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Helena City Commission cancels meeting on potential interim city manager

Posted at 7:16 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 21:16:54-05

The Helena City Commission canceled a meeting where they planned to consider a former Livingston city manager as a possible interim city manager for Helena.

The commission had scheduled a special meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss a proposed employment contract with Ed Meece. However, the city announced Wednesday morning that the meeting would not be held.

Meece served as Livingston city manager from 2006 to 2015. He currently works as the parking program manager for the city of Bozeman.

In a statement, city leaders said finding an interim manager was a top priority for the commission.

“Ensuring the process is thoughtful and transparent is a priority, too,” the statement continued.

Leaders said the city is still looking for interim candidates with experience in public administration, political science, or business management.

“We are thankful to have excellent City staff that works hard every day to continue the progress the City has made,” Mayor Wilmot Collins said in the statement. “I am confident we will find an interim candidate to help shepherd the many projects in the works.”

Candidates interested in the interim city manager position can submit resumes to cityhr@helenamt.gov .

The city is looking to replace former city manager Ana Cortez, who left her position last week after reaching a mutual agreement with the commission. Leaders said it could take six to nine months to hire a permanent manager.

At an administrative meeting Wednesday, commissioners discussed bringing in the Novak Consulting Group to assist with the search for a permanent city manager. The city previously retained the firm in 2018, to lead the hiring process that led to Cortez’s selection.

Commissioner Andres Haladay said he believed the Novak Group had done a good job of taking what the commission wanted into consideration, and of gathering public input. He said he wanted the hiring process to move forward as quickly as possible.

“This process took long enough last time,” he said. “We’re in a situation where we need to kick this off sooner rather than later.”