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Bozeman's city manager vents about colleagues in leaked video

Bozeman's city manager vents about colleagues in leaked video
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 31, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-01 13:35:33-05

BOZEMAN — Bozeman city manager Jeff Mihelich is coming under fire after a video that leaked on social media Tuesday night shows him complaining about city officials.

The video appears to be the end of a virtual meeting with Mihelich and other city employees.

Community Development Director Anna Bentley remains on the call with Mihelich, who proceeds to speak critically about Bozeman’s new mayor, Terry Cunningham. In one instance, Mihelich voices frustration over a request for information from Cunnigham.

"It's like, dude, you're supposed to be taking the notes. You are. It's not that ****ing hard," Mihelich says.

Mihelich and Bentley go on to discuss an upcoming meeting and express frustration at claims that Cunningham has been talking with developers.

"It's so annoying. So annoying," Mihelich says.

Bozeman's city manager vents about colleagues in leaked video

In another exchange with Bentley, Mihelich appears to take a swipe at a community member when describing Cunningham's emailing him for information about the city's bear aware campaign.

"Because we have one person in the community now—classic small town s*** they'll never get over—that doesn't think we're doing enough, even though the campaign's working," he says.

Mihelich came to Bozeman in 2020 from Fort Collins, Colorado, where he was deputy city manager.

During the call, he tells Bentley about an opportunity to be the next city manager in Austin, Texas, and speaks critically of newly-elected Deputy Mayor Joey Morrison.

"[Morrison's] campaign folks were out there saying if Joey's mayor, we'll never approve, you know, another million-dollar condo. It's like, well, ok. But when I ask him about that kind of stuff ... he doesn't seem to be that way," says Mihelic. "I'm always amazed how I hear s*** when people are on the campaign trail but when they sit in the chair it's like, 'Well, I didn't really feel that way.' And I'm like, oh ok—it's just about what you can do to get elected, I see."

In a statement provided to MTN News, Mihelich says, “A video has been posted of me having a conversation with a colleague. We both thought that this was a private conversation and never imagined it would be posted anywhere publicly. More importantly, I made some careless comments in a moment of stress and frustration that I deeply regret. I apologize to the Commission, to City staff, and most importantly, to Bozeman residents for the way I conducted myself. This type of incident will not happen again and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to regain the trust of our community.”

On Wednesday, the City of Bozeman released the following statement from the Bozeman City Commission regarding the video:

“All members of the Bozeman City Commission have had a chance to review a video circulating on social media involving a discussion between the Bozeman City Manager and a city employee.

The Commission has considerable concern about the content and tone of this video, and we will be holding a special meeting to discuss this subject. As soon as we are able to coordinate a meeting date and time, we will issue an agenda including how the public can participate.

We take seriously our charge that all of those in city leadership should model our stated values of professionalism and integrity, and anything that detracts from those values is a disservice to the public.”

We will update you if we get more information.