Flathead County has hired Mark Mussman of Indiana as the new director of the planning and zoning department.
On June 4, the Flathead County Commission signed a two-year contract with Mussman, who will be coming to the Flathead from his job as the executive director of the Huntington Countywide Department of Community Development in Huntington, Indiana.
Prior to living in Indiana, Mussman spent 20 years living and working in Idaho, working as an instructor and fellow at Idaho State University from 1996 to 2001, followed by a seven-year stint working as a planner with Kootenai County.
Those western roots are what attracted him to the job, Mussman said.
“I know it’s going to be a change for the good, since we spent 20 years out in Idaho, so we’re used to that kind of western lifestyle,” Mussman said.
Other than his recent visit to interview for the director position, Mussman said he has only been to Kalispell a couple times, usually in conjunction with trips to Glacier National Park.
As the director, Mussman said he has a few ideas for the department, but said those ideas would wait until he learns the ropes of the new office and speaks with the staff about what might or might not work.
“I’ll be the new guy, so I’m not going to go in there and say we’re going to make all these changes,” he said.
Mussman will take over for BJ Grieve, who has worked as the planning director for Flathead County since 2010. Grieve left the position to have more time to spend with his family, but will continue on with the office in the Planner III position.
“I’m looking forward to having an experienced person like him who was in charge for a while, and I’ll definitely utilize all of his knowledge,” Mussman said about working with Grieve.
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