It’s been a challenging year for Missoula’s genial leader. The city’s fight to take over Mountain Water Co. ran into an unexpected twist when the owner, Carlyle Group, sold it to Liberty Utilities without permission from the state Public Service Commission. The city has also been under fire for its handling of a proposal to demolish the Missoula Mercantile building. But at press conferences and meetings, Mayor Engen has handled the twists and turns—and off-the-wall public commenters—with his usual good-natured aplomb. We expect that whatever the rest of the year brings, Engen will continue to respond with grace and a dedication to the Garden City.
Finalists, Best Politician
2. Representative Ellie Hill
3. Adam Hertz, Former City Councilman and current candidate for Montana House District 96