City Hall File

The sun shines on Bozeman City Hall in this file photo from July.

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City commissioners laid the groundwork for how to appoint a new commission member at their meeting Tuesday night, the first after former Mayor Chris Mehl resigned last week.

Then-Deputy Mayor Cyndy Andrus returned to the mayoral seat in Mehl’s absence, leaving a vacancy on the commission. On Tuesday, commissioners indicated they would consider a special meeting should a high number of applicants show interest in the position.

“Given the fact that there may be dozens of folks who might want to apply and therefore might want to comment, and there might be public comment on the comments, I’m concerned that if we put it on a regular agenda we’re going to short shrift either the items that were on that agenda or this, and I don’t want to do either of those,” commissioner Terry Cunningham said.

City manager Jeff Mihelich first suggested the commission form a subcommittee to cull the applicants, but several commissioners said they would prefer a special meeting.

“I think we want to make sure that everybody has an equal opportunity to weigh in,” Andrus said.

The city posted a notice of vacancy on Wednesday, Mihelich said, and is asking those interested to send in a statement listing their qualifications and reasons they’re interested in the spot by Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Because Montana law requires a vacancy to be filled within 30 days, the commission has until Oct. 12 to make its decision. There is a regularly scheduled commission meeting on Oct. 6, where commissioners may handle the matter if only a few people apply.

After they get all the applications in, city spokesperson Melody Mileur said commissioners will determine how to move forward.

At the meeting, candidates will have time to give a presentation, and the public will also have an opportunity to comment. The remaining commission members will vote on the matter, and will need a simple majority. The selected candidate will be sworn in immediately after the vote.

The deputy mayor position is still vacant. Mileur said city staff are still determining the process for how to fill the position.

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Nora Shelly can be reached at nshelly@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2607.

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