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Salute to Service: Atkinson retires after nearly 3 decades on Ka - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Salute to Service: Atkinson retires after nearly 3 decades on Kalispell City Council

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KALISPELL - Last Tuesday Jim Atkinson had his last city council meeting after serving 29 years on the council.

The meeting began with City Manager Doug Russell recalling some of the most important action items Atkinson played a part in and also did the math on how long Atkinson has been serving the community. 

“I have since found out that that was our current mayor’s first year of college and it was your manager’s last year of eighth grade,” Russell said. 

Atkinson laughed about how long it had been and relived the nearly three decades he spent doing this job. He also talked about some of the many projects he was proud to be a part of throughout the years.

“The historical buildings, the disabled population, our housing shortages and a myriad of other entities that made our community stronger and better and more viable,” Atkinson said.

The last major action item that Atkinson was able to work on was the downtown plan that recently passed. He says that project has been a dream for a long time but the right people weren't in the right place until now. 

“Now we have the momentum and the dream and everyone is on board. I’d really liked to have been on there to see it through but I know I can sit in my house and watch it happen for sure,” Atkinson said.    

Although Atkinson says he will miss working for the community, he says we have great people working for the city and he feels good in their hands.

When I asked Atkinson if he planned to stay here in Kalispell, there was no doubt in his mind as he stated: “Oh heavens yes. Yeah, I plan on dying here.”

Kyle Waterman has taken over Atkinson’s Ward 3 seat.

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