by Travis Mateer
Leverage is knowing if someone had all the money in the world, this is what they would buy.
-John Dutton, Yellowstone
I’m opening today’s post with a quote from Yellowstone because the THIS John Dutton is talking about–LAND in Montana–is being snatched up at a record pace and the man who has overseen the rapid gentrification of Zoom Town wants another 4 years to continue reaping the benefits.
I found an interview Engen did back in 2014 that is worth checking out. Here a question/answer about what Engen’s 2020 vision for Missoula was seven years ago:
Do you have a particular vision for Missoula that you would like to see accomplished by 2020, something Missoula should be working towards?
Absolutely, we need to continue to work on establishing mechanisms to fund the work that we need to do within our community. As federal resources become scarcer, we need to be more creative about capturing revenue and paying our own way. It’s more effective. It’s more efficient. In the long run, it’s cheaper, and it takes less time. We need to become more self-sufficient, and we’re in a good position to do that.
I think this response is hilarious considering our elected officials are currently having a tantrum over the loss of their local option gas tax.
For more current context about our Mayor’s bid for a fifth term, Engen’s campaign treasurer, the former director of the Five Valleys Land Trust, Amber Sherrill, has an op-ed worth reading (if you can stomach it). Here’s a taste:
While I have worked with Mayor Engen over the years on conservation projects – I really began to understand the significance of his leadership and his accomplishments as our Mayor once I began serving on city council two years ago. I became John’s treasurer because he has the experience and leadership skills we all can trust, and that we need going into the next four years.
When I think about the impact of John’s leadership of Missoula I think about the boldness and vision of purchasing our water company and how great that has been for our community. I think about all the conservation projects he has supported over the years, how he is always balancing our economy and the housing market without ever taking his eye off of what is equitable, and how incredibly thankful I have been to have his experience at the helm during the COVID pandemic, one of the most difficult years in any of our lifetimes.
If you are having difficulty reading this, then prepare yourself for when Sherrill REALLY pours it on:
But when I reflect on why I continue to support him to lead our city, the real reason for my support is the faith and trust I have in him as a person.
Yes, he is smart and understands the importance of compromise and coalition building, but I am supporting him because I believe he genuinely cares about every single person in Missoula. Whether I am meeting with him about equitable and efficient vaccine distribution, sidewalks in neighborhoods that are underserved, businesses struggling during COVID, economic development and bringing in higher paying jobs, he is always, and I mean always, considering who it will affect and if it will help Missoulians.
He values people and he knows that every person has value.
Yeah, sure he does.
Later today I’ll be recording another episode of Zoom Town with my co-host, Tim Adams. We will continue discussing our local municipal elections. I’ve got some interesting stuff I’ll be discussing that I guarantee you won’t be hearing ANYWHERE else.
So stay tuned…