The Havre City council met last night to install the new council members and wish those departing farewell. Three Democrats stepped down from their ward seats - Pam Hillery, Cal Long and Bob Kaul. Republican Andrew Brekke Ward 4 retained his seat and was joined by fellow Republicans Rick Dow Ward 3, Brian Barrows Ward 2 and Democrat Bonnie Parenteau serving Ward 1.
For the first time I can ever remember in my life-time there is a 50-50 Democrat-Republican split on the Havre Council. They will be serving with Democrat Mayor Tim Solomon who will cast the deciding vote on any ties. What is interesting is that when we were checking out the information for the story this morning we learned that when it came time to elect the council president Councilwoman Janet Tretheway nominated fellow Democrat Woody Woodwick to again serve as council president. Newly seated councilman Rick Dow then nominated Republican Andrew Brekke. As expected the four republicans voted for Brekke and the four democrats voted for Woodwick. Typically in the past Democrat (sometimes calling himself independent) Gerry Veis will not vote on any of the matters such as this that he views as political but he toed the democrat line this time which laid the decision at the Mayor’s feet.
I am sure the council Republicans were shocked when Democrat Mayor Tim actually cast the tie-breaking vote for Republican Brekke who will replace Woodwick as council president. Our source told us this morning that many partisan democrats are feeling betrayed by Mayor Tim but on the other hand many folks feel now that there is a 50-50 split Havre can actually get some things accomplished.
Either way a hat tip goes to the Mayor for putting partisan politics aside in this case and we look forward to seeing a new council that joins together as a team instead of bickering political opponents. We are encouraged by reports of last nights council meeting.