As the process moves on to replace the late Mayor John Engen, the Missoula City Council will be choosing up to 12 applicants for the position that was chosen by the councilors in each of the six wards on August 29.

Interviews will be held on September 7 before the City Council Committee of the Whole.

During a recent City Council Meeting, City Attorney Jim Nugent said the possible applicant could have another job from which they would have to transition.

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“The law requires that you appoint someone within 30 days and the point probably means you swear them in,” said Nugent. “But there might be a transition if the person has other commitments, and there's nothing anywhere that says that any of you can't have another job. So, there's nothing that prohibits the mayor from having another job so that they could transition to the point necessary.”

City Attorney Jim Nugent brought a bit of Missoula history into the meeting by referring to what happened when Mayor Cregg passed away in 1983.

Nugent said the city council could not come to an agreement on any of the applicants to fill the late mayor’s term.

“They picked Mayor (John) Toole many, many years ago when Mayor Cregg died. “There were 25 or 27 applicants. Stan Healy was a city council member, and he nominated John Toole, who was another city council member, and that's who the council ended up (choosing). So they weren't making any progress with any of the applicants, so one council member nominated another council member, and John Toole became mayor.”

We reached out to Ward 6 City Councilor Sandra Vasecka for her thoughts about the mayoral selection process.

"We have a lot of pressure to pick somebody to lead us to lead this city," began Vasecka. So far two city councilors have applied for mayor and there have been 15 other outside applicants. So I have to figure out who I'm going to move forward in the interview process, and depending on the interviews, then I only get to select one. And we as the council, we have to pick somebody and they have to get seven votes all together."

Vasecka said August 29 will be the day to choose the candidates.

"We will discuss that on Wednesday how we're going to interview up to 12 applicants," she said. "We're thinking about having 40 to 50-minute sessions per person and we discuss some of our questions that we are going to be asking and it looks like there's going to be eight or nine questions that we will ask the applicants."

What is Vasecka looking for in the new mayor?

"What I'm looking for is knowledge of how things work in the city; knowledge of the city council process, knowledge of the mayor's role in the city, and also I'm looking at someone who is unbiased," she said. "I personally don't want a new mayor that is going to be super left or super right. I want somebody who's going to be more more equal to represent everybody in the city."

The present process continues with each ward selecting two applicants. The interviews will take place on September 7 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and candidates will receive the interview questions via email. The interviews will be determined by drawing.

The applicant chosen will be the mayor and the position currently pays $8,284.52 per month plus City benefits.

The City of Missoula has released the names of all those who have completed the application to become the new mayor.

They are; Brandi Atanasoff, Fred Rice, Giles Thelen, Jacob Elder, Jordan Hess, Ken Grinde, Logan Ward, Menodora LeMaster, Michael ‘Big Mike’ Sowell, Mike ‘Bear’ Thomas, Mike Nugent, Patrick Weasel Head, Sam Kulla, Scott Ranf, Sean McCoy, Teigan Avery, Todd Smith, and Tyler Tailor.

The interviews will take place on September 7 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and candidates will receive the interview questions via email. The interviews will be determined by drawing.

The applicant chosen will be the mayor and the position currently pays $8,284.52 per month plus City benefits.

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