Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Reporters, County Commissioners, and the interim Mayor of Missoula all gathered at the Big Dipper Ice Cream Shop in the Paxson Plaza on Tuesday, but not for an ice cream social.

Interim Mayor Jordan Hess used the occasion to appear at a very successful local business to formally announce that he was running for mayor of Missoula.

Hess wants to be the Full Time Mayor of Missoula

Hess, after being universally praised by the board of County Commissioners, spoke about the many challenges he wants to face as the mayor of Missoula, one of which is the lack of affordable housing for Missoula’s growing community.

“In Missoula and across the west and across the country, we're in the midst of a housing crisis,” said Hess, having served on the Missoula City Council for nine years. “That housing crisis makes it increasingly difficult for people to afford safe, decent housing, a place to put their head at night. We're in the throes of the climate crisis. We are facing drought. We're facing a water shortage. Just look at the storms that we had around the country over the last week that have all been directly traceable to climate, and all of those things are the context of the operating environment that we're working in right now.”

Hess Praised the Resilience of the Missoula Community

Hess praised the Missoula community for its resiliency during challenging times.

“In challenge, we grow,” he said. “In challenge, we find strength. In challenge, we become resilient, and that is what we're doing at the City of Missoula. We are a strong community because we care about one another. We care about the place that we all call home. We take care of each other as neighbors, as friends, and as community members, and that is why it is such an honor to go to work as Mayor of the City of Missoula every day.”

Hess looked back at the years-long and very expensive acquisition of what is now the Missoula Water Company, as a titanic struggle against a multinational corporation.

“With Mayor Engen and the City Council at the time we took on Wall Street and we acquired our water system from a hostile multinational hedge fund,” he said. “We did that for the benefit of future generations. We did that because we were building resiliency. We were building a resilient community where in 50 years and 100 years in 200 years, we weren't going to have a private equity firm controlling and potentially bottling our water as we're dealing with water scarcity.”

Wrapping up, Hess said he hopes to help Missoulians work together to achieve collective goals.

Hess was Appointed by the City Council to be the Interim Mayor

“Missoula is a great place to live because we work hard to make it a great place to live,” he said. “We work hard to take care of each other. We work hard to ensure that this is a community where we lift each other up, where we help ourselves be the best version of ourselves and where we take care of one another. And that's fundamentally why I'm running for mayor and that's fundamentally why I love serving as your mayor right now.”

Following the announcement, all attending were invited to sample some Big Dipper ice cream.

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