The city of Three Forks is seeking an interim mayor to finish the unexpired term of Steven Hamilton, who is resigning his office effective June 2.
Hamilton, 42, made the announcement at the Three Forks City Council meeting on May 14, citing the need to prioritize his duties as a teacher and volunteer debate coach at Three Forks High School as the reason for vacating his office seven months early.
Hamilton said this week that the number of student debaters has grown substantially, and the team will be adding a new event and even more members next year. He felt this past season that the afternoon hours he spent at City Hall took him away from the team during crucial prep time, and he feared he was “shortchanging the kids.”
“It came to a point that I had to make a choice – I could do both things adequately or one thing really well, so I followed my heart,” he said.
Prior to being elected to his first three-year term as mayor in 2013, Hamilton served on the council for six years. He was re-elected to the mayorship in 2016 for a term ending Dec. 31 of this year. The council will appoint an interim mayor to serve out Hamilton’s remaining term at its June 25 meeting.
Looking back on the past 5½ years, Hamilton said he is proud of what the city has accomplished during his tenure as mayor, including completion of the wastewater treatment plant, replacement of playground equipment in city parks, funding of the volunteer fire department, finishing the transition of law enforcement duties to the county, and general administrative modernization.
As mayor, Hamilton said, he also was able to involve high school students in city government. This year, a Three Forks High senior shadowed the mayor for his senior project; other students have taken on specific projects, such as tree-planting on Arbor Day.
“It was neat to see a lot of our students recognize what
was going on, and to learn that things just don’t happen,” he said.
Hamilton said that ongoing issues facing the new mayor and City Council include water rights and sensible growth, but he doesn’t believe he is leaving any difficult matters for his successor to manage.
“The new person will have time to acclimate, and won’t come into a hornets’ nest of problems,” he said.
Hamilton, who has lived in Three Forks most of his life, said he will continue to be involved with community business as time permits.
“I’m very grateful and thankful for the opportunity,” he said of time on the council and as mayor. “I will look for other opportunities to be of service.”
More information is available on the city’s website or by calling 285-3431.