John Muhlfeld ’95 was elected mayor of Whitefish, Montana, in the elections held on Nov. 8. He was previously a member of the City Council.
“We worked hard for months for this to come to reality. We’ll try to have a council that represents all of Whitefish. I want to move Whitefish forward. This sends a strong message that we need to change things up and be responsive to the community,” said Muhlfeld in an article in the Daily Inter Lake.
While at Hobart, Muhfeld earned a B.A. in geoscience and minored in individual studies. He participated in the semester abroad program in Queensland, Australia. He is a hydrologist and owner of River Design Group, Inc.
The full article follows.
Daily Inter Lake
Muhlfeld rolls to mayoral triumph
Brenda Ahearn • November 8, 2011
Whitefish’s new mayor is City Council member John Muhlfeld.
Muhlfeld beat fellow City Council member Turner Askew for the coveted top spot in city government.
The final margin was 1,481 to 812. Voter turnout in Whitefish was 52.64 percent.
Muhlfeld will take office Jan. 2.
“We worked hard for months for this to come to reality,” Muhlfeld said Tuesday night. “We’ll ty to have a council that represents all of Whitefish. I want to move Whitefish forward. This sends a strong message that we need to change things up and be responsive to the community.”
Outgoing Mayor Mike Jenson did not seek re-election.
In the race for City Council, John Anderson, Richard Hildner and Frank Sweeney won the three council seats in a six-way race.
Anderson and Hildner each received 1,316 votes to finish in a tie for first. Sweeney tallied 1,263 votes.
Rounding out the council field were Mary Vail with 1,057, Doug Wise with 1,014 and Life Noell with 503 votes.
Muhlfeld, a hydrologist and president of River Design Group in Whitefish, has been the council’s go-to guy for water issues related to city government.
He said during his campaign that his accomplishments as an experienced and successful business leader who has created many sustainable jobs in Whitefish made him the more qualified candidate.
Economic development is high on Muhlfeld’s goals for the city. He hopes to create a steady economy in Whitefish with not so many peaks and valleys.
Muhlfeld, 38, has served as deputy mayor in his council position, giving him some experience in leading council meetings in the mayor’s absence. In Whitefish, the mayor only votes to break a tie vote of the council.
“The people have spoken and we now will live with what the people have asked for,” Askew said soon after learning the election results Tuesday night.
“I wish the new mayor and council members well,” Askew said. “They’ll have challenges but somehow we’ll work our way through it.”
Separately, Whitefish voters threw out a 2010 planning agreement for the two-mile “doughnut” area around Whitefish.