Bozeman commissioners are gearing up to find their next city manager and, in the meantime, may once again turn to a Helena man with a long history of management to fill the gap.

The Bozeman City Commission will decide Monday whether to appoint Dennis Taylor as interim city manager, a role Taylor held in 2017 for roughly six months.

Taylor would temporarily replace Andrea Surratt, who announced this week she accepted a job in Sandy Springs, Georgia, after two years in Bozeman.

The Sandy Springs City Council confirmed Surratt as its city manager Tuesday.

Bozeman’s next city manager will oversee the city government’s $200 million budget and more than 400 employees. They’re also the only city employee hired or fired by commissioners.

Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus talked with Taylor about returning to the interim position once Surratt leaves, according to city documents.

“If the Commission so desires, Mr. Taylor has agreed to serve again as Interim City Manager,” according to the documents.

Over his career, Taylor worked as an administrator in Missoula, Helena, Billings and Eugene, Oregon. He also served in a similar interim city manager role in Whitefish in 2008. He holds degrees from the University of Kansas and the University of Montana and served as a Marine Corps infantry officer from 1968 to 1971.

If confirmed by commissioners, Taylor would make $13,459 a month and up to $3,600 a month for housing.

That’s an increase from what Taylor made in the job two years ago with a $12,375 monthly paycheck and $3,000 housing allowance. He could arrive to town within a week.

Commissioners will also decide Monday whether to approve Surratt’s request to leave the Bozeman job by Dec. 12.

Surratt’s tenure in Bozeman was shorter than anticipated and a shift from what Surratt said when she arrived in town and called Bozeman potentially her last career move.

Surratt said this week she wants to be closer to family after her mom’s death. The job also comes with a pay increase — from about $158,500 year in Bozeman to $222,000 in Sandy Springs, a suburb of Atlanta with a population of 100,000.

“I want to thank the city commission for the trust they put in my ability to lead this organization. I’m sorry it has to be shorter,” Surratt said in an interview Tuesday.

“My life took a shift, and I need to do the right thing going forward.”

City commissioners will talk Monday about what they want the city manager position to look like and a timeframe for the search for a permanent replacement. In 2017, it took the city roughly six months to fill the job.

Andrus has said since commissioners went through the process once in recent years, they may find a replacement quicker this time around.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at or at 582-2628.

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