February 1, 2014 Updated: February 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm
BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — The Gallatin Historical Society and Pioneer Museum won't renew the contract of the museum director of 16 years.
The Board of Directors in a statement on Friday says membership and visitation has decreased recently and replacing John Russell is part of a strategic plan to put the museum back on track.
Russell in a statement thanked the society members for their support through the years and also acknowledged the hard work of volunteers.
Russell says membership has grown during his tenure and the museum and research center have expanded.
Board member M. Mark Miller says Russell worked under a year-to-year contract that went through an annual review. He says he can't discuss personnel issues.
Miller says a new director is needed to take the museum in a different direction.