Troy will see new faces in office after the November election, with current mayor Darren Coldwell choosing not to seek reelection after being appointed as the Lincoln County Administrator. Current council member Dallas Carr has filed for the mayor’s seat, along with Chris Penner and Chuck Ekstedt.
Shawna Kelsey was the only candidate to file for the two four-year seats available on the Troy City Council. Kelsey was also the only candidate to respond to The Montanian’s candidate questionnaire before press time.
Kelsey lists her occupation as Community Development and Conservation Education Coordinator for the Yaak Valley Forest Council. She was born and raised in Troy and returned home after earning degrees in anthropology and international development from the University of Montana.
Kelsey said her motivation for seeking office was to try and help her community rebound from some of the socio-economic issues that have plagued it since the recent economic decline.
“Not just in this election cycle but for several years now, we have seen young families leave Troy due to lack of employment,” she said. “I would like to see more well-paying employment opportunities so we can see our unemployment numbers go down and family stability go up. If we can grow or attract jobs in a variety of fields, we may be able to heal some of the issues that under-employment and poverty have produced.”
“When Ben and I moved back to Troy, it was with the intention of doing what we could to make a positive impact. It was either Troy or the Peace Corps. We chose Troy. When we got here, we were welcomed with such warmth and appreciation and given so much support by everyone. Though I hope we have done good work while here, it was actually the town that stepped up and supported us. I really love this town and I want to see it prosper. I hope that by being on the city council, I can do my part to make that happen.”