Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The municipal election on Tuesday was full of unusual circumstances due to the death last year of the six-term Mayor of Missoula John Engen.

On the KGVO City Talk segment of Thursday’s Talk Back show, Director of Communications for the City of Missoula Ginny Merriam explained the unusual timing over the next few weeks for the swearing-in of newly elected Mayor Andrea Davis, in addition to how interim Mayor Jordan Hess will soon be out of city government.

Lots of Movement within Missoula City Government Post Election

“It's quite unusual, this election cycle,” began Merriam. “Mayor Engen was reelected and was only able to serve until August 15 in the first year of a four-year term because he died. “Following that what is dictated in law is that the city council appoints a mayor to take that deceased mayor's place or if a mayor happened to resign, then that mayor serves until the next municipal election, which was this week.”

Merriam continued her explanation of how the newly elected officials will be sworn in and begin their service.

Mayor-Elect Davis and Councilor-Elect Farmer to be Sworn in on November 21

“The new mayor is elected and that mayor takes office two weeks after the election,” she said. “Normally a new mayor starts on the first of January, but in this particular case, the mayor will be sworn in two weeks out. It will either be the 20th or the 21st of November, but first, the county has to complete the canvass (of votes).”

Merriam revealed when the new mayor and Ward 2 city councilor will take office.

“Mayor Davis will start that week of Thanksgiving, likely on Tuesday the 21st,” she said. “The same is true with Councilwoman (Sierra) Farmer from Ward 2, because she was chosen and appointed in the same way that Mayor Hess was because he vacated his seat on the city council. So that will be the second person who is sworn in to serve the remainder of that term.”

Interim Mayor Hess will be Out of Public Office after this Election

The odd man out in the entire conversation will be former Ward 2 City Councilor and interim Mayor Jordan Hess, who voluntarily gave up his seat on the council. Because he was not one of the two finalists for the mayoral race, Hess will (for now) leave public service, with the thanks and gratitude of all in Missoula city government.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley Warren

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