Judisch makes history; 1st woman mayor of Conrad

48_mayor_9862HISTORY BEING MADE  — Mayor John Shevlin hands over the official gavel to newly appointed Mayor Wendy Judisch at the regular city council meeting Monday evening.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

With only a few people in attendance at Monday’s regular council meeting, alderman Wendy Judisch made some local history for a second time, being appointed Mayor of Conrad.

She was also the first woman to be elected as a city council member.

Before she took office, council members on a 4-0 vote, reluctantly accepted the letter of resignation of Mayor John Shevlin. After it was accepted, alderman Wally McHenry commented, “Conrad has become a better place to live.” The outgoing mayor echoed that, saying, “It’s (Conrad) a great place to live.” He added he would be available to help and make the transition go smoothly.

Judisch was nominated by Karla Breding with a second by Wally McHenry and came into office on a 3-1 vote. She did not vote for herself.

Mayor Judisch will now fill out the remainder of the former mayors’ term and then run for office for a two-year term, following that with a bid for fours. The mayor is paid $985.74 a month.

Now the council needs to find a new alderman to fill Judisch’s term of office. The person who wishes to be accepted must live in Ward II. The salary is $311.01 a month. There is a little over 2-1/2 years on her council position.

Judisch said she was appreciative of the mayor for his leadership and the support of the council. “I’ll try to fill some very big shoes,” she added.

Former county commissioner Dale Sheldon and Home Café owner Scott Arvidson also applied for the position of mayor.

On a related matter, attorney Bob Olson of Cut Bank officially submitted his resignation as Conrad’s legal counsel. It was accepted on a 4-0 vote. The city has retained Justin Lee from Choteau as their legal counsel.

It was announced that the city, in conjunction with the Pondera County Extension Office will go to war against white top, a voracious and noxious weed.

Aldermen on a 4-0 vote granted an extension of leave to Chief Gary Dent. He has not been able to use some vacation time due to personnel shortage within the CPD.

On another 4-0 vote, the council authorized a draw down on a CDBG grant of $16,247.82 for the Senior Community Center.

DES (Disaster of Emergency Services) LeAnn Hermance was on hand  to see if sand might be available for sand bags if flooding began. Sand bags will be out at the city shop.

She also discussed a memorandum of understanding with the Northern Montana Joint Refuse District for a “hub and spoke” grant.

This deals with recycling with the NMJRFD being the hub and Conrad and Shelby being the spokes.

Among other things, recycling, especially cardboard, will extend the life of the landfill and lower the amount of recyclables going into the landfill, she noted.

The council also passed two resolutions, R-1042-43. The first deals with verbiage used during the public comment segment and limits the time of speaking to five minutes.

The second deals with viewing of public documents. Now, to see a public document, an individual must contact the city ahead of time and also give a 10-day notice if they want a copy of a document for which there will be a charge of $.25 per page.

The next regular meeting of the city council will be on May 4, 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main.

The public is always invited to attend to view their government in action.