Bozeman City Hall File

A visitor leaves Bozeman City Hall on Nov. 12, 2020.

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The group of Bozeman residents who will be making recommendations to the City Commission on things like development site plans, transportation decisions, cemetery operations and more is scheduled to be finalized next week.

City commissioners plan to vote Tuesday on the appointments for the recommended members who will be on the newly formed citizen advisory boards. Elected officials voted earlier this year to cull the city’s board system from roughly 40 groups down to five superboards, though a handful of the original boards will remain intact.

The five boards will tackle issues of urban parks and forestry, sustainability, economic vitality, community development and transportation. Each board will have seven members except community development, which will have nine.

The city accepted applications for the board openings in September and commissioners interviewed the candidates in October — commissioners paired up two for each board for the interviews.

Mayor Cyndy Andrus said commissioners then worked to put together a list of recommended board members, including candidates for vice chair and chair. Andrus said commissioners tried to gauge applicants’ interest, knowledge of the boards’ subject matters and time commitments during the interview process.

“We have a diverse group, we have people that I know are interested in continuing their service and some new folks, I was really pleased to see all the new applicants,” Andrus said.

People who were already sitting on existing citizen advisory boards were allowed to apply for the new boards, though commissioners stated during discussions earlier this year they wanted to get a diverse group of people, including underrepresented people, on the boards.

For the Urban Parks and Forestry board, which will take on the work of the tree and cemetery boards and the parks aspect of Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, the nominees are Alice Stanley, Anna Wearn, Thomas Cuezze, Angie Kociolek, Dan Fenn, Sally Rohrer and Donald Ulrich.

The nominees for the Sustainability Board, which will include work on climate, beautification and the recreation aspect of the existing Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, are Emma Bode, Rebecca Kurnick, Kristin Blackler, Benjamin Finegan, Isabel Shaida, Lumay Murphy and Matt Thompson.

For the Economic Vitality board, which will tackle diversity, equity and inclusion, economic development and community housing, Joey Morrison, Sara Savage, Suzanne White, Craig Ogilvie, Katy Osterloth, Danielle Rogers and John Carey are nominated.

The Community Development Board will take on the work of the planning, zoning, design review and impact fees boards. That board is the only one to have nine members, and Jerry Pape will remain the county appointee to the board.

The commissioner to sit on the board is still to be determined. The other seven nominees are Allison Bryan, Brady Ernst, John Backes, Padden Guy Murphy, Stephan Egnatz, Nicole Olmstead and Henry Happel.

For the Transportation Board, which will address parking and the work of the existing Pedestrian Traffic Safety Committee and the Bozeman Area Bicycle Advisory Board, the nominees are Bryce Gordon, Christine Roberts, Shannon Mahoney, Deejay Newell, Courtney Oyler, Kelly Pohl and Paul Reichert.

Morrison, who is nominated to sit on the economic vitality board, ran for city commission in the local elections, losing to Commissioner Jennifer Madgic for a two-year seat. Morrison said people in the activist community in Bozeman were encouraged to apply for the boards.

“We need more representation of the people who make this community really run, which is largely working-class, young people who need to have their voices heard when they think about developing this community and guiding and advising elected officials,” Morrison said.

The existing boards are scheduled to disband at the end of this month. The new boards plan to start meeting in December, and will work to develop strategic plans.

“I think it continues to be a bit of a work in progress, because it’s something new,” Andrus said. “I’m looking forward to seeing just how this all works, and I’m very excited about the people that are on these boards …. There are a lot of new applicants with some new and interesting ideas and perspectives.”

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

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