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Commissioners voice strong opposition of mayor Mehl’s conduct

Commissioners will hold another special meeting to determine next steps
Posted at 8:39 AM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 12:00:24-04

BOZEMAN — Bozeman city commissioners are urging Mayor Chris Mehl to resign after released city documents outlined multiple reported accounts of bullying, intimidation, and administrative interference between the Mayor and city staff.

The meeting began with public comment.

A handful of residents spoke out against the mayor’s actions including former Mayor Jeff Krauss.

"Those who are affected by Mr. Mehl’s violations of the Charter provision on the rule of behavior are the staff and citizens of Bozeman," said Krauss

"They are aggrieved parties and you the commission are the representatives."

Commissioner Terry Cunningham gave his testimony on why he believed the Mayor should resign.

"It’s never okay to use our position of authority to intimidate, harass, or bully city staff. As mentioned, there are 19 documented instances of Mr. Mehl allegedly doing that in Commission meetings ranging from 2017-2019," said Commissioner Terry Cunningham.

Deputy Mayor Cyndy Andrus shared a detailed account of what she believed to be a pattern of inappropriate behavior.

"This is not simply a difficult personality at work. It’s not simply about asking hard questions. These behaviors and actions are moving the city backward. They are driving off talented and dedicated employees," said Andrus.

Mayor Chris Mehl says he acknowledges and apologizes for what he calls his direct leadership style, which he says he’s seeking help to improve.

Next steps: the City will hold another special meeting to decide what happens next.

"I have an obligation to those who elected me. I think as an American I enjoy the ability to have a fair and honest hearing of events. We call it due process," said Mayor Chris Mehl.

We will let you know the date and time of the next meeting as soon as it is released.