by William Skink
On Monday there was a “State of the Community” event put on by City Club Missoula. John forever-mayor Engen, Seth pretty-boy Bodnar and Dave nanny-state Strohmaier were the featured speakers leading the PR effort to convince those in attendance that Missoula is doing just fine:
Bodnar, Engen and Strohmaier were thin on specifics related to policy on Monday, but all spoke at length in general terms about the need for collaboration among the university, the city and the county.
Engen and Strohmaier addressed the need to develop more affordable housing options as housing prices continue their historic trajectory upward here. The two elected officials also talked about the need to preserve Missoula’s unique culture, clean environment and way of life as development puts pressure especially hard on those at the bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum.
Instead of doling out bullshit PR talking points, here is what these three men need to be doing.
Strohmaier and the other two County Commissioners need to get a handle on the shit show that is the Sheriff’s Department. The bitter campaign between Clark and McDermott apparently never stopped, and with recent articles in the Missoulian, it would appear that Clark’s warnings have some merit.
Engen needs to buckle down, not just on affordable housing, but also on what happens when people don’t have housing in cold climates: they fucking die. Another homeless man died in downtown Missoula late last week of exposure. It hasn’t been reported in the news yet, but it happened, and he died in the heart of Missoula’s bar scene.
And Bodnar needs to realize that early indicators of his leadership are starting to wear the honeymoon thin. Getting rid of the guy they threw a $70,000 bonus at, bringing in Jim data-boy Messina, and now a media misstep eliciting a fuck, fuck, fuck reaction from a Dean when he realized at-risk academic programs might finally be named and reported on.
A new day is not dawning in Missoula. Anyone who tells you that is more than likely getting financially compensated for lying to you.