Every two years the Missoula City Council is infused with new members, or with members who have been reelected, and the swearing in ceremony for the new members was Monday at noon n the Missoula Council Chambers, officiated by Mayor John Engen.

“I, (Heidi West, Mirtha Becerra, Gwen Jones, Amber Sherrill, John Contos and Sandra Vaseka) do solemnly affirm that I will support, uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Constitution of the State of Montana, and that I will discharge my duties or the office of City Council with fidelity, I so affirm.”

One of the newly elected members is Sandra Vaseka, a member of what has been called ‘Team Liberty’, who comes into the council as a fiscal conservative. Vaseka said she is ready to begin serving her constituents, but admits she has to learn the ropes in the council.

“It’s going to be a learning experience,” said Vaseka. “I look forward to hearing every voice because every voice does matter. After all, I won by just 12 votes, so every voice is important. I’m really excited to work with all the council members, with the city staff and the mayor, and get some things done.

The impetus behind ‘Team Liberty’, Ward Four’s Jesse Ramos, explained how the two ‘Team Liberty’ members, Vaseka and John Contos, will, he hopes, help to move the needle in the council, if not to the right, at least closer to the center.

“We needed some conservatives on the council,” said Ramos. “I wanted some fiscal conservatives on there with me to help me out. It’s just a different way of thinking, and that’s a good thing in American debate. I don’t think it’s so much Democrat or Republican, as the fact that we just see the role of government differently. I think it’s good to have that balance. It’s been a year of work and finally, we’ve got two, so now its three to nine and I’m really exited. I think John (Contos) and Sandy (Vaseka) as well as Amber Sherrill will be good new voices for the council.

Their first full City Council meeting will be Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 140 West Pine Street in downtown, Missoula.

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