Breaking News: Kalispell City Manager Fired

By Beacon Staff

Kalispell city officials announced Friday that the city council and Mayor Pam Kennedy have agreed not to renew City Manager Jim Patrick’s contract. The termination was effective immediately.

Human Resources Director Terry Mitton will be interim city manager, according to Kennedy, and she expects the search for a new city manager to take between four and six months. As of 1 p.m., Friday, Patrick had already left his office at City Hall.

“Jim has been with us for four years; we just determined it was time to reach out and have someone else be city manager,” Kennedy said.

Councilman Duane Larson and Kennedy said the decision was reached unanimously by city council at a closed executive session Monday night, Oct. 13, prior to a work session on transportation impact fees.

While Patrick has presided over enormous economic growth and development in his four years as city manager, over the last year and a half he has also had to deal with a number of tough issues, including: moving the city government into a new facility after a renovation project that ran significantly over budget; bitter aggravation in the city fire department between the firefighters’ union and former chief Randy Brodehl prior to Brodehl’s eventual departure; a city budget shortfall for the current fiscal year that resulted in the elimination of several city positions; acrimonious negotiations with the city employees union over an employment contract that led to picketing outside city hall last year by union members; and difficulty implementing transportation impact fees amid the strenuous objections of Kalispell’s business community.

Larson said there was no single issue that led to Patrick being let go, but “just an accumulation of things.”

“It was a difficult decision,” Larson added.

Kennedy agreed.

“Decisions like this are made based on a multitude of issues that have happened and been brought forward,” Kennedy said. “It was time to move on.”

Kennedy also noted that Kalispell city government will continue business as usual, and debate over implementing transportation impact fees will continue.

“Nothing will be on hold for the city of Kalispell,” Kennedy said. “We will continue with all of our projects and feel confident in all of our department heads.”