Bronson will not seek reelection for City Commission; Kelly will seek reelection as mayor; Houck undecided

City Commissioner Bill Bronson will not be seeking reelection this year.

Bronson told The Electric that 2020 is the year he’s planned for some time to wind-down his full-time law practice and start retirement, which will be focusing on other projects.

“Winding down the law business and getting involved with some new projects will require much of my time and attention next year, so it’s time to transition away from the commission at the end of this year,” Bronson said in a Thursday night email to The Electric.

Three city seats up for election in 2019

Two commission seats, held by Bronson and Tracy Houck, as well as the mayor’s seat are up for reelection this year.

Filing for those seats opens on April 18 and runs through June 17.

Mayor Bob Kelly confirmed to The Electric on Friday that he will be seeking reelection this year.

Houck told The Electric that she hasn’t yet decided whether she’ll seek another term. She said she would likely announce her decision in early May.

The commission seats are 4-year seats. The mayor’s seat is a two-year term.

At the end of this year, Bronson will have completed 20 years of city service.

He served two years on the Local Government Study Commission in 1995-1996; six years on the Planning Advisory Board and City-County Planning from 2002-2007; and 12 years on the City Commission.

“I’ve enjoyed the work,” Bronson said in his email. “The best part has been getting to know many of the great people who work for the city. We are lucky to have so many talented and dedicated people, at all levels.”

Bronson notified other commissioners this week about his decision not to seek reelection.

The filing fee for mayor is $56.16 and for commission seats the fee is $37.44.

If needed, a primary election will be Sept. 10 and the general election is Nov. 5.

Kelly holds seat, Moe and Robinson take commission seats; chickens and economic levy fail; charter updates approved

More information on the city positions and election process is available here.

The Electric will have continued coverage of the city election throughout the year.

Also on the ballot this year, will be 45 neighborhood council positions–five members for each of the city’s nine councils for two-year terms; and municipal court judge for a four-year term,

To run for city office, a candidate be a Great Falls resident and registered to vote.

Those seeking a Commission seat must be a resident of Great Falls for at least 60 days preceding the election. Mayoral candidates must be at least 21 years of age and have been a resident of Montana for at least three years and a resident of Great Falls for at least two years preceding the election. Nominees for election to a Neighborhood Council must be residents of their designated neighborhood district.

Municipal Court judge candidates have the same qualifications as a judge of the district court as set forth in Article VII, Section 9, of the Montana Constitution, except a municipal court judge need only be admitted, and in good standing, to the practice of law in Montana for at least three years prior to the date of the election.

A municipal court judge shall be a resident of Cascade County one year preceding the election, and be a resident and voter in the City of Great Falls at the time of election. Further, a municipal court judge shall become certified as provided in Mont. Code Ann. §§ 3-1-1502 and 3-1-1503, to assume the functions of that office.

The city operates under the commission-manager form of government and the commission serves as the city’s legislative and policy-making body. The commission employs the city manager who directs the city’s day-to-day operations.

Commission meetings are held the first and third Tuesday of each month.

In 1996, a local government study commission recommended the formation of neighborhood councils in Great Falls to provide opportunities for citizen involvement in city government. The proposal was placed on the ballot and was approved. Since that time, neighborhood councils have operated in an advisory capacity and as liaisons to city staff, the commission and residents. Councils meet monthly.