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Polson installs interim city manager

POLSON – All five commissioners present voted to appoint Police Chief Wade Nash as interim city manager at the Polson City Commission meeting on Nov. 13. 

Commissioners Lou Marchello and Bob Martin were not in attendance. Nash did not attend the meeting but provided a letter to the commission expressing interest in the position. 

The city manager position was left empty when former city manager Mark Shrives declined to renew his contract after commissioners voted to offer him a one-year renewal rather than the standard two-year contract. Nash has taken on necessary city manager duties since Shrives’ contract ended on Oct. 29.

Nash will continue to serve as the chief of police. According to Sergeant George Simpson ranking police officers will take over some of Nash’s duties to allow him to fulfill his duties as interim city manager.   

Mayor Paul Briney said the first order of business for the interim city manager would be to hire a city attorney. According to Briney, the city has identified potential candidates for the position and hopes to vote on candidates at the next commission meeting. “He already has some names on his desk,” Briney said of Nash.

Former City Attorney Rich Gebhardt resigned from the position shortly after Shrives declined to renew his contract.

During the meeting, a citizen commended the commission for their decision to appoint Nash in a timely manner: “I can only speak very favorably for Chief Nash and his department.” 

Another citizen raised concerns that as interim city manager Nash would hold two high-ranking positions in the city. “I think the city manager has too much power,” she said. “I worry about this consolidation of power being combined with the chief of police.”

Commissioner Brodie Moll said the city would be “going through a public process to recruit a permanent city manager sooner rather than later.”

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