Council loses member

The not-so-merry go-round that has been the Dillon City Council’s roster over the last few months and years saw another, particularly abrupt departure last week.

Katharine Barba alerted the city last week that she was resigning from the Ward 4 council seat that she held for just over two months.

“It is with great regret that I must submit my resignation from the City Council seat in Ward 4, effective today, March 13,” wrote Barba in a letter to Mayor Mike Klakken.

“Due to personal reasons I can no longer attend meetings of regular council and my committees I was appointed to. My hope is that there will be a motivated and qualified applicant to take my seat,” wrote Barba, who was appointed to a Ward 4 seat at the council’s first meeting of the year on Jan. 3.

Barba that night gained a two-year term on the seat that had been vacated last year by the resignation of Mandy Maass, who had been re-elected to it for a four-year term in November. The only candidate to register for the election for the seat, Maass gained re-election to it despite signaling well before the vote that she would be moving from Dillon by the end of 2017 and would, therefore, be unable to continue serving on the city council.

In recent months, the Dillon City Council has also lost two of its most experienced members—Jim McIsaac and former Council President Tom Straugh.

McIsaac, who chose not to run for another term on Ward 4’s other seat, was succeeded by Mary Jo O’Rourke, the only candidate to register to receive votes for it in November. Straugh stepped down on the final day of 2017, with his Ward 3 seat filled last month by Raymond Graham.

Graham launched a recall petition drive against three city councilpersons in 2014 that ultimately led, directly or indirectly, to the departure of five city councilpersons the following year.

The city will advertise for applicants to the Ward 4 vacancy. To qualify for it, a person must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of Montana and a resident of Ward 4.

Ward 4 is described by the city as “all of that portion of the city lying west of Ward I and enclosed within the city limits and the following line, Beginning at the intersection of the city limits and the eastern end of Cornell street; Thence First course, northwesterly along Cornell Street to its intersection with California Street, extended; Thence second course, northeast along California Street to its intersection with Center Street, extended; Thence Third course, west along Center Street, extended to its intersection with the Union Pacific Railroad tracks; Thence southwesterly along the railroad tracks to their intersection with the city limits.