by Travis Mateer
One of my local sources of information is a Facebook group called Let’s Improve Reserve Street. Here is how this modest citizen effort to provide information is described by its creator:
This open, public, and engaging community page is an evolving project using social media to bring more attention to smart growth opportunities in Missoula.
While I despise Facebook, I find myself going to pages like this one more often because I simply can’t find the analysis and commentary on local issues anywhere else. And the commentary can be VERY interesting, sometimes adding so much context the comments themselves become the story.
I don’t think a recent comment by Dax Keuhn rises to THAT level, but I do think it’s helpful to examine who is coming out of the woodworks to say STOP TALKING ABOUT THAT.
Yesterday, in my open letter to Daniel Carlino, I essentially warned him that overt collaboration with a person like me will more than likely result in guilt by association smears on his character. I don’t say that to DISSUADE Daniel from doing what he can to stop the TIF madness, but to let him know what he’s getting into.
Me, I give ZERO FUCKS about loudly proclaiming how truly impressed I am that GREAT LEADER commands such a fervent following from GREAT supporters of GREAT things, like art. Brian and Karen Sippy, the owners of the Radius Gallery downtown, are first in mind when I think of how political contributions can lead to GREAT things.
Before getting to that greatness, here’s a screen shot of Brian’s political lubricant:
And here’s Karen’s:
Now, to understand exactly WHAT can be accomplished when properly lubricated, here’s the “reporting” on the sweet TIF this couple received after making these contributions:
A dated building in downtown Missoula will get a face lift and a new facade that hearkens back to the 1930s and an old art dealer that occupied the block before it was destroyed by fire.
Brian and Karen Sippy of Apple Lane LLC, and the owners and developers of the new building that now houses the Radius Gallery, plan to begin the $2.4 million project this year.
Last week, they received $94,000 in assistance from the Missoula Redevelopment Agency to fund deconstruction and make improvements to the public right-of-way in conjunction with the project. The funding is authorized under state law and meets the goals of Missoula’s Downtown Master Plan.
It’s moves like this, benefiting politically-connected couples like this one, that makes me think the TIF tool needs to be totally and 100% ABOLISHED.
But that’s just me. You out there reading this have a stake in what’s happening as well. What can YOU do to help?
Beyond helping me play the money game, just caring enough to read outside the corporate control grid is GREATLY appreciated by me, so thank you, and stay tuned for more!