The Missoula City Council will keep most of last year’s committee chairs in place, giving it consistency as it embarks on this year’s crop of issues.
Only the Administration and Finance Committee saw a change in leadership. But the appointment of Ward 1 council member Heidi West as committee chair places an incumbent at the head of the table.
“Administration and finance is the one committee that doesn’t have a chair to carry over,” said Jordan Hess, who made the nomination. “I think West would be fantastic at this committee. There’s so much housing items that come before this committee, as well as redevelopment items.”
The City Council’s remaining committees will retain the chairmen or women from last year, including Land Use and Planning. That committee is perhaps the most closely watched and it handles some challenging and often complex issues.
Hess will remain as committee chair.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Hess around issues surrounding Land Use and Planning, including traveling to Washington, D.C., to lobby for the BUILD grant several years ago,” said council member Mike Nugent, who made the nomination. “I think he’ll continue to do a good job.”
Council member Amber Sherrill will also stay on as chair of the Parks and Conservation Committee. She was praised by her peers for her knowledge of the issues that often come before the committee.
Sherrill formerly served as the executive director of the Five Valleys Land Trust.
“It’s pretty rare that a person takes on any leadership when they start,” said Stacie Anderson in making Sherrill’s nomination. “Given her extensive background in conservation and the expertise she’s brought to council, she was able to do a great job and jump right in on this.”
Anderson will also remain as chair of the Public Health and Safety Committee. She was lauded for the relationships she’s established between the City Council and the police and fire department.
As one council member said, “I’d like to continue having that great relationship between council and those departments, and Anderson is a good person for that.”
Lastly, Mirtha Becerra will remain as chair of the Public Works Committee. While the committee often deals with seemingly mundane issues like water mains and street repairs, Becerra has tackled the job with enthusiasm.
“This is really the backbone, and I admit the projects aren’t always sexy or really exciting,” said Sherrill in making Becerra’s nomination. “But she loves it, and she does a great job with it, and she’s always a great resource when there’s a piece of it we don’t understand.”