Herald JournalHerald Journal, May 23, 2005

Montrose's Mattson looking for BMH school board appointment

By Liz Hellmann
Staff Writer

Jeff Mattson’s 13th year as a council member for Montrose will also be his last, but his years of service to the community are far from over.

Mattson plans to hand in his notice to the Montrose City Council at the meeting today. He is expected to be appointed to a position on the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose school board.

“There has never really been a person from Montrose on the school board, so it will be nice to have a voice representing this area,” Mattson said.

If the board appoints him, he will finish the term for Bill Zimmerman, who is retiring and whose seat is up for re-election at the end of this year.

The school board is expected to make the official decision regarding this seat for the next term in a special meeting Wednesday, May 25.

The transition from Montrose council to the school board would be a smooth one for Mattson, who is no stranger to the school district. Mattson has worked on various committees, including the one responsible for selecting the new superintendent for District 877.

Although a seat on the school board would still allow him to serve Montrose, he will miss the council. “There are good people working there, making good decisions,” Mattson said.

An area native, Mattson has seen Montrose double in size, while helping the council deal with new development challenges. “When I first came on, there wasn’t much growth in the city,” Mattson said. “A couple of years after that, it exploded.”

At least five new housing developments have been added to Montrose since Mattson decided to take an open seat on the council in 1989. A new industrial park has gone up in the last three years.

Mattson found the council’s biggest challenge was keeping a balance between development and recreation.

Mattson feels it is important to keep parks and trails available in Montrose, but not always easy. “Once the building started going, you’re learning new stuff all the time,” Mattson said.

Mattson served as the park and recreation department liaison his first 12 years on the council. He helped them with designs for the new developments and is particularly happy with the trail system they developed throughout Montrose for people to walk on.

The trail system includes city sidewalks and exists throughout the new housing developments. The trails continue to be built wherever new homes go up.

Mattson spends his time taking care of his four children at their Montrose home. Samantha and Nick attend Buffalo Middle School, and Brianna and Allison are students at Montrose Elementary.

Mattson works as a part-time substitute paraprofessional at Parkside Elementary, Tatanka Elementary, and Montrose Elementary. He also enjoys coaching travelling basketball and baseball, and football for his son.

Mattson, who is poised to accept the school board seat, has been living with his family in Montrose since 1989. “I feel like it’s a new opportunity to serve the communities of Buffalo, Montrose, and Hanover,” Mattson said.

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