by Travis Mateer
I think there are some assumptions behind the arrogant blatancy of Missoula’s political establishment assembling its GDT (Gentrification Dream Team) and the main one is this: citizens don’t have the bandwidth to pay attention.
Another assumption is that if Missoula citizens DO want to pay attention by, for example, reading a hip online news journals like the Missoula Current, then those outlets will be effective gatekeepers, only printing the bare minimum of what’s needed, like the names being appointed to sit on the Affordable Housing Resident Oversight Committee.
This is where I come in, using the power of the internet (in the time it took me to have a bowel movement) to find out stuff a 5th grader with an iPad could find.
Before getting to know Will Sebern, let’s remind ourselves why COMMUNITY members like Will are being asked to provide input through this committee:
The city created its Affordable Housing Trust fund last summer. Once seated, the committee will recommend allocating funding from the trust fund toward certain housing needs and projects.
“I think this committee is really important to this community and we took it very seriously,” said council member Gwen Jones.
I agree with Jones, they ARE taking this committee very seriously, so seriously that they see it as an opportunity to slip a GDT from the bench into the coveted COMMUNITY slot:
The city’s appointments, approved on Wednesday, include Paul Herendeen from the banking and finance industry and Katie Carlson from the housing and real estate industry. The appointments also include Laura Bird – a community member with experience seeking housing assistance – and community member Will Sebern.
I don’t know how our illuminated braintrust (City Council members) technically DEFINE what it means to be a COMMUNITY member, but if Will Sebern is supposed to be an example, it means you moved from Milwaukee four years ago to take a government job with the city of Missoula…
…and now you’re working at ClassPass in the heart of downtown:
Here’s a little perspective I’d like to share with RD readers because it helps put the PEP in my STEP when I think about it, and it goes something like this: Missoula’s political establishment is assembling a GDT because they absolutely NEED a GDT to maintain control. They can’t even allow a puny little community member in a toothless committee appointment to sully the PR plan because EVERY SINGLE FACET must SPARKLE to DAZZLE the public into a stupor of learned helplessness.
And that is where I come in.
So stay tuned…