HELENA — As the end of 2021 approaches, the city of Helena welcomed in its newly elected officials – two new city commissioners and a returning mayor.
“I want you to know you’ve entrusted us and I’m ready to go to work for you,” said Mayor Wilmot Collins during a swearing-in ceremony Thursday evening.
Collins, along with Commissioners Eric Feaver and Melinda Reed, took the oath of office from District Judge Mike Menahan. The three were elected to four-year terms in November.
Reed is the former executive director of the Friendship Center, and she spent several months as Helena’s interim city manager last year. She has said she wants to use her experience and give a voice to the public – particularly working parents.
“Thank you to everyone in the community for coming out and sharing your thoughts with me,” she said. “I’m very much looking forward to serving the community.”
Feaver recently retired after decades as a prominent labor leader, most recently as president of Montana’s largest union, the Montana Federation of Public Employees. He talked Thursday about the importance of continuing the city’s work on big issues like affordable housing, infrastructure and the relationship with state government.
“The new commission has some broad shoulders on which it can stand going forward, and that includes a lot of policy issues that we must face,” Feaver said.
Collins is starting his second term as mayor. On Thursday, he said the public had told him during the campaign that they want the city to be more accessible and to keep tackling issues like housing, infrastructure and homelessness.
“I want you to know, I heard,” he said.
The new city commission will be getting to work quickly. Their first administrative meeting will be next Wednesday, Jan. 5, and they will have their first formal meeting the following Monday, Jan. 10.