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Coming up: forum for Great Falls City Commission candidates

Great Falls Civic Center renovations underway (July 2021)
Posted at 11:57 AM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 13:11:40-04

GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce will host a candidate forum for the two City Commission seats as well as the position of Mayor.

The forum will be on Tuesday, September 28, beginning at 6 p.m. at Great Falls College's Heritage Hall. Seating is limited to 75 guests.

Candidates for Mayor are:

  • Bob Kelly
  • Fred Burow

Candidates for two City Commission seats are:

  • Joshua Copeland
  • Vanessa Hayden
  • Eric Hinebauch
  • Joe McKenney
  • Paige Turoski
  • Susan Wolff

The Great Falls Chamber of Commerce said in a news release that radio station KGPR (89.9FM) plans to broadcast the event live and will stream it on their website at It will also be available as a podcast shortly after the forum is over.

The municipal election will be on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.

From the City of Great Falls website:

City Commission
The City Commission is composed of a Mayor and four Commissioners who serve overlapping terms. In Great Falls, municipal elections are held in the uneven numbered years. The Mayor and Commissioners are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis.

The City Commission is composed of five voting members: four city commissioners and the mayor. The City Commission is the legislative and policy-making body of the City of Great Falls.

Qualifications and Election of the Mayor
The mayor shall be elected for a term of two years. The mayor shall meet all requirements and qualifications for election to the office of city commissioner. Mayoral candidates shall be qualified electors in the City of Great Falls, be at least 21 years old, be a resident of Montana for at least three years, and be a resident of Great Falls for at least two years preceding the election.

Powers and Duties of the Mayor

  • The mayor shall be recognized as the official head and representative of the City of Great Falls for the purpose of presiding at city commission meetings and the performance of ceremonial functions. These functions shall not be construed as conferring upon the mayor executive, personnel, or administrative powers or functions.
  • The mayor shall serve as a member of the commission with all the rights and privileges of city commissioners. The mayor shall possess no veto over actions taken by the city commission.

Qualifications and Election of the City Commissioners
City Commissioner candidates shall be qualified electors of the City of Great Falls, and be residents of Great Falls for at least 60 days preceding the election.

Duties and Responsibilities of the City Commission

  • Adopt policies and procedures and enact ordinances and resolutions as necessary for the proper execution of governmental functions and responsibilities.
  • Appoint and supervise, and may remove, the city manager.
  • Adopt an annual budget, levy taxes and special assessments, and may borrow money and issue bonds subject to Montana law.
  • Adopt procedures for contracting with private and public agencies.
  • Appoint citizens to boards, councils, committees or any other body or group pursuant to law.
  • Set the salary of the city commissioners and the mayor by ordinance.

Salary of City Commission members
Pursuant to the Official Code of the City of Great Falls (OCCGF) 2.1.020 the salary of each Commissioner shall be three hundred twelve dollars ($312) per month. The salary of the Mayor shall be four hundred sixty-eight dollars ($468) per month.