MISSOULA, Mont. - The Missoula City Council gained four fresh faces after Tuesday's municipal election. The council members begin their terms January 1.
Bryan Von Lossberg won his bid for a Ward 1 seat with roughly 75 percent of the vote. He beat out Patrick Maddison, who had announced that he was no longer running after the cutoff date to formally withdraw. Von Lossberg tells NBC Montana he'll meet with outgoing council member Dave Strohmaier to get the lay of the land in upcoming days. He tells NBC Montana one of his goals is to support Mayor Engen's efforts to have Missoula acquire the privately owned Mountain Water Company.
"I think the city, in the long run, is the best steward of a resource that's as fundamental as water," said Lossberg.
Jordan Hess won his bid for a Ward 2 seat with about 80 percent of the vote. The other ballots were cast in the "write-in" category. Hess says he'll take a couple days off and regroup from the race, and start learning the ins and outs of Council. He says one of his top priorities is boosting affordable housing in Missoula.
"Many Missoulians on an average Missoula salary can't afford to buy a house or can't afford to live in the area of town they want to," said Hess.
Emily Bentley won her bid for a Ward 3 seat with roughly 80 percent of the votes over Paul Bohan. Bentley says her next steps will be to attend committee meetings, and generally get up to speed with the city council processes. One of her top priorities is making sure the redesign and renovation of Russell Street goes over smoothly, and fits in with the neighborhood.
"…Making sure it still has a neighborhood feel," said Bentley.
In Ward 5, Annelise Hedahl beat David Moore with roughly 62 percent of the vote. She says she's also going to take some time to decompress, then start making contacts and getting oriented. One of her big priorities is looking at installing sidewalks in Missoula's South Hills area.
"Safety is a huge part of that as well," said Hedal.
This year's election had a roughly 43 percent voter turnout.