Eight of 13 applicants advance to City Council interviews

By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current

Of the 13 applicants who applied to replace departing Missoula City Council member Harlan Wells, members of the council will interview eight over the span of two weeks based upon the nomination of sitting council members.

Five applicants did not advance for an interview.

Thirteen applicants applied to replace former Ward 2 council member Wells, who resigned to take a position in state government. Of those who submitted an application, eight will advance to interviews before the council, starting this week.

“Mr. Wells has resigned that seat,” Missoula Mayor John Engen said. “That position remains open.”

Selected at random, the applicants in order of interview include former carpentry professor David Neu, Metal Works of Montana laborer Mike Curran, and former planner Mirtha Becerra.

The also include Roger Seewald, who included no resume with his application, and Ruth Swaney, a Native American Natural Resources program coordinator at the University of Montana.

The final applicants include adjunct UM professor Jack Metcalf, former Montana Rep. and PSC commissioner Gail Gutsche, and UM pharmacist Ken Chatriand.

Not selected were attorney Francisco Crespo, seafood manager Adam Ehlers, hospice nurse William Maesar, Dale Kirk, who attached no resume to his application, and Mark Storud, who also attached no resume.

City Clerk Marty Rehbein said interviews will begin this Wednesday and continue at next week’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

The preferred applicant will be selected by the council in a voting process planned for Jan. 23. The applicants and their nominee are listed below in order of interview process.

Ward 5 council member Annelise Hedhal nominated David Nue

Ward 4 council member Jon Wilkins nominated Mike Curran

Ward 2 council Jordan Hess nominated Mirtha Becerra

Ward 3 council member Gwen Jones nominated Roger Sewald

Ward 1 council member Bryan von Lossburg nominated Ruth Swaney

Ward 1 council member Heidi West nominatd Jack Metcalf

Ward 3 council member Emiley Bentley nominated Gail Geutshe

Ward 6 council member Michelle Cares nominated Ken Chatriand

Council members John DiBari, Julie Armstrong and Marilyn Marler did not nominate an applicant. Both DiBari and Marler were absent from Monday night’s meeting.

Contact reporter Martin Kidston at info@missoulacurrent.com