Along with people deciding whether political parties have a place in Havre city elections, voters have the chance to run for a commission to see how — or if — the form of city government should change as well.
Havre voters in the June 3 primary election approved creating the commission. The Montana constitution requires asking in an election every 10 years if city residents want this commission review.
The commission only will look at the form of government in Havre, as the county voters and the voters in the incorporated town of Hingham did not approve a review.
People who want to file as candidates for the commission that will take a look at the form of government in Havre have until 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, to file for the race. The race is nonpartisan and no fee is required to file as a candidate.
Voters will pick the three members of the commission during the Nov. 4 general election, when they also will vote on whether city elections would be nonpartisan.
The commission will review the form of government in Havre — now a mayor-city council form — and make recommendations ranging from not having any change to switching the form of government to another form allowed under state law, including creating a charter form of government, or even disincorporating the community.
The commission is required under state law to hold all of its meetings as open, public meetings and to hold public hearings and community forums “and may use other suitable means to disseminate information, receive suggestions and comments, and stimulate public discussion of its purpose, progress, conclusions, and recommendations,” the state law says.
Training is available for members of review commissions including through the Montana State University Extension Local Government Center.
The recommendation of the commission is required to be submitted to the Havre voters no later than the general election Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
For more information, people can contact the Hill County election administrator at 265-5481, ext. 221.
Online: Montana State University Extension Local Government Center: http://www.msulocalgov.org/, click on “Voter Review.”
Forms of city government
Montana Code Annotated 7-3-102 lists the forms of government communities are allowed to use as:
• The commission-executive form (which may also be called the council-executive, the council-mayor, or the commission-mayor form);
• The commission-manager form (which may also be called the council-manager form);
• The commission form;
• The commission-presiding officer form;
• The town meeting form — not available to Havre as the city must have 2,000 or fewer electors at the time this form is selected; or
• The charter form.