the May 2 special election ballot.

The hearing was required by Montana law. The commissioners voted to place the measure on the ballot after hearing from the public which is a required part of the process.

Several community members testified in support of the UTD including:

  • Ellie Staley, executive director, Downtown Bozeman
  • Scott Birkenbuel, CEO, Ability Montana
  • David Kack, Big Sky Transportation District
  • Mitch Bradley, retired Bozeman businessman
  • Bruce Grubbs, retired, former state legislator and business owner
  • Linda Sherwood, retired, Special Olympics volunteer, on Streamline advisory board
  • Liz Aghbashian, Community Health Partners, Resource Coordination Manager
  • Laurie Walker, Bozeman Health, System Manager of Community Health Improvement & Partnerships
  • Jan Strout, co-leader, Bozeman for CEDAW Initiative
  • Suzanne Winchester, Streamline founder and senior rider
  • Greg Lynch, Forward Montana, development director

“Transportation is essential for people with disabilities and older adults to participate in society. It impacts access, access to health care, essential goods and services, interactions with friends and family, the ability to work and attend school, as well as a host of other activities,” CEO, Ability Montana Scott Birkenbuel said.

HRDC Streamline and public transportation advocates collected more than 28,000 voter signatures, more than twice the number needed, in support of creating the UTD. The Gallatin County Elections Office has confirmed that more than enough qualified voter signatures were gathered in order to place the UTD on the May 2 election ballot.
Forming a UTD will enable Streamline to continue receiving federal transportation funding now that our community has transitioned from being designated “rural” by the U.S. Federal Transportation Administration and is now categorized as a “small-urbanized area.”

The UTD will also enable Streamline to maintain its current level of service and position it for the future as our valley’s public transportation needs grow. The proposed UTD will include all of Bozeman and Belgrade and areas between.

An approval by voters on May 2 would allow the UTD to take over governance of Streamline on July 1.

Additional information about Streamline can be found here and information specific to the UTD can be found here.

Newsletter Sign Up
    Please note, when you sign up for one of our newsletters, you may also receive periodic emails from us containing special messages which are time sensitive and not suited for monthly communication.
Brooke Poole

Public Sector

Since 2015, Brooke has been working with Allergan Aesthetics, Body Contouring. In 2018, Brooke began her role as Senior Manager of Training. Brooke graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Commercial Photography from Appalachian State University in 2011.

Brooke began her role on our Board in 2019. However, she feels it’s more fitting to say that she gets to serve on our Board. For Brooke, an evening at our Fork & Spoon was her first glance into our organization’s powerful work. As Brooke states, joining the Board has only expanded her appreciation for the caliber of people leading our mission and the impact of our vast ecosystem of services. While metrics alone are impressive, Brooke likes to visualize each number as an individual example of support – an extension of a helping hand, a moment of relief – given to one of our neighbors. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in shaping HRDC’s future.

Although Brooke spends most of her volunteer time with HRDC, she was fortunate enough to build with Habitat for Humanity over the course of the summer in 2020. Her favorite place to spend time is anywhere under the Big Sky, although Hyalite may be her favorite place on Earth.

Ron Brey

Public Sector

Ron served as Bozeman’s Assistant City Manager from 1990 to 2008. After retiring, Ron joined our Board in 2011. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Montana in 1977, and his Masters in Science in Rural, Town, and Regional Planning from the University of Montana in 1987.

During his time with the City of Bozeman, Ron saw the important role that HRDC has played in our community. Ron has seen that HRDC provides necessary social services to assure that all Bozeman residents could obtain housing, food, training, employment and the other necessities of life. He also came to understand that HRDC was always able to respond immediately as new community needs arose. Ron believes that the dedication, hard work, and compassion of HRDC’s staff make it a real honor to serve on the Board.

Ron also serves on the Trails, Open Space and Parks Committee for the City of Bozeman, and as a volunteer with the Red Cross. One of Ron’s favorite activities is walking his beloved dog every day, enjoying many of Bozeman’s trails and parks, like Burke Park, Bozeman Creek, and the Hyalite and Mount Ellis areas. Ron and his wife Claire enjoy spending their days with family, friends, and time outdoors.