Vacancies will be opening in the next six months, both on the Havre City Council and in Northern Montana Hospital’s maternity ward, as the Dow family plans a move to Minnesota.
Republican Ward 3 council member Rick Dow will step down sometime this spring, less than halfway through his first term, when his wife, obstetrician Margaret Dow, takes a job at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
“That would be a pretty tough one to turn down, ” Rick Dow said this morning. “I’m just so proud.
“We still care quite a bit about this community. Our youngest son was born here, so we’ll always have a tie to Havre. Right now, we’re just sort of doing the macro stuff. ”
Part of that was informing fellow council member and Hill County Republican Party Chair Andrew Brekke of the change.
“I’m sad to see him go, ” Brekke said, “but I’m glad to see him and his wife have this great opportunity. It will be sad to see him leave the council.
“The council will have to figure out and get somebody to replace him, whenever that resignation takes place. ”
Brekke said he is not sure about the replacement process — “I can’t think of a council person being replaced since I’ve been in Havre” — but said they would figure it out by the time Dow resigns.
City codes state that the council will call for applicants for the position. If there are more than seven applicants, then the remaining council members sponsor applicants and anyone with at least one sponsor will be publicly interviewed by the council. At the next meeting after the interviews all candidates nominated and seconded will be on a ballot and voted on by council members.
As Brekke noted, this will place both of the seats for Ward 3 on the ballot in Nov. 2013, one for a full four-year term and one to finish the remaining two years of Dow’s term.
Northern Montana Hospital is also sad to see the Dow family leave.
“We’re devastated, ” Dave Henry, hospital CEO, said. “She’s been a breath of fresh air for this community for the time she’s been here. The only problem is she has a tremendous amount of talent and the Mayo Clinic recognized that.
“We congratulate the heck out of her. We’re pleased we had her for the years we did. We wish her well. ”
As for trying to fill that white coat, Henry said they have “about a half dozen firms engaged to help us find people, ” as well as word of mouth and the involvement of Dow herself.
Despite the loss of Dr. Suzanne Swietnicki earlier this year and Dr. Dow this spring, Henry said that the hospital’s maternity program would continue as strong as ever.
“It won’t affect the business at all, ” Henry said. “It affects all of our morale, though. ”