Local Government Review Study

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The local government review study did not pass in the June 2024 primary election.

In January, the Missoula County commissioners adopted a resolution that will place a question on the June 4 primary ballot asking voters if they want to conduct a local government review study for Missoula County. The Montana Constitution mandates that this question to assess forms of local government be put to the voters every 10 years.

If Missoula County residents vote in favor of a review during the June primary, then voters would elect seven candidates in the Nov. 5 election to serve on the study commission. The study commission would then take one year to review and propose any changes to local government. Any proposed changes would go back to Missoula County voters again in November 2026.

Missoula County residents who live within Missoula city limits will also see a similar question for the City of Missoula on their ballots.

Below is the ballot language voters will consider for the June 4 primary:

Vote for one:

[ ] FOR the review of the government of Missoula County and the establishment and funding, not to exceed $200,000 per year (or approximately 0.5 mill) of a local government study commission consisting of seven members to examine the government of Missoula County and
submit recommendations on the government.

[ ] AGAINST the review of the government of Missoula County and the establishment and funding not to exceed $200,000 per year (or approximately 0.5 mill) of a local government study commission consisting of seven members to examine the government of Missoula County and
 submit recommendations on the government.

Learn more about this study under the “News Feed” below and let us know if you have any questions.

If you have questions about your voting status, when ballots mail or where you can turn in your ballot, visit www.MissoulaVotes.com 

In January, the Missoula County commissioners adopted a resolution that will place a question on the June 4 primary ballot asking voters if they want to conduct a local government review study for Missoula County. The Montana Constitution mandates that this question to assess forms of local government be put to the voters every 10 years.

If Missoula County residents vote in favor of a review during the June primary, then voters would elect seven candidates in the Nov. 5 election to serve on the study commission. The study commission would then take one year to review and propose any changes to local government. Any proposed changes would go back to Missoula County voters again in November 2026.

Missoula County residents who live within Missoula city limits will also see a similar question for the City of Missoula on their ballots.

Below is the ballot language voters will consider for the June 4 primary:

Vote for one:

[ ] FOR the review of the government of Missoula County and the establishment and funding, not to exceed $200,000 per year (or approximately 0.5 mill) of a local government study commission consisting of seven members to examine the government of Missoula County and
submit recommendations on the government.

[ ] AGAINST the review of the government of Missoula County and the establishment and funding not to exceed $200,000 per year (or approximately 0.5 mill) of a local government study commission consisting of seven members to examine the government of Missoula County and
 submit recommendations on the government.

Learn more about this study under the “News Feed” below and let us know if you have any questions.

If you have questions about your voting status, when ballots mail or where you can turn in your ballot, visit www.MissoulaVotes.com 

The local government review study did not pass in the June 2024 primary election.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

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    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

    What kinds of changes could a local government study commission recommend?

    • A different form of government for Missoula County. For example, Missoula County operates as a general powers government, meaning the County is unable to enact ordinances or regulations unless state law explicitly allows counties to do so. If the form of government were changed to a charter, this would provide the County more self-governing authority, similar to the City of Missoula. This would allow the County to enact laws like a fireworks ordinance, which the County is currently not able to do.
    • A different number of elected officials at Missoula County. For example, Missoula County currently has 11 independently elected officials. A local government study commission could recommend changing this number. It could also recommend changes to add a county executive or otherwise modify the format of the government.


    Why would the study cost up to $200,000?

    Missoula County estimates the full cost of a study would be up to $200,000 based on recent contracts to conduct community engagement through surveys, small group meetings and targeted outreach to specific areas. The cost of staffing and supplies are also included in the estimate.

    Recent community engagement contracts at the County have ranged from $50,000 to $75,000, usually based on one to two engagement periods. There is a chance this committee would need to conduct three engagement periods: before recommendations, during the recommendation development process and at the end of the project for final recommendations that would go to a vote. The local government study commission could also ask to conduct a survey, and that cost would likely be at least $25,000 based on recent surveys the County has conducted. This brings the cost to somewhere between $100,000 to $125,000 for this component of the study.

    The other component, around staffing and supplies includes potential travel reimbursements, materials, supplies and printing, as well as a small staffing component (between a quarter- to half-time position) for any work that might be required to produce materials and make them accessible to the public. A half-time position with part-time benefits for this study would cost around $30,000. Add this with the potential maximum amount the contract may cost, around $125,000, would leave around $45,000 for supplies, travel costs, software and anything else needed to conduct the study.