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Slotnick named new Missoula County chair; City Council to appoint chairs this week

Posted at 9:12 AM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 11:12:39-05

MISSOULA — Missoula County commissioners appointed Josh Slotnick chair of the Board of County Commissioners for 2020, continuing the county’s tradition of rotating the seat to avoid conflicts with the election cycle.

Members of the Missoula City Council this week will also elect new chairs to various committees, including land use and planning, administration and finance, public health and safety, and public works, to name a few.

Commissioner Slotnick began his role as the chair of the Board of County Commissioners last Thursday after his appointment by Commissioners Dave Strohmaier and Juanita Vero.

“I’d be honored,” Slotnick said.

Strohmaier had served as chair on an interim basis through 2019 after former Commissioner Cola Rowley resigned to take a new job in Bozeman. But Strohmaier is up for reelection this year.

In recent years, the county has sought to appoint a chair who wasn’t running to avoid any conflict of interest.

“Maybe that was an issue in the past,” Strohmaier said.

Vero also is up for reelection after her interim appointment last year to replace Rowley.

“I would serve again as chair next year,” Stromaier said. “I have been serving as chair in this stewardship capacity since (Rowley) left us back in July.”

On Monday, six members of the Missoula City Council will also be sworn in, including the three incumbents who won reelection last November – Heidi West, Mirtha Becerra and Gwen Jones.

The three newcomers include Amber Sherrill, John Contos and Sandra Vasecka.