City Commission to Interview Two Finalists for City Manager Position

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Final interviews to be held Aug. 15. 

This week, the Helena City Commission will host two final candidates for the permanent City Manager position. This last stage of the hiring process will include a tour of Helena, meetings with Commission-selected community stakeholders and the City Leadership Team and culminate with final interviews with the City Commission. Events will be held over the course of two days— Aug. 14 & 15 (click here for the schedule). The Commission initially intended to move forward three candidates to the final stage; however, the City was informed this week that one candidate—Kenneth Haskin—withdrew his application. The remaining two candidates are Rachel Harlow-Schalk and Troy Smith.  

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the public is encouraged to watch the Commission interview candidates via Zoom on Saturday, August 15. Log in information is available below or on the City of Helena calendar at Pursuant to Sect. 2-3-203(3), MCA, the Mayor may close portions of the meeting to have candid discussion of candidate qualifications and review application materials. 

In April, the Helena City Commission engaged the services of The Novak Consulting Group, now part of Raftelis, to recruit for the next permanent City Manager. With approval from the Commission, Novak proceed to gather input on the skills, leadership attributes, and experience that staff and the broader community desired in a City Manager. This was accomplished through an individualized survey for staff, an open public survey for community members, and a series of virtual community and stakeholder input meetings.  

The City received 94 applications for the position, and the Commission interviewed four candidates in the initial phase at public meetings held July 20 & 21.  

The City of Helena operates under a Commission-Manager form of government. The Commission functions in a policy-making role and appoints the City Manager, who is responsible for the oversight of the City’s daily operations and implementation of Commission policy. The City Manager serves as the chief administrative officer, provides organizational leadership for department directors and employees, and oversees the day-to-day business of government operations.  

City Manager Finalists: 

Rachel Harlow-Schalk, Deputy Director of Local Government - State of Colorado  

Rachel has served in government at both the state and local levels for over 25 years. She has worked for the State of Colorado’s Local Government Center since 2014 as the Deputy Director of Local Government, Deputy Director of Strategic Operations and Finance, and Financial Assistance Director. She also worked for the City of Westminster, Colorado, for over 20 years, where she held several positions, including Senior Projects Officer and Environmental and Administrative Services Officer. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science in Individualized Studies, Hazardous Waste Management from the Metropolitan State College of Denver, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado.  

Troy Smith, Deputy City Manager - City of Commerce City, CO  

Troy has worked in local government and public safety for the past 40 years. He has been with Commerce City since 2013, where he has served as Police Chief and most recently as the Deputy City Manager. He worked in law enforcement in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Thornton County, Colorado, where he held progressively responsible roles, including Deputy Chief of Police of Administration and Operations, Administrative Support Commander, Watch Commander, and Sergeant. He began his public safety career as a patrol officer with the University of Northern Colorado Police Department and Town of Estes Park Police. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science in Management from Regis University, and he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 250 - Quantico, Virginia  

Zoom Meeting Details: 

When: Aug 15, 2020 09:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada) 

Topic: City Commission Permanent City Manager Interviews 


Please click the link below to join the webinar: 

Or iPhone one-tap : 

    US: +13462487799,,99545122754#  or +16699006833,,99545122754# 

Or Telephone: 

    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 

        US: +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 929 205 6099  or +1 301 715 8592 

Webinar ID: 995 4512 2754 

    International numbers available: 


ADA Notice:

The City of Helena is committed to providing access to persons with disabilities for its meetings, in compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Montana Human Rights Act. The City will not exclude persons with disabilities from participation at its meetings or otherwise deny them the City's services, programs, or activities.

Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in the City's meetings, services, programs, or activities should contact the City's ADA Coordinator, Ellie Ray, as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to arrange for the requested accommodation, at any of the following: Phone: (406) 447- 8490 TTY Relay Service 1-800-253-4091 or 711


Mailing Address & Physical Location: 316 North Park Avenue, Room 445, Helena, MT 59623.


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