New Missoula County commissioner to be appointed June 13

Cola Rowley

(KPAX) The Missoula County Commission has set a deadline to pick a new commissioner to fill the remainder of Cola Rowley’s term.

Rowley announced last week that she will step down from her role as commissioner to serve as deputy county administrator with Gallatin County, effective July 1.

The appointee will fill the remainder of her term, which runs through the end of 2020.

Commissioners Dave Strohmaier and Josh Slotnick have notified the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee — which will provide a list of three candidates from which they’ll choose.

The commissioners have requested the committee submit those names by Friday, May 31.

Only candidates who have lived in District 1, which covers the southern third of the county, for at least two years will be eligible to fill the vacancy. Interested candidates should email the Democratic Central Committee at communications@missoulademocrats.org.

Potential candidates can ask questions about the role of county commissioner during a forum at 5:30 p.m. on May 15, in the Sophie Moiese Room of the Courthouse Annex.

While the forum is open to the public, the main focus will be to provide information for potential candidates, not for the public to ask questions of potential candidates.

The Democratic Central Committee plans to select the three nominees at a meeting at 7 p.m. on May 28 in the Sophie Moiese Room.

Strohmaier and Slotnick will send written exercises for the candidates to complete on June 7. The written exercises will assess candidates’ responses to various scenarios they may encounter as commissioner.

The two commissioners will interview the candidates on June 11. They will announce their decision during the administrative public meeting at 10 a.m. on June 13 in Room 206 of the Missoula County Administrative Building.

According to a news release, if Strohmaier and Slotnick are unable to select a candidate from the submitted list, the Democratic Central Committee must provide an additional list of three names.

The appointed commissioner will earn a salary of $83,990.40.

Members of the public can submit comment on the candidates through June 10. Comments can be emailed to bcc@missoulacounty.us or mailed to 200 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802.