Teske sworn in as commissioner; Libby City Hall accepting applications for mayor
County Commissioner Brent Teske (D-1) takes the oath of office in the Lincoln County Courthouse on July 29, 2021. (Derrick Perkins/The Western News)
Brent Teske, former mayor of Libby, celebrates with his family and District Judge Matthew Cuffe after being sworn in as a county commissioner.
Daily Inter Lake | August 3, 2021 7:00 AM
Brent Teske formally joined the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners by taking the oath of office last week, opening up his previous post as mayor of Libby to newcomers.
While City Councilor Peggy Williams, who holds the title of council president, will initially fill in as mayor pro tempore, the search for an interim successor for Teske is underway. Applications from qualified residents will be accepted at Libby City Hall until Aug. 18.
Qualified candidates must be at least 21 years old, a resident of Montana for three years and a resident of the City of Libby for two. Those interested can download an application at the city’s website. Officials are asking candidates to fill out the city council application found underneath the “How Do I” tab and indicate mayor as the position sought on the form.
A letter of interest and a resume also are required. The completed packet can be dropped off at City Hall at 952 E. Spruce St.
Under the Montana Code Annotated, city councilors must select a replacement to serve out the remainder of Teske’s term, which rapidly is winding down. The office of mayor is on the November ballot and Williams, City Councilor Hugh Taylor and resident Kenny Rayome Jr. are in the running for the position.
Teske had announced he would not seek reelection earlier this year, saying he wanted to continue on in public service, perhaps as a city councilor. He missed having a vote on matters before the council, he said in a May interview.
“Council has the authority, the leverage,” Teske said then. “It would be interesting to get back into it.”
Teske served as a city councilor prior to becoming mayor in 2016.
But when former County Commissioner Mark Peck, who represented Libby on the board, announced his impending resignation, Teske emerged as an early frontrunner. His name was floated as a possible successor well before the Lincoln County Central Republican Committee announced its three candidates for the seat.
County commissioners Jerry Bennett (D-2) and Josh Letcher (D-3) tapped Teske as Peck’s successor in July after forming an ad hoc committee to interview each of the candidates.
Libby City Administrator Jim Hammons said that he expected the interviews for potential interim mayors to be held publicly. The final decision will rest with city councilors, who will select a replacement at an upcoming meeting.