by Travis Mateer
Missoula’s political establishment is firing up the PR engines to work their mind magic on the disoriented populace.
It’s gonna be a MISSOULA RENAISSANCE says our Mayor for life! We are ON THE VERGE of this great moment for our community! Hooray!!!
Part of setting the stage for this miraculous time in Missoula history was how Engen bucked the activist demand to DEFUND THE POLICE, a move he discusses in the article:
While some last year called on the city to “defund” the police, Engen said the city instead increased the police budget to improve officer training in areas of deescalation, mental illness and passionate response.
Those investments went beyond the department and included the city fire department and the mobile crisis response team created reach those in need of immediate help.
I am curious about the results of all this police development because I’m not seeing the impacts on the ground.
For example, last Friday I participated in a homeless camp cleanup and one of the residents of the encampment said a man who lived in the area was dangerous, has set multiple fires, and even threw gasoline on someone with the intention of lighting them on fire. The woman I was speaking with said despite begging law enforcement to arrest this man, nothing has happened.
I’m sure there’s more to this story, but I don’t doubt the basic claim. My seven year stint working at the Poverello Center taught me that homeless people are given the space to threaten and hurt each other because Montana lacks the resources to properly deal with the need.
A few days after this experience I noticed a growing encampment on the island on West Broadway, across from the Poverello Center. I approached this spot and spoke with a man living in one of the tents. The conversation was interesting.
It was about 10:30am and the man was already drinking because I could smell it on his breath. He was new to Missoula, having arrived about a month ago from North Dakota. I asked him if he knew anyone in town and he said nope, just looked at a map and picked our lovely town.
The passionate response of law enforcement to a drunk drifter from North Dakota who claims to be “helping” our community by breaking up fights around the Pov is to let the young Poverello staff police this area. Considering what this man said to me about the female staff members at the Pov, I question the safety of having Poverello staff manage the terrain beyond the shelter property.
But don’t let my on-the-ground experiences take away from our Mayor’s PR spin that we are PERCHED on the EDGE of a GREAT RENAISSANCE!
My perspective can be a real downer. What we need is the delusional confidence of a Mayor with 15 years of results in transforming our humble valley into an elitist playground for coastal transplants living on passive income.
Moving on from the CITY to the COUNTY, our self-appointed train czar, Dave Strohmaier, claims that Missoula exists in a strange metaphysical space where opposite things co-exist simultaneously.
What the heck am I talking about, you ask? I’m talking about this quote:
Missoula County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier also touched on the challenges of the past year and the opportunities that lie ahead.
The state of the community “is strong, but oh so fragile,” he said.
I bolded the juxtaposition of opposites here because I’m struggling to understand what the heck Dave is intending to convey with this zen-like koan describing our community status.
What does it mean to be STRONG but OH SO FRAGILE?
When you read further it gets a little clearer. The strong part is Dave and the people who think like Dave. The fragile part is the scary challenges ahead, especially the convenient boogeyman that we need to transform our society to combat: climate change. From the link:
“Housing obviously remains an acute challenge for our community, which is why we’ve hired a housing coordinator and initiated the process to develop a housing plan for the county,” Strohmaier said. “Because we didn’t just hit the pause button during the pandemic, we’re ready to hit the accelerator around this bend.”
The county continues to address a number of ongoing plans, including Mullan-area infrastructure, updated zoning codes, a new Food Policy Advisory Board and coexisting with fire. Climate change hasn’t abated, Strohmaier added, and neither has the county’s commitment to mitigate the crisis.
Yes, the housing crisis becomes an opportunity for the County to GROW LOCAL GOVERNMENT which costs taxpayers MORE MONEY which ultimately leads to justifying HIGHER TAXES. How exactly does this help our housing crisis?
Oh, the County is creating a PLAN because the CITY PLAN is producing such great results, just like the 10 year PLAN to end homelessness has produced such great results. And did you know they name their PLANS exotic sounding Native American names now? So play along with their virtue-signaling and say the name LOUD and PROUD:
Missoula also has a ZERO WASTE plan they call ZERO by FIFTY, which I find fucking hilarious. I laugh especially hard as I sift through wasted food and used needles at the camps.
All these plans from politicians with such great track records should NOT give anyone pause, like the pause on J&J jabs demanded by the FDA.
And why is that?
Because a pause might provide time to reflect, and reflecting might lead to questions, and there’s nothing worse for carefully laid plans than pesky questions.
So, in the words of that infamous psyops conglomerate known by the insidious letter “Q”, Missoula’s elected leaders just want you to TRUST THEIR PLANS!
If you want that nice sounding RENAISSANCE we are PERCHED on the EDGE of, your uncritical support for their establishment schemes is a must.
Without your support, their schemes won’t come to fruition.
So understand your power, and act accordingly.