A month into his new job at Libby Mayor, Brent Teske said the city council is starting to refocus on issues important to the locals; fixing water mains, cleaning up the streets and getting a new roof for the fire hall.
Teske was appointed as mayor in September after longtime Mayor Doug Roll stepped down following a contentious but failed recall effort. The battle between Roll and a number of other city council members had engulfed the city board in recent months and derailed efforts to get anything done, Teske said.
“It’s night and day on the city council,” Teske said. “And it’s been really busy.”
Teske, who was first elected to the council in 2013, is not the only person with a new position in city government. In September, Kristin Smith, owner of the local Cabinet Mountain Brewery, and Gary Beach were both appointed to replace Barb Desch and Dejon Raines who both stepped down for personal reasons. Then in October, Jannelle Campbell was appointed to fill the seat Teske left vacant when he was promoted to mayor.
The new mayor said the council has focused its attention on a number of issues in recent months. In October, it passed a 2017 budget and began outlining plans for the New Year. Among Teske’s goals is a downtown beatification program to help bring people to the heart of Libby. Another top priority is replacing the roof at the Libby Volunteer Fire Department. Teske said fire officials are so worried that the roof will cave in that they are no longer parking equipment under it. Right now the council is working with engineers on designing a new roof and that project will go to bid soon.
“We really want to get this done as soon as possible,” he said.
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