The City of Helena announced the hiring of two key positions, city attorney and director of community development, at its business meeting on Wednesday.
Acting City Manager Tim Burton announced that Rebecca Dockter, who currently works as chief legal counsel for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, will begin her term as City Attorney on May 9. . Christopher Brink, who previously worked as community development director for Pickens County, South Carolina, will take over at Helena on May 16.
In his new role, Dockter will oversee the City Attorney’s Office, which serves as legal counsel to the Helena City Commission, city departments and advisory boards. The district attorney’s office also prosecutes misdemeanors and city code violations committed within the city limits and provides victim support services.
Brink will lead the city’s community development department, including the building and planning divisions.
The construction division conducts reviews of building plans and site, issues building permits, and conducts construction inspections. The planning division assists the community with planning, zoning, land use and development. The department also oversees the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
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“I think they’re going to be very, very talented additions to the management team here at Helena Town,” Burton said during Wednesday’s meeting.
Dockter told commissioners that her experiences at FWP, particularly as senior counsel for its parks and outdoor recreation board, over the past 11 years will be a benefit to the city.
“In this role, I served primarily on procedural issues, but also on land processes and enforcement issues and several other things that I think will serve me well in my service to you and the city” , she said. “I have a lot to learn. I’m eager and excited.”
Brink said he and his family can’t wait to call Helena their new home.
“I am fiercely loyal to my employer; I will be fiercely loyal to you,” Brink told the commission. “Most importantly, I will be fiercely loyal to my community.”
Both men have pressing city business ahead of them, including a lawsuit challenging the legality of city street assessments that has jeopardized his ability to borrow money for street repairs and a heavily subdivided proposed opposite for Helena’s Westside.