Shoving Sidewalk Costs On Homeowners While Rewarding Engen Loyalists With TIF Handouts Gives Daniel Carlino Cover To Keep Going

by Travis Mateer

I am simply LOVING the opposition that has formed against the Engen rubber-stampers, led by Daniel Carlino.

The latest indication that all is not well in Zoom Town is the battle to defer as much costs for sidewalks onto homeowners as possible. With so much financial pressure building across the socioeconomic spectrum, it’s down right offensive that ANY costs are being placed on homeowners, especially while Engen loyalists, like the Sippy’s, get a cool hundred grand for their new commercial property acquisition.

Here’s the latest Missoula Current effort to shame Carlino for his NO vote.

Council member Daniel Carlino suggested the current program was inequitable, but other council members disagreed.

“When we talk about equitability, we’re assuming that for the city to pay for all sidewalks, that it’s going to come out of our General Fund, and that means every resident of Missoula will have to pay for all sidewalks,” said council member Mirtha Becerra. “I think we have to be careful when we start talking about being equitable.”

Some opponents of the current program, including Carlino, believe the city should cover the entire cost. He suggested that the revenue should be pulled from the General Fund, even if that places the cost on all taxpayers, as other council members noted.

Before this quote, the Gomer article makes it sound like homeowners have a VOLUNTARY opportunity to get a GREAT deal on financing sidewalks. Missing is the context that three years ago homeowners were being FORCED to spend upwards of $20,000 in some cases for sidewalks.

Here’s one of the key complainers from that time period who got Engen to change his mind about the program (probably because she knew him from her job at the Missoulian):

At least one of the Slant Street homeowners who led the charge via social media was pleased with the steps taken Friday afternoon.

“Thank you to Twitter & FB friends, and the S. O. , & Mayor Engen and my parents (who taught me to be a big mouth & stand up for myself.),” homeowner Kathleen Kimble wrong on Facebook. “EGREGIOUS SIDEWALK BILLS ARE ON HOLD FOR NOW, IMMEDIATE PROJECT CANCELED. City will work on better kinder formula for paying for sidewalks/ curbs.”

Kimble, however, urged local residents to stay involved in the process, lest they again be saddled with sky-high sidewalk assessments.

Yep, I think Kimble has a GREAT suggestion for residents, because if they don’t stay involved, the schemers in local government will stick it to you EVERY TIME.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned, because there is so much more to come!

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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