HELENA — On Wednesday, Helena city commissioners finalized their short-term plan for the city manager position.
At a special meeting, the commission voted unanimously to approve a temporary contract, making City Attorney Thomas Jodoin the interim city manager through April 1, or until a longer-term replacement is ready to take over.
City leaders said this was the best way to keep Helena operating smoothly.
“We thank you for stepping up to the plate to create this transition that will be seamless,” said Mayor Wilmot Collins.
Jodoin has already been acting city manager since last week, when city manager Rachel Harlow-Schalk announced her resignation. He was set to leave the city this week to take a job as deputy director of the Montana League of Cities and Towns, but he has delayed that.
Under the temporary contract, the city will pay Jodoin just over $14,700 to serve as interim manager. Jodoin said during Wednesday’s meeting that he extended the departure date for his current job to March 1 so he could maintain city insurance benefits through that month. As a temporary employee, he would not receive benefits as interim manager.
“I like the contract, and I think the terms are agreeable to the parties involved,” said City Commissioner Eric Feaver. “We desperately need his services for the next month, so I think we should move on with this agreement tonight.”
Collins told MTN after the meeting that he would appoint a subcommittee of commissioners to work with Jodoin on developing a plan for bringing in a “permanent interim city manager” to fill the role until a final replacement for Harlow-Schalk can be found.