News & Features

Whitefish Mayor Seeking Third Term

John Muhlfeld says institutional knowledge and experience critical to guiding city’s growth

Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld will seek a third term in hopes of helping steer the community through a period of change he says includes a host of challenges like growth and affordable housing.

“It has been my pleasure, and a truly humbling opportunity, to serve as your mayor for the past eight years,” Muhlfeld said in announcing his candidacy. “I will continue to provide a balanced and steady hand to guide our city in a way that prioritizes the small-town feel and provides for responsible economic growth and development that is in line with the values we share as a community.

Doug Reed, friend and owner of Whitefish Lake Restaurant, will serve as campaign treasurer and advisor.

Muhlfeld identified a number of key issues he plans to tackle if elected for a third term, many of which he unpacked at a recent “State of the City” presentation, including growth, affordable housing, the tax increment finance district set to expire, and the city’s resort tax.

“Equally important will be setting the city up for success by ensuring the long-term economic health of government operations and doing so while keeping taxes down,” he said. “Institutional knowledge and experience are critical, and I will continue to ensure everyone has a seat at the table when it comes to defining the future of Whitefish. With the support of our citizens and volunteers, I am confident that I can help Whitefish continue to be a community that first and foremost promotes quality of life, livability, job creation and opportunity, and family values for our residents.”

Muhlfeld was appointed in 2006 to serve a two-year vacancy position on city council. He then served six years as a city councilor, two of which as deputy mayor, before running successfully for Mayor in 2011 and again 2015.

Filing for municipal elections opened April 18 in Flathead County and closes June 17.

In addition to the mayor position opening in Whitefish, city council seats currently held by Richard Hildner, Frank Sweeney and Katie Williams are open for the Nov. 5 election.

In Kalispell, four seats are up for re-election — Kari Gabriel in Ward 1; Wayne Saverud in Ward 2; Rod Kuntz in Ward 3; and Phil Guiffrida in Ward 4.

So far, only Kuntz has filed for re-election, while Sid Daoud filed in Ward 4.

In Columbia Falls, council incumbents John Piper and Doug Karper have filed for re-election, while Darin Fisher’s seat is also open.

If you enjoy stories like this one, please consider joining the Flathead Beacon Editor’s Club. For as little as $5 per month, Editor’s Club members support independent local journalism and earn a pipeline to Beacon journalists. Members also gain access to www.beaconeditorsclub.com, where they will find exclusive content like deep dives into our biggest stories and a behind-the-scenes look at our newsroom.