NewsMontana and Regional News


Mihelich out as Bozeman city manager; civic leaders ready to 'move on'

Posted at 12:26 PM, Mar 07, 2024

BOZEMAN — Wednesday, March 6, 2024 was the first full day that saw the City of Bozeman without an official city manager. This comes after nearly a month of turmoil, and it culminated on Tuesday night in a 5-0 vote where city leaders voted to officially part ways with former city manager Jeff Mihelich.

The controversy started with a leaked video of then-city manager Mihelich ranting about the community, Deputy Mayor Joey Morrison, and Mayor Terry Cunningham.

Leaked video of Bozeman's city manager prompts special commission meeting

“To call it a distraction in the last month is doing an insult to the word distraction,” says Cunningham.

Tuesday night, city leaders voted to part ways with Mihelich, opting not to open a third-party investigation or file a complaint with the city's board of ethics. Both Cunningham and Morrison say they didn't want to drag it out.

“The process itself could add even more destruction as this is brought before the ethics board, could also have taken a number of different avenues,” says Cunningham.

“With this is more than just a cost of evidence. It is the costs of the disruption, it is the costs of the uncertainty,” says Morrison.

Tuesday night saw the least amount of comment from the public in the last month. That didn’t stop some people from defending Mihelich.

“It could happen to any of us, any of us in this world now with social media. And I don't want to have anyone rush to judgment on his character,” said one Bozeman resident.

Or, as most of the public has stated in the last month, urging city leaders to cut ties.

"A yes vote, especially unanimous, will allow the city commission to move on from Mr. Mihelich,” said a Bozeman resident.

In total, Mihelich will walk away with $202,753.08.

“I appreciate the Deputy Mayor’s comments about weighing the costs not only in terms of amount paid but also the cost of precious capital as we are seeking to move on,” says Cunningham.

We reached out to Mihelich's lawyers for comments, but so far they have not said anything.

Cunningham tells us that city leaders still have not started the discussions of what the next steps are in the city manager hiring process.