by Travis Mateer
When it comes to politics, I try to maintain equal disdain for BOTH parties and the games they play with our money and our lives.
Recently Montana’s Attorney General, Austin Knudsen, talked some shit regarding Missoula’s approach to homelessness. If only we elected different people, he said, then we wouldn’t have the problem in this town that we do.
Well, Missoula County Commissioner, Josh Slotnick, wasn’t having it, and recently hit back with the brilliant counter-argument of BUT BILLINGS!
Slotnick referenced a recent Talk Back interview with Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen who answered a listener’s question on how to alleviate the homeless situation in Missoula. He said ‘Missoula has to vote better’.
“Absolutely,” said Slotnick. “So reading into that, I’m just going to call it what it is; we’re talking Democrats and Republicans, right? We only have these two parties, so according to the Attorney General if only we had Republican leadership we wouldn’t have a homeless problem, so the truth for showing how wrong that is to visit Billings.”
Slotnick recalled a recent meeting he attended in Billings and his experience with that city’s homeless population.
“There are more homeless people out on the streets downtown Billings at nine o’clock on a Tuesday night than where there were non-homeless people, and Billings doesn’t provide anything in terms of services compared to what we do,” he said. “So there’s the proof. You can have Republican leadership that provides nothing and you still get homeless people. The difference is we have homeless people living in a place where they throw their garbage in the garbage can and go to the bathroom in the bathroom.”
I added the emphasis to the part that makes me want to tell Josh Slotnick to go fuck himself because TONS and TONS of garbage was literally removed from the Reserve Street despite this asshole’s failed leadership.
Does this mean that Slotnick’s claim that we have homeless people living in a place where they throw their garbage in the garbage can and go to the bathroom in the bathroom is total bullshit? Yes. Yes it does.
While these two men of inaction use their sad little words to slap each other from their bubbles of safety, the REAL work of cleaning up the Reserve Street encampments only happened because Kevin Davis and gutsy volunteers shamed our elected leaders into doing something.
So, if you’re wondering why I’m using more profanity than usual, it’s because the gall of a political eunuch like Farmer Josh is off the fucking charts. I mean, the whole point of Farmer Josh going on KGVO in the first place was to provide an update on the work at Reserve Street. Here’s the update:
“Right now to my to my knowledge, there’s no one living underneath the Reserve Street Bridge, which is a great victory,” said Commissioner Slotnick. “There’s been a bit of legal activity and I want to give you an update on that. So at the end of last week, the judge extended the temporary restraining order and basically made it into a preliminary injunction, which means that if anyone is camping down there, there is a court order and sheriff’s deputies can remove them.”
Yes, with that court order in place, NOW Sheriff deputies can remove them. I just hope those deputies involved in that terrifying incident of a homeless black man swinging a machete (necessitating his removal with a gunshot to the back while he ran away) can get back on the job to protect and serve our community in the selfless manner we have come to expect from them.
Thanks for reading!