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The return of Reidy, redux


Missoula City Council's Jack Reidy got two out of three wishes Monday night. The longtime Ward 5 representative, who was set to retire when his fifth term ended this year, was chosen by his colleagues to serve out the term of Councilman Bob Lovegrove, who died in late October. Reidy formally retired his old seat-along with his title as Council president, which he says he won't miss-Tuesday, Nov. 22, and was immediately was sworn into his new position. In Reidy, Ward 5 now has the Council's simultaneously newest and longest-standing representative.

The only matter that didn't go as Reidy wished was Monday's Packers game, which he'd rushed home to watch after turning down an invitation from fellow aldermen to share a celebratory beer. (The Packers lost 20-17).

During the Council's brief meeting, three of the seven applicants-Reidy, retired Marine John Keefe and Youth Homes manager Renee Mitchell-were nominated for Lovegrove's seat. Reidy and five others (John Engen, Heidi Kendall, Stacy Rye, Mike Peissig and Ed Childers) voted for Reidy, while Keefe drew support from Clayton Floyd, John Hendrickson, Don Nicholson and Jerry Ballas. Lou Ann Crowley was Mitchell's lone supporter. The Council must now take up with Reidy's newly vacant seat at its Nov. 28 meeting, and will likely swear in recently elected Dick Haines five weeks early.

Before the vote, Reidy gazed steadfastly into his computer screen as the other members discussed their choices, but after the vote he was all smiles. The incoming flood of inexperienced members was what prompted Reidy to seek the open seat, he says. Reidy's been on Council for 20 years, with two terms as Council president, and his experience and Council continuity were what Kendall highlighted when she nominated Reidy for the seat. Reidy says he's looking forward to working with Mayor-elect John Engen and the six new Council members who will take office in January.

"I can handle just about anything that comes my way," he grins.


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