I Told You, I Told You, I Told You, But NOOOOOO, You Do This Shit Anyway

by Travis Mateer

It seems like just yesterday (because it was) that I mocked County shelter project whatever, Casey Gannon, for being ignorant or a liar when he claimed the Reserve Street bridge area was being successfully managed until just recently, when people started RETURNING to live and generate TONS of trash again.

I’m writing about this topic again, a day later, because the MOST AMAZING article just showed up at NBC Montana that I think warrants all the ‘I TOLD YOU SOs’ greeting readers at the top of this post.

Instead of the false success Gannon tried spinning for the media, it seems reality has set in, reality like this:

Nearly three months after the Montana Department of Transportation locked the gates to keep people from camping under Missoula’s Reserve Street Bridge, the chains are now cut and six to 10 people are camping in the area again.

District Administrator Bob Vosen says it may only get worse.

As readers may recall, I’ve determined Bob Vosen’s role in this charade is to be a soccer ball. But with all the money that’s been uselessly directed at this blackhole of idiocy, I may have to go with pinball–the kind that hits things and racks up points for the player feeding the machine the coins.

For a reminder on the coinage the fencing cost, here’s the price tag from last year:

The Montana Department of Transportation is contracting Idaho Fence for construction.

District administrator Bob Vosen tells NBC Montana the fence will be 3,133 feet with seven gates. 

The estimated cost of the fence is $163,686.

Once upon a time this amount of money could buy a fucking house. Now it’s chump change (thanks taxpayer!) going to a failed strategy I told PINBALL Bob, in more than one phone conversation, would end up this way.

Listen to the DINGS this pinball is singing now about the COMBINED failure of the private security firm, Rogers International, and the idiotic fence an Idaho fence company installed (partially) last summer.

MDT hired Rogers International security to patrol and try to keep people from under the bridge, but a Ninth Circuit Court decision limits what enforcement actions they can take. The decision says cities can’t criminalize homelessness through citations or other means.

In response, MDT is putting their efforts on hold.

“We do have some holdouts that are still down there who have moved back or have been extremely resistant to relocating,” said Vosen. “So rather than keep throwing resources at it without a strong legal backing, we’ve decided to suspend things until we have that strong legal backing we need.”

That means Rogers International won’t be patrolling the area until they can legally enforce no trespassing. They won’t replace chains and locks that have been cut either.

“It’s just an effort of futility until we have something we can go forward and process with,” said Vosen.

Do you see all this failure? I want to add emphasis, but then would be tempted to just bold the whole thing.

And I haven’t even included yet the intentional failure of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department, who join the chorus in shouting NINTH CIRCUIT COURT DECISION like a “wounded” Vet with an eyepatch shouting PTSD to avoid accountability.

Here’s why no one can do anything:

Vosen says MDT, in conjunction with the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, wants a court order that they have the authority to remove people from the area when they’re trespassing.

We called the sheriff’s office and spoke with PIO Jeannette Smith to confirm. She said that would be an MDT initiative and the sheriff’s office did not have plans to pursue a court order.

“We’re working toward that now,” said Vosen. “We definitely aren’t turning a blind eye, we’re doing everything we can.”

Sure, PinBob, I’m sure a court order will happen some day. Of course, to be ever malleable to the other forces that moves Bob’s balls, there’s “no timeline” for this new last final great hope of a court order. Just a feeble claim of “right direction”.

Vosen says there isn’t a timeline for when they may have that backing, but they’re moving in the right direction, calling it a long, slow, challenging process.

While PinBob does his thing, volunteers like me will be rolling up our sleeves next Friday to accomplish more in one day, in terms of trash removal, than the tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars have done over the years.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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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7 Responses to I Told You, I Told You, I Told You, But NOOOOOO, You Do This Shit Anyway

  1. John Ulrigg says:

    I’ve been telling these pinheads since 2015 that the desert rain versus city of Los Angeles law applies in the 9th circuit Court the ignorant fucks here said tonight circuit Court doesn’t include Missoula that’s la

    So then why do I have 37 of them God forsaken fucking tickets when I’ve told them every fucking time it’s illegal to write them it’s considered torture by the United Nations and yet they ignored me and they ignored my laments about Boise Martin and they just now in 2022 7 years after I told them said that there’s a losses they can’t ride tickets to the homeless if anybody would like to go back and read my article in the Missouri in 2018 I can test that the taking of my houses was illegal and the forcing of us to move into homelessness they could not stop us from residing in a motorhome on the side of the street I researched it before we ever bought the motorhome and this was told to every police officer that came and wrote us a ticket did they fix it did they say you’re right no they fucking wrote 37 of those tickets and never once did they ask us didn’t we need help not once and in the article Ethan Smith the criminal cop who’s a thief says oh yeah we tried to get him into the I don’t know what the hell you call that program but it’s bullshit it’s called a lullaby treatment lot of soothing talk and a lot of spending money that they don’t have

    Getting fucking honesty out of these talking heads is ridiculously impossible especially when they have their own oligarch circle to consider and to protect

    It’s funny you mentioned PTSD clinically I’m diagnosed with having a PTSD that was caused by my assault from two police officers that beat the shit out of me in 2004

    You know you’re reading the paper how cops get in trouble for that all the time but these cops were never punished they were promoted advanced and they shoved it all in the round fucking file and that’s when I found out about the an officer’s right to privacy outweighs the public’s right to know bullshit you know you ask Ben woods or Chris schermer did they get a greasy pass to leave and go away when they committed crimes yes they did the slime balls who are enforcing the law broke the law and then got moved to a different Police department well thank God the council in the town of where the hell Shermer went listen to me when I told him of his illegal behavior in Billings he was prompted removed as chief of police that’s accountability that’s how it’s supposed to work but not in Missoula fucking vacuum of conflict of interest and accountability Montana

