Meet Helena's Mayor & Commissioners

The City Commission is composed of five voting members, including the mayor. Members of the commission shall be elected for terms of four years; two positions being filled at each general election. The City Commission is a non-partisan body, as mandated by the City Charter, and must be residents of the City of Helena, as well as, qualified electors.

Mayor Wilmot J. Collins
wcollins@helenamt.gov

Mayor Wilmot J. Collins Bio

Wilmot Collins was born, raised and partly educated in Liberia, West Africa.  Wilmot, a former refugee, arrived in the United States in 1994 and now resides in Helena with his wife, who’s a registered nurse at VA Montana and also an Army Reservist.  Their daughter is Active Duty Navy, and their son graduated from the University of Montana, Missoula and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.

Presently, Wilmot is a Child Protection Specialist with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, and a recently retired U. S. Navy Reservist.  Prior to working with MT DPHHS, Wilmot worked at VA Montana for many years as an Administrative Officer for Facility Management and also as a Public Affairs Specialist and Minority Veterans Program Coordinator.  Wilmot is very active on several boards: United Way of Lewis and Clark Area, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance.  Wilmot holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management.


Commissioner Emily Dean
edean@helenamt.gov

Commissioner Emily Dean Bio

Commissioner Emily Dean Bio

Commissioner Emily Dean is a proud citizen of Helena where she serves the community while also advocating for kids and public education. Experiencing some of the challenges facing many Montanans, Emily resolved to take on the causes of the working class through the pursuit of educational equity and expanding opportunities for families. She learned the value of public service at an early age through involvement in volunteerism and community building activities. Through the influence and example of her mother, grandparents and family, Emily learned the value of hard work and dedication to community. 

​Emily is a product of Carroll College where she was elected Student Body President and spearheaded a number of student- centered campaigns that continue to impact students’ well-being. Upon graduation, Emily moved to Dallas where she taught high school U.S. Government and Economics in the neighborhood of Oak Cliff. Through the experiences with and of her students, Emily’s deep belief in the power of education to improve opportunities and building an inclusive community was affirmed. After receiving a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University, Emily returned to Helena determined to bring opportunity to our community. In addition to her role as a school teacher, she has served in a variety of communications and advocacy roles within government and non-profit organizations. 

In recent years, Emily has led the revival of the historic Downtown Helena landmark of the Montana Club, serving as President of the Board of Directors as the 135-year-old establishment transitioned from a private non-profit organization to a thriving community-owned cooperative.

On the Commission, Emily is an advocate for high-quality city services, improved sustainability, expanding accessibility and transparency in local government, developing strong job opportunities, and improving quality of life for all who call Helena home.

On the Commission, Emily serves as the Commission representative on the Transportation Coordinating Committee, Information Technology and Services Committee, Civilian Advisory Board Working Group, Student Resource Officer Working Group, Americans with Disabilities Compliance Committee, and Audit Committee.

 


Commissioner Andy Shirtliff
ashirtliff@helenamt.gov
 


Commissioner Sean Logan
slogan@helenamt.gov

Commissioner Sean Logan Bio

Commissioner Sean Logan Bio

Sean Logan was born in the midwest and raised in Helena, his family moving here when he was two years of age.  After being educated in Helena schools, Commissioner Logan attended Montana State University where he attained a degree in Mathematics.  He has worked as a ranch hand, horse trainer and farrier, but ultimately settled on a career as a firefighter with the City of Helena Fire Department.  Working his way through the ranks, Commissioner Logan spent the last three years of his career as the chief of the department, retiring in late 2015 after twenty years of service. 
Having grown up and later establishing permanent roots in Helena, Commissioner Logan has always had a keen interest in local affairs.  Understanding that commission decisions affect not only the day-to-day operations of city government, but greatly impact the lives of Helenans, he ran twice for the position of City Commissioner.  This first time in 2017 (unsuccessfully) and then had a bit better luck in 2019.  Commissioner Logan and his wife have two daughters and he a son from a previous marriage.  He enjoys fishing, trap shooting and uilleann piping. 
 


Commissioner Melinda Reed
mreed@helenamt.gov

Commissioner Melinda Reed Bio

Commissioner Reed’s work for the City continues a career of public service in Helena and around the world.

She holds two jobs in addition to City Commissioner. At the state Department of Health and Human Services, she focuses on ways to prevent deaths from opioid overdoses. She is also the executive director for a nonprofit organization in the Netherlands that works to end impunity for conflict related sexual violence. She is the mother to the 9-year-old boy who managed her campaign.

Reed recently served on the board of directors for the YWCA of Helena, a local organization devoted to providing transitional housing and supportive services for homeless women and their children. Her interest in the City Commission stems from her stint as Helena’s Interim City Manager in 2020. Tapped by the Commission to guide the city during the search for a permanent city manager, she also navigated the first few months of the pandemic. Prior to those endeavors, Reed was executive director of the Friendship Center, a local domestic and sexual violence shelter. 

Born in New York City and raised overseas as the daughter of a diplomat, Reed graduated from Trinity College with a bachelor's degree in public policy and law. She also holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Before moving to Helena in 2013, Reed lived and worked around the world as an international humanitarian aid worker responding to conflicts and natural disasters including in Iraq, Rwanda, Haiti, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and Pakistan.


The Mayor & Commissioners may also be contacted via a group email address: mayorandcommission@helenamt.gov.

Note: Comments submitted via this email address are distributed to the Mayor and Commissioners, Interim City Manager Tim Burton, Clerk of the Commission Dannai Clayborn, Deputy Clerk of the Commission Alyx Montiel, City Attorney Rebecca Dockter, Special Projects Coordinator Amanda Opitz, Public Information Officer Jacob Garcin and a list of media contacts.