What do you get when you cross the one-third of City Council that’s running for mayor with the one-sixth that announced resignations in the last week? And what do you get when you cross that fractional beast with the handful of months this Council has left to get anything done? The answer: Nobody knows, but it ain’t gonna be pretty.
On Monday, Ward 2’s Anne Kazmierczak sent out an e-mail saying Council took too much of her time, so she’s leaving, and last week Ward 4’s Myrt Charney confirmed he would resign after he moves into a Ward 2 house; he’ll run to represent his new district in November. Both vacated positions will be appointed by Council—Kazmierczak and Charney will get to vote on their replacements—but since both those positions expire at year’s end, the new members will be simultaneous newbies and lame ducks, a strange breed indeed.
How these abrupt changes will affect the rest of Council is unclear. Council, already ideologically divided, may stumble through the remainder of the term, struggling to find a new balance of leadership and policy in the dog days of summer. Stay tuned, this Council critter is looking stranger by the day…
Speaking of changes…
You may have noticed some new faces at the Independent, and the absence of some regulars. We thought we’d introduce ourselves.
Chronologically, since last we spoke of personnel, arts editor Skylar Browning has grabbed the helm in the back of the book, taking over from longtime scribe Andy Smetanka. Former staff writer Keila Szpaller moved on recently and is thriving as a reporter at the Great Falls Tribune, which is, you know, no Indy, but not bad. Keila’s being succeeded on the city desk by former copy editor and native Missoulian Jessie McQuillan. Jessie, in turn, has left the copy desk in the able hands of Lew Procacci, who brings a fresh eye to our worst sentences.
And this week marks Robin Troy’s final byline as a staff writer, and calendar editor Diego Bejarano’s last installment (unless we can squeeze a few more weeks out of him). Robin, who started here as a copy editor, is responsible for some of our finest storytelling of the past two years, and Diego carried the heavy load of “8 Days a Week,” “Agenda” and the “Movie Shorts” with wit and style. We’ve brought able cheesehead reporter John S. Adams in to expand on Robin’s beats and we’re still looking for a candidate willing and able to fill Diego’s big shoes.
Know any really clever, indefatigable people? Send ’em our way.
To the dearly departing: Thanks for the good, hard work, y’all.
To the new kids: Let’s keep it up.