by Travis Mateer
Short answer: yes, Missoula clearly needs something more potent than new graphics propagandizing the benefit of MRA’s gentrification engine, because Council members like Daniel Carlino and Kristen Jordan JUST DON’T SEEM TO BE GETTING IT.
That second link takes you to another iteration of Martin “Gomer” Kidston’s coercion campaign against Carlino and company for continuing to issue pesky NO votes on MRA related items before Council. This time, it’s the reappointment of a “community volunteer”, Ruth Reineking.
Here’s where Gomer starts in on the detractors (after praising Rieneking):
But four council members opposed Reineking’s reappointment, largely due to their opposition to MRA in general. Ward 3 council member Daniel Carlino suggested Reineking was part of an agency that gives “millions for redevelopment for corporate hotels, big banks and market rate housing.”
Carlino later took his attacks on MRA to his Twitter. However, he has blocked the Missoula Current from viewing his social media platforms. His comments are also misleading, advocates have said, citing state statute.
I had to laugh when I read the part about Carlino blocking Gomer on Twitter. That’s fucking hilarious, and forces Gomer to report on shit he can’t even read, relying instead on “advocates” telling him the comments he can’t read are misleading.
Great reporting, Gomer.
Further along in the article we get the sense that not only are these opponents not getting it, they’re getting MOUTHY about it. That’s why it’s nice to have a Gomer put them in their place, ensuring his audience understands Mirtha Becerra is telling the CORRECT story about the GLORY of MRA, as we’ll soon find out:
“When I think of MRA and tax increment financing, affordable housing comes to mind – parks, sidewalks and sewer connections,” said council member Mirtha Becerra. “(Reineking) has carried the goals of affordability and affordable housing with a lot of passion and dedication.”
Council member Kristen Jordan countered Becerra’s comments by saying “corporate welfare comes to mind.” But public comment called out such misstatements.
“I’d like to encourage the newer board members to actually look into what MRA does and do a little more research before making their opinions,” said Diane Stensland-Bickers. “MRA does some good work and they need to do some more research because their opinions are wrong.”
Who is this person telling Council members to do more research because their opinions are wrong? I’m not sure why Diane Stensland-Bickers gets the last word in Gomer’s article, but she does, so I dug around to find out what other topics Diