Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld announced Monday he will seek a third term as mayor and will file the paperwork with the Flathead County Election Department.
The next four years present many challenges for the city of Whitefish, Muhlfeld said, from the expiration of the city’s tax-increment finance district, to the reauthorization of the city’s resort tax, to the implementation of the city’s affordable housing program.
“Equally important will be setting the city up for success by ensuring the long-term economic health of government operations and doing so while keeping taxes down,” Muhlfeld said in a prepared statement. “Institutional knowledge and experience are critical, and I will continue to ensure everyone has a seat at the table when it comes to defining the future of Whitefish. With the support of our citizens and volunteers, I am confident that I can help Whitefish continue to be a community that first and foremost promotes quality of life, livability, job creation and opportunity, and family values for our residents.”
Muhlfeld was appointed in 2006 to serve a two-year vacancy position on the Whitefish City Council. He served six years as a city council member, two of which were as deputy mayor, before running successfully for mayor in 2011 and 2015.
“It has been my pleasure, and a truly humbling opportunity, to serve as mayor for the past eight years. I will continue to provide a balanced and steady hand to guide our city in a way that prioritizes the small-town feel and provides for responsible economic growth and development that is in line with the values we share as a community,” he said.
Doug Reed, a friend and owner of Whitefish Lake Restaurant, will serve as campaign treasurer and adviser.
Filing for municipal elections opened April 18 in Flathead County and closes June 17.
In addition to the mayor position opening in Whitefish, the City Council seats currently held by Richard Hildner, Frank Sweeney and Katie Williams are open for the Nov. 5 election.
In Columbia Falls, City Council incumbents Doug Karper and John H. Piper have filed for re-election. The seat held by Darin Fisher also will be up for election.
Kalispell has four City Council seats up for grabs, those held by Kari Gabriel in Ward 1; Wayne Saverud in Ward 2; Rod Kuntz in Ward 3; and Phil Guiffrida in Ward 4.
Kuntz has filed for re-election of his Ward 3 seat, and Sid Daoud has filed in Ward 4.