By Alan Sorensen
Three new city council members and a repeat swore their allegiance to the United States, Montana and the people of the City of Havre when they took the oath of office Monday night in council chambers.
Mayor Phyllis Leonard administered the oath of office to newcomers Doug Larson, Gary Schubert and Jack Brandon and second-term council member Emily Mayer Lossing. Larson replaces Cliff Jacobsen on the board while Brandon takes the seat of Ron Knudson and Schubert steps in for Gary Glock. Jacobsen, Knudson and Glock didn't seek reelection.
Schubert becomes the first Republican elected to the council in recent memory.
Mayor Leonard thanked the three former councilmen for their contributions to the city and for their hard work and sincere efforts over the years. "It has been a real pleasure working with you all," Leonard said. "We all know that being a city council person is not an easy job."
Each in his turn thanked the council and the voters for the opportunity to serve. "It was a good education and I feel honored," Jacobsen said.
The council had expected to vote on a Home Program recommendation to provide funding to a first-time home buyer Monday, but that project request was denied before it got to the council. Annmarie Robinson of Bear Paw Development Corp. appeared before the board despite the funding's earlier denial to let the council know that the program is still alive. The revolving-loan type program has been used by Havre residents for a variety of home purchases and home improvements over the years.
In other action, the council heard two bids for new backhoe/loaders, both from Great Falls implement dealers. Western Plains Machinery offered a bid of $57,130 without a trade-in and $46,130 with the trade of a 1984 Case backhoe. Tractor and Equipment Co. offered as bid of $62,000 without trade and $52,300 with trade.
Council member Helen Hill recommended that the bids be turned over to the finance committee for further review and that the committee be given the authority to act on the bids. Her motion passed unanimously.
City Engineer Ron Bastin suggested that the finance committee give his office a couple of days to look over the bids and check all the specs. Hill scheduled her finance committee meeting for 6:15 p.m. Thursday.
Mayor Leonard asked for and was given council approval to appoint Bob Breum to the Havre City-County Airport Board of Directors. Breum has served on the board in the past. His appointment was approved unanimously.
The council also approved Leonard's nomination of Schubert to the McLaughlin Transitional Housing Advisory Committee.
Other committee meetings were scheduled before the council meeting adjourned. Tom Farnham announced that the labor negotiating committee would meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, and Mayer Lossing set an ordinance committee meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18.