New Whitefish city manager set to begin work in February - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

New Whitefish city manager set to begin work in February

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The City of Whitefish will welcome a new city manager next year after the City Council offered the job to Adam Hammatt, a Montana native. 

"I was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana," Hammatt said. "I've lived over 30 years of my life in Montana, so I call Montana home." 

Hammatt brings with him more than ten years of experience in local government, most recently serving as village administrator for the Village of Kimberly in Wisconsin. 

"I've been in the top administrative positions in the last three communities which I've worked. I was the chief administrative officer for all three of those communities." 

Hammatt graduated from CMR High School in Great Falls and also has a bachelor's degree in political science, a masters degree in public administration and a law degree from the University of Montana. 

"Very excited to come back. I've been wanting to return to Montana for some time but Whitefish is one of those premier communities in the state so I thought this would be a good chance for me."

He says one of the items on his agenda is continuing Whitefish's legacy for attracting tourism. 

"Whitefish is one of those tourist destination communities. I hope to continue in that vein and help the community attract tourism dollars."

He says he's also aware of the shadow hanging over the city following the media rise of Richard Spencer a white nationalist who calls Whitefish home. 

"I think it's unfortunate when people express hatred for others. I definitely stand behind the proclamation that was made by the city council two weeks back. I love how the community has rallied around those that have been targeted in Whitefish," Hammatt said.

"I think that says a lot about the community. I think if the good people continue to stand up to what is right I think eventually we can overcome a lot of the hatred that exists out there." 

Hammatt's first official day on the job will be Feb. 21. Chuck Stearns, who has served as city manager for the past eight years, is set to retire in early March of 2017.

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