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Helena city leaders announce process for filling vacant commission seat

Helena City Commission Vacancy
Posted at 4:09 PM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 19:07:24-04

HELENA — Leaders have laid out their process for filling the vacant seat on the Helena City Commission, after the death of Commissioner Eric Feaver last month.

At a special meeting Friday, the current commissioners approved a timeline for the search and talked about what they want to see from the candidates.

“I think that this’ll be an opportunity for folks who may not have otherwise thought about getting involved in public service to get involved in the city,” said Commissioner Emily Dean. “I’m really optimistic about the quality of candidates that I think we’ll be getting.”

Under the city charter, candidates must be residents of the city and 18 or older. Leaders also said, when reviewing applications, they’ll consider people’s ability to commit time to the job and their commitment to the charter – particularly the preamble.

“It truly is a great illustration of the kind of community that we all strive for and hope will continue to be reflected within the commission,” Dean said.

Dean said they wanted to make sure the process was open to Helena residents with a wide variety of backgrounds.

“We really want to ensure that our commission reflects our community and reflects the diverse perspectives and backgrounds and life experiences that everyone in our community holds,” she said.

The city plans to accept applications for the open position from next Monday, July 25, through Aug. 15. Commissioners will go over the applicants and select about five candidates to interview. The first round of interviews will be Aug. 19, and the commission could select two or three finalists for a second round on Aug. 23. They will make their final decision at a special commission meeting on Aug. 29.

The appointed commissioner will serve until the end of 2023, when an election will be held to fill the final two years of Feaver’s unexpired term.

Whoever is chosen as the new commissioner will get up to speed quickly, as the city commission is set to hold a final vote on the budget in September.