9 apply for appointment to Ward 2 seat on Missoula City Council

Ruth Ann Swaney

Nine Ward 2 residents have applied for appointment to the Missoula City Council seat now held by Councilwoman Ruth Ann Swaney, who has resigned effective Nov. 7.

Those who filed by Friday’s deadline were Ronald Barker, Mirtha Becerra, Lailah Jannell, Jason Krumbeck, Jack Metcalf, Jim Polk, Jay Arthur Raines, Madison L. Schroeder and Mark Storud.

Metcalf had originally announced his candidacy for election to the Ward 2 seat, but withdrew last summer.

Then came Swaney’s unexpected resignation. The councilwoman said she is moving back home to North Dakota, where she has accepted a position with the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in the tribal education department.

This is how the process will unfold now that the applications are in hand.

On Monday night at the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting, each council member in attendance will be allowed to select one applicant for an interview. The order of the interviews will then be randomly determined by drawing candidate names during the same meeting.

Interviews will be conducted by the council’s Committee of the Whole on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, if necessary. Once City Council interviews of applicants have been completed, the council will select a Ward 2 representative at the Nov. 6 council meeting.

A majority vote of the entire City Council membership is required for an applicant to be appointed. The term of office will begin upon the swearing in of the council’s appointee.

The Ward 2 seat will again be on the city general election ballot in November 2019, open to all qualified candidates. The person elected in 2019 will serve a four-year term of office that will begin on the first Monday in January 2020.

Ward 2 includes city neighborhoods west of North Russell Street, including Pleasant View, 44 Ranch and Flynn Ranch, Ranch Club Estates, Grant Creek and Missoula’s Westside. Here’s a link to the ward map.

Swaney was appointed to the council seat in January, after former councilman Harlan Wells moved to Helena to take a job in state government. Her name will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot, as her resignation came after the ballots were printed.

It was also too late for anyone to file for the seat as a write-in candidate.

Swaney’s seat will be filled by appointment only for the remainder of Wells’ original term, which runs until the first Monday in January 2020.

The Ward 2 seat will again be on the city general election ballot in November 2019, open to all qualified candidates. The person elected in 2019 will serve a four-year term of office that will begin on the first Monday in January 2020.

City Council members are paid $1,249.23 per month, plus city benefits.

Here is a link to each applicant’s information, as submitted to the city.