What Did The Larchmont Schemers Win By Losing?

by Travis Mateer

Before getting to what I think the schemers behind the proposal to develop Larchmont Golf Course won last week, let me explain a dynamic at play that puts citizens in this town at a great disadvantage when it comes to countering the gentrification plans of this entrenched, Engen-led political machine.

You, dear citizens, are stuck in a perpetual state of reaction because you have lives to live and limited bandwidth to direct toward anticipating what comes next. Our local government doesn’t have that problem because they take your money and hire people to plan your future for you.

So what did they win by losing? A new scapegoat to insulate Missoula’s 10 Year Plan To End Homelessness from criticism.

You can see the hints of this strategy in how this massive housing development on the grounds of the golf-course was being framed. Phrases like GAME-CHANGER were being thrown around as the potential impact of this development was being hyped.

Then there’s the target itself to consider: a golf course. and who likes to golf? Rich white dudes. And who doesn’t want the world to change because they have benefited from the omnipotent patriarchy that intercedes on behalf of their white-power penises? Do you see where this is going?

If not, here’s a comment from last week’s blog post on this topic that highlights the framing of those who oppose this development:

Yep, we’re back to the NO GROWTH accusation that people like Eloise have been using for literally TWO DECADES, if not longer. If you don’t believe me, check out this post from last week where I provide a little history regarding tax malcontents, including my new friend, the thorn in their side named Jane.

So, as the friends of Larchmont Golf Course celebrate what they see as a win, I hope they heed my warning about the trap I think they’ve walked into by unwittingly becoming the fresh target of those who want to EVADE RESPONSIBILITY for their 10 Year Plan To Spout Bullshit And Empty Platitudes Regarding Homelessness.

The biggest failure on this front, IMHO, is the ED of United Way of Missoula County, Susan Hay Patrick. I suspect that’s why Patrick was penning this op-ed last month, anticipating the 2022 scrutiny about to descend on her deplorable leadership. Here’s a taste of her pathetic damage control:

In partnership with the city and county, United Way is proud to champion Reaching Home and its many accomplishments: coordinated entry; solution-based weekly conferencing, where the cases of individuals experiencing homelessness are reviewed by name; a robust housing solutions fund, enabling frontline workers to quickly resolve clients’ housing issues; emergency winters shelter; a temporary safe outdoor space and, soon, other safe outdoor options for people with no other place to go. We are also proud of Reaching Home’s leadership roundtable of public- and private-sector leaders, including unhoused people, whose experience informs lasting solutions.

Having worked at the Poverello Center from 2008-2016, and having been actually quoted in the 10 Year Plan To End Homelessness, I can say with extreme confidence that Susan Hay Patrick is a failed leader who squandered the first 4 years of the plan, leaving the director at the time, former Missoulian reporter, Michael Moore, to flounder and fail in accomplishing the systemic reform he was tasked to do.

Back when I was keeping my mouth shut about Susan Hay Patrick’s failure, I had the smiling embrace of her support.

But now that I’m done staying quite about this duplicitous Missoula influencer (from Connecticut), the smiles have been replaced with some interesting signs of EXTREME CONCERN that the narrative controllers don’t have the hermetically-sealed control they once enjoyed.

There will be MUCH MORE TO COME as we finish up this insane year, and as we take a look at what to expect from 2022.

So stay tuned and, as always, thanks for reading!

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 What Did The Larchmont Schemers Win By Losing?

  1. I am agonizing because I spent an hour writing a comment and it was lost when I spilled my coffee on the laptop and shorted out the keyboard matrix, and although I thought I had copied it into the cache, it’s gone. Let me just say that I think you are spot on regarding the outlines of the batlle. I’ll re-post later today, but in the meantime here is some food for poetic inspiration:

    (1) The Mayor issued or introduced a ‘Proclamation in Memorial to the Homeless’ (or similarly-titled) document; this was referenced in the Citizen Participation materials for last Monday’s City Council meeting, but wasn’t addressed during the meeting and I was unable to download any of the agenda attachments by using the haphazard, non-user-friendly interface for live attendees of the Zoom council meeting. This really piques my interest and I hope you can find this and share it along with appropriate commentary. In my lost Comment, I went on about the boutique liberal (Neoliberal classist, oppressive economic/identity politics feel-good rhetoric) construct of the outgoing Council majority.

    (2) Along those lines, I fully expect that we will see a proposal to appropriate $100K+ to (a) study; (b) request proposals for; (c) commission an artist to produce; (d) erect a MONUMENT to the Homeless. The winning design will be a hammered copper sculpture depicting a non-binary adult couple, with one partner holding the hand of a child and the other partner holding an infant, knee-deep in snow, huddled in a too-small blanket whipped by wind. Around the base of the pedestal will be a duly-attributed inscription of thoughtful, poignant words by the Mayor about the sacred duty to protect and comfort those among us who lack shelter. This will be erected above the entrance to the massive underground parking garage serving inhabitants of the Berquist/Wagner/wag Twin HIgh-rise monstrosities at the former Missoulian property, which will be back on the front burner by Spring. There will be a motion by Gwen Jones to erect it in a new traffic circle on North Higgins, but she will withdraw the motion when her attention is drawn to a staff report in which that’s a spot being studied for a five-story statue of John Engen that houses public lavatories on the ground level and has a “Long Vision” indoor observation deck inside the head of the statue, the top of the head being a plexiglass dome. An elevator will carry people up and down, powered by a windmill disguised as the propeller of a beanie cap on the Mayor Engen statue’s head.

    Tell your friend (and mine) Jane that I’m eagerly awaiting a call, regarding helping on a project for which I suspect you and I share mutual enthisiasm.

    • We share plenty, especially when it comes to the cancel priests of holy content. This blog is now being flagged as UNSAFE by Microsoft Defender screen smart and WordPress claims total impotence to help their paying business customer.

  2. Big Swede says:

    Larchmont? Wouldn’t Bushwoods be a better name? Forty years ago they made a classic, Caddyshack. A classic fight between a developer and the powers to be at the club was a subplot.

    Your post took me back.

  3. Pingback: A New Metric For Making Public Comments? | Zoom Chron Blog

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