BOZEMAN — The Bozeman City Commission voted unanimously in support of appointing Christopher Coburn to fill the vacant commission seat.
Coburn’s application for the empty seat was the only one reviewed and discussed during Tuesday night’s Commission meeting after the only other applicant, former Bozeman legislator and Montana State University professor Tom Woods, withdrew his application during general public comment.
“Perhaps the best course of action for this community is for me to step aside, and have a person of color, who’s also a member of the LGBTQ community to lead us out of these dark times,” said Woods during the meeting.
Last month, former Bozeman City Commissioner Michael Wallner resigned, leaving an empty seat on the Commission.
Coburn and Woods were the only two that applied.
This is the second time Coburn has applied for a vacated Commission seat.
Last fall, after former Mayor Chris Mehl resigned, Coburn received the majority of public comment.
However, it was Commissioner Jennifer Madgic who was appointed to fill the seat.
“I’m a young professional. I rent my apartment. And I’m building my life here and I’m confronted with the challenges that come along with that,” said Coburn at the meeting Tuesday night.
“I have a lot in common with most of Bozeman, and I feel that by making room for people like me on the commission, our city will be stronger.”
On Tuesday night, commissioners and the public shared their support for the newly appointed commissioner.
“He is going to bring a perspective that I think is truly missing on this commission, and I think that really reflects a part of this community that needs a voice,” said Mayor Cyndy Andrus.
Coburn is a community health professional and a member of the Gallatin City-County Board of Health.
He begins his new role as a commissioner immediately.