Holly Phelps hired as City Manager

Holly Phelps works on her computer in the City Manager’s office Friday. On Monday, the City Commission approved Phelps as manager, passing a three-year contract unanimously.

Photo by Charlie Denison

By: 
Charlie Denison
Reporter

“Holly, you have a job.”

Those were Lewistown City Commission Chairman Dave Byerly’s closing words Monday evening after the City Commission approved a three-year contract for Phelps, beginning March 1, the day after her six-month interim contract ends.

A Lewistown native, member of Fergus High School class of ’99 and former Public Works director, Phelps said she is tremendously grateful for this opportunity and looks forward to the work ahead.

“As interim, I walked into a negative environment with prolonged uncertainty, as we waited for the results of the election,” Phelps said. “I feel like we all learned a lot from this government review. Moving forward, the commissioners and myself want to invite the public, encourage participation and have more listening sessions. This is a rebuilding time for the City, and it doesn’t come without difficulties.”

Phelps said one of her goals as city manager is to work toward healing and mending the divisive issues taking place in town, be it the annexation court case, the location for new soccer fields and the future of the old Westfeeds mill building.

“One of the best ways to succeed is to come together,” she said.

Despite some of the negativity, Phelps said now is a positive time for Lewistown. Encouraged by what she’s been seeing in the community, Phelps said the future looks bright for Lewistown, as “demographics are changing.”

“We have a progressive library, a newly rehabilitated pool, a great trail system,” Phelps said. “Our Downtown Association, the Port Authority, Snowy Mountain Development Corp. and other organizations are working toward a lot of neat, good things. People are coming back to town with their families. We’re seeing more babies being born here. It is an exciting time.”

Nevertheless, Phelps knows it won’t be easy, and she’s ready, come what may.

“Part of me feels like I’m stepping into a fire,” Phelps said, “but I’m going to enjoy it. I like a challenge.”

 

 

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