Missoula Leaders Need To Figure Out The Difference Between Needs And Wants

by William Skink

In response to a KPAX piece about city leaders looking “for further input on citizen survey”, Lead Based Saint had this to say on the Twitter (commas added):

Prioritizing, a basic function of municipal govt, takes a survey and an open house? How thick is the bubble around City Hall?

Instead of paying $24,000 for a stupid survey and now soliciting more feedback, City Council and the captain of our municipal ship, Sailor Engen, should do something simple: prioritize needs instead of wants.

Needs include everything the city of Missoula requires to function, and surprise, streets are definitely a need. When I see all those poor bastards lined up on Flynn Street hoping to take a left onto Mullan, I think some basic infrastructure needs are taking a back seat as the housing density creeps into the County.

And here are some things that are not a need: a play wave, a baseball stadium, and an art park.

If City Council would just start there–prioritizing needs over wants–I think there would be less citizen anger and less chances of committing municipal malfeasance, like the art park bill.

You don’t “need” an open house to understand that needs are not the same thing as wants.

And you don’t need to pay a dime for this valuable advice. I offer my consulting services for free.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to Missoula Leaders Need To Figure Out The Difference Between Needs And Wants

  1. Eric says:

    I sympathize – we (Billings) are paying for a baseball park that 90% of the citizens don’t use, and a new library that probably less use in this digital age.

  2. ect says:

    Perhaps part of the disconnect can be found in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Could it be, most of our city leaders have their d-needs provided for to the point they operate mostly in the bubble of self-actualization.
    Meanwhile, many citizens, earning the same ol $24k a year experience a slow slide down the face of Maslow’s pyramid.
    In the past, I would save a little of each pay check and at the end of the year I would purchase snow tires. What was left over was my savings. Now I save to pay property taxes, if there is any money left over it goes to vehicle repairs.
    Last year part of the taxes and all of the vehicle repairs went on the credit card. My snow tires are 4 seasons old now.

  3. Djinn&Tonic says:

    UM Foundation invests tens of millions in offshore tax havens
    The Paradise Papers leak exposes how university foundations across the country hide money in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda

    Matt Neuman May 14, 2018

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