Missoula Mayor Jordan Hess is less than a month into his new job. But he's settling into the role, and saying city staff and council have been a big help following John Engen. 

During his first appearance on the "Wednesday's with the Mayor" program at Missoula Public Library, Hess said he's finding some of his skills as the former Transportation Director at the University of Montana are coming in handy at city hall.

"I think that's the thing that's most transferable to the city right now is that the city really is a similarly large, diverse organization," Hess observed. "There's not a lot in common between Wastewater and Municipal Court, but they're part of the same organization. And having that kind of 30,000 foot view of the organization is probably the biggest thing I brought with me from U.M."

Mayor Hess praises the city council's diverse viewpoints and experience. That, and an appreciation for transportation and planning, two items high on the "to do" list, a list dependent on support from his former colleagues on Missoula city council.

"I've been on councils where every vote is 12 to 0 and I don't think that they're as strong as the council we have now. The council we have now has good discussions and a diversity of opinions and that makes our decision stronger."

It's early to ask, but I knew we'd like to know whether he'll run for the remainder of Engen's turn next year.

"I don't know is my honest answer," Hess answered. "I want to just get immersed. I'm learning so much so quickly. I will make a decision pretty soon because I will need to, but I don't know right now."

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