New leadership takes over in Bozeman
BOZEMAN, Mont. —
Elected two years ago, Cyndy Andrus took over as Bozeman city mayor on Monday night. She has served the city for eight years both as a former commissioner and deputy mayor.
"I really enjoy the public service work. It's gratifying. It’s challenging but it makes you think," Andrus told NBC Montana during a sit down interview prior to her swearing in ceremony.
The mayor has a diverse background. She has worked in the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce and also as a seasonal ranger at Yellowstone National Park.
"When I left the park service I really wanted to be near Yellowstone National Park so I moved to Bozeman," she said.
Andrus said she has three main focuses for the next two years. One of those is garnering public support for a new Law and Justice Center. For years the city has worked to convince voters to build new law enforcement facilities. Two bonds presented have both been turned down.
Also on Andrus’ list is tackling the issue of affordable housing. She hopes to work toward solutions that will make it easier to live in Bozeman.
In the short term, Andrus wants to finalize the adoption of the city’s strategic plan. It is a guiding document to help city leaders cope with growth.
"Once we get our strategic plan adopted and implemented, that will help with some of these issues that we have going on," Andrus said.
Andrus believes growth is inevitable. Even so, she wants to ensure the city never changes at its core.
"The look of Bozeman will be changing in the future but I hope that the feel of this place continues to remain something that's authentic and unique," she said.
Outgoing Mayor Carson Taylor has faith that she and her new commission will guide the city in the right direction.
"I feel really confident in this commission. I think they'll be thoughtful. I think they understand the issues," said Taylor.
When asked what she hopes people will most remember about her term, Andrus said, “I hope they remember me as someone who was willing to listen and take the time to hear and implement those new ideas."
Just before Mayor Andrus was sworn in, Taylor gave one last speech. He thanked city staff for their work and gave a tearful thank you to his wife. To the community he said, “If we all work to lift each other up and work for the common good, then our future is bright. As I leave this chapter in my life, I can tell you I believe our future is bright.”
Also on Monday night, Chris Mehl made the move from commissioner to deputy mayor. I-Ho Pomeroy was sworn in for her second term as commissioner. New to the city commission is Terry Cunningham who was also sworn in.