    Over on another post these idiots are condemning me for saying that LLCs are corrupt and that anyone can get money and they’re trying to tell me that Rivera is not employing any silent LLC partners yet they’re gathering donation upon donation tax fund after tax fund shoved in their complete because they’re working with the city of Missoula and someone said you can see the members of Rivera yeah you see the faces that they placed up there but you don’t see who the Missoula contingent is and they’re not required by law to tell you that they have people on their payroll getting a perpetuity percentage so if I get 20 of these and kick back 3% of each one I’m living fat and large for the rest of my life

    This is how the wealthy think fuck the poor they’re here for us to be used up and fought it out so that we can make our wealth even further and greater while stacking the hobby of the 2020s

    Got to multibillionaires living here and neither one of them lives a finger to do anything about the housing

    Pedestria’s fuck call up there rich friends and say oh it’s so beautiful here you should live here you see the fucking problem I do

    I don’t know how to confirm it but someone told me 40% of this valley is millionaires most of them moving here after the pandemic to work from home they’re not listed as income earning people because their job is not here and they have enough money to live independently without working so they come here drop their chunk of money everyone freaks out grabs it as much as they can and they get loved and lauded because they made people wealthy here fuck the poor right

    So Danny Washington so Hyatt hotel Harris chop chop you guys got more money than you could wrap your arms and your legs and your hands around and you can’t help fix the fucking homeless problem you’re disgusting Rich pieces of shit

    Especially when you know that this problem is nowhere on par with Seattle or Portland and yet it’s been painted is that in this town to scare people into thinking you’re doing something positive for the first time ever only because cares act and arpa money are in play here and our Mayors got a big fat straw for snoring up all the money he can get

    Between chugs of alcohol of course

  2. Trespassing? On public property? Which everyone, including the homeless person, owns a piece of? How can you be charged with trespassing when you are on your own property?

    One way to solve this dilemma would be to force the MDT (another piece of property which everyone owns and no one is responsible for) to sell the real estate under the bridge (and the bridge itself) to a private person or entity and allow the new owner to manage it as a private property owner would. Of course, the issue of homeless people camping there would still have to be addressed and resolved, but the method of doing so would then be by agreement between two private parties, not one of government vs. citizen edict/compliance.

    Would this work? Could private industry build and manage roads and deliver mail more efficiently than the government? Honestly, we don’t know because something of this nature has never been tried, but the moment is approaching when we will be forced to choose between maintaining the status quo and charting a new, different way. One thing is for certain. The old way is not working.

    Travis, I am intrigued by your mention of rolling up your shirtsleeves and pitching in to clean up the trash. I would join you but I have to work on Friday. However, if you send me information about the event, I will post it on my website calendar (https://face-of-freedom.org) to make it known to others who might be able to help.

    • Greg Strandberg says:

      I feel this would be a bad idea. In 1868, Montana had 33 toll companies operating the various toll roads. The legislature set what they could charge: $1.50 for each wagon and 25 cents for each additional team of horses. Might not sound like a lot, but the equivalent of $1.50 in 1860s dollars is $52 today. Can you imagine paying $52 each time you have to cross the Reserve Street Bridge?

      • Of course no one is going to pay $52 every time they cross the bridge. This is nonsensical and hyperbolic.

        “A hyperbole is a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; it’s an extravagant statement. In adjective form, the term is hyperbolic. The concept is also called overstatement.” — https://www.thoughtco.com/hyperbole-figure-of-speech-1690941

        1. Your statement would be far more applicable to Montana converting the entire length of I-90 into a toll road and charging $52 for a tractor trailer to travel from one end to the other. Put this way, it sounds entirely reasonable. In fact, there are states in this country which operate toll roads this way and everyone pays the freight without a second thought.

        2. There are only three possibilities of ownership to consider when dealing with any property: private, public, and partnership. We do not have private ownership of roads or bridges except in very small, very limited situations. Most roads are public, that is to say they are government owned. The third possibility results in what is known as corporate fascism or a merging of public-private interests and is explained quite well by what you have described.

        In 1868, 154 years ago, Montana had a system of toll roads. Montana determined what the tolls would be. Presumably, Montana determined what private, for-profit company would administer and maintain these roads. The unasked question is this–how much would the tolls on these roads have been IF the State had not been involved and arbitrarily decided to set these fees? More? Less? An equal amount? No one knows since a free-market system was never established. Instead, it was set up by pure fiat with no means of determining the true costs because there was no cost/profit analysis. The legislature decided to impose these fees, everyone paid these fees whether they were right and reasonable or outrageously wrong. End of argument.

        Yes, fascism was alive and well even in Montana in 1868. Mussolini only coined the term.

        3. If a free-market scenario was implemented like the one I pitched earlier, the bridge would probably have some type of device to read some type of ID on your car or truck. This would automatically debit a certain amount from your financial account every time you crossed the bridge. Considering the amount of traffic which crosses the bridge every day, the cost to make one transit would, in all likelihood, be pennies or a fraction of a penny, none of which would make anyone take a second look. But, again, none of us know what the true cost to own and maintain this bridge really is because everything is flushed through the bureaucratic system known to Montana taxpayers as MDT. We will never know as long as the current system is in place.

  3. aint gonna do it says:

    Ah, the ultimate free market wet dream: tatoo a q-code on everybodies forhead and siphon money out of their bank account for everything they do. And when there account goes negative, take ownership in the precious bodily fluids and minerals deposited within over the years. welcome to slavehood 2022!

    guess that means unbanked people and homeless people are left to swim across the river. Yay amerikkka!

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