Bozeman voters will choose a mayor and city commissioner in the coming weeks. For mayor, Cyndy Andrus deserves another term. For the soon-to-be-vacant commission seat, voters should put Michael Wallner in office.

Incumbent Mayor Andrus is facing challenger Brian LaMeres. What makes Andrus the best choice is experience. She is just finishing her first two-year term as mayor and she has served commendably. LaMeres, an accountant in the city’s finance department, brings energy and enthusiasm to the contest, and his financial background could be useful. But his lack of experience in elected office clearly tips the scales in favor of Andrus.

She presided over the commission’s successful campaign to win voter approval for a new city public safety center to house courts, police and fire personnel. And she has participated actively in the city’s ongoing challenges with affordable housing, though she admittedly has much more to do. The winner of this contest will serve two years on the commission as deputy mayor before taking the mayor’s gavel for the following two years.

For the city commission seat being vacated by Jeff Krauss, who has chosen not to seek re-election, voters are fortunate to have three young and eager candidates to choose from. Wallner should get the nod based on his background. He is an economic data analyst with TechLink, an organization that helps transfer government technology to the private sector. He has served as informal advisor to Carson Taylor, a former city commissioner and mayor, and more recently Deputy Mayor Chris Mehl. Wallner is facing off against two other notable candidates.

Mark Egge has a varied background, most notably in transportation planning with High Street Consulting in Bozeman. He has also served on the city’s planning board and parking commission.

The third candidate for the commission seat, Zach Krumm, heads up the nonprofit Tenants United. He is passionate about addressing the city’s housing problems and contends that, as a renter himself, he would bring a unique perspective to the commission.

All three hopefuls are in their early thirties and would bring some needed representation for youth to the commission. In the end, though, Wallner’s credentials tip the balance in his favor.

Bozeman is in the midst of rapid growth and all the pains that go with that. That makes the choices voters make in city elections critical. And those voters would be smart to favor Andrus and Wallner.

Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Nick Ehli, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

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