Crazy Idea: Fiscal Prudence As Risk Mitigation Strategy For Scared Local Officials Who Lost Their Gun Control

by Travis Mateer

Let me start off this post by saying I abhor violence and I respect the power of fear.

I would never advocate for the use of violence outside the limited scope of protecting one’s life or another innocent life from imminent death, nor do I want to minimize the capacity for people (even those with power) to genuinely experience fear.

I believe the fear of local officials in Missoula is mostly genuine when they claim sweeping gun reforms coming out of Helena have them concerned. From the link:

While HB 102 is now law, a second bill – House Bill 436 – would take the measure further, allowing a concealed weapon to be carried in public buildings and stripping local governments of their ability to establish gun-free zones.

That includes city and county public meeting rooms, where elected officials engage in challenging issues that at times upset some constituents.

“You mix anger with a gun and sometimes regretful things happen,” said Missoula County Commissioner Josh Slotnick. “We have to make hard decisions that anger people and that’s how it is. It’s a bad idea to mix that decision making with the potential that people in the audience have guns.”

Last year, a Missoula man was banned from attending Missoula City Council meetings after making death threats against elected officials and others. He was formally charged and was held on a $100,000 bond.

There are a couple points here to consider.

First, it’s nice to see our elected officials think they’ll be facing their constituents again in real life, and not through Zoom. I wonder if a condition for attending public meetings will be proof of vaccination?

Second, the death threat our sly “reporter”, Martin Kidston, slips into his narrative to bolster the fear-factor for local officials has NOTHING TO DO WITH GUNS.

There was a lot to that story, which played out at the beginning of 2020 in ways I don’t have time to get into here other than to say the only in-person threat from the accused was a loud voice and a wooden staff in a public meeting I was in attendance at.

If in-person meetings do ever happen again, I think local officials SHOULD be worried about their safety. Please do not misconstrue that as a threat (see top of post). I just think the risk of someone who is being financially squeezed going postal increases with every $100,000 dollar use of money for some alleged need, like this one to pay the architects who forgot police showers to design a community center add-on to the aquatics center. From the link:

Saying it needed a plan before taking the next step, members of the Missoula City Council this week approved a $120,000 contract with a local architect to design a proposed community center in McCormick Park.

While the cost of the contract with MacArthur, Means & Wells is covered by existing impact fees, opponents of the design process fear it will lead to another general obligation bond and leave taxpayers with ongoing costs.

During the budget days of last summer, when department heads panhandled their hearts out for every extra crumb they could get, our Parks and Rec Director was saying this:

“We are trying to align ourselves better with all the City Council adopted plans, acknowledge the trends that exist, including those caused by the pandemic, and prepare ourselves to address the challenges and opportunities before us,” Guakler said.

The department’s budget currently sits at around $7.4 million, though it’s seeking at least $538,000 for a range of needs, from new positions to a water truck. Funding to cover annual increases related to union contracts is also being sought.

What trend says we need to BUILD a new Community Center? Aren’t there a lot of empty spaces opening up from the decimation of small businesses? And where is the money going to come for this?

“We think there’s plenty of energy in this community,” said Gaukler. “It’s too early to be definitive (on funding sources). The public will ultimately decide whether this is something that’s essential to the community, just as they did with the library and aquatics.”

The micro-madness of Donna’s blind faith in magic money is a derivative of macro-money wizards in central bank nodes taking America down the Weimar path.

And we know how that turned out.

Makes me think of a famous William Carlos Williams poem, which I have updated thusly:

so much depends
upon the cash wheelbarrow
glazed in hubris
beside the woke chickens

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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1 Response to Crazy Idea: Fiscal Prudence As Risk Mitigation Strategy For Scared Local Officials Who Lost Their Gun Control

  1. TC says:

    The person who was arrested – for simply speaking against the City’s power structure (specifically TIF) is a US veteran. He served our country! With his background of service, he advocated for public money to be spent for the benefit of all – not on Engen’s, Buchanan’s , or Gaukler’s wishlists (by the way – we’ve been sold “ community gathering place” multiple times. Its why we spend $10 million more on top floor of library, recently invested in Lowell School, added money to fire stations, wanted to fund private school move to 3rd Street, gave millions to new fair groundsetc.etc. “”Community Space is just their new PR way of spending our money)to
    Sorry for the aside- point is a person was jailed for speaking out against public spending abuse. He was held at $100,000 bond (I know because I contributed to getting this gainfully employed, US veteran out of jail). However, if you dont have standing and dont question authority – say like a homeless person – you can murder a POC and not go to jail/not be help at $100,000 bond.
    Let that sink in Pete (not in your cherry picked Missoulian survey) – should tell you everything you need to know about Missoula elite!

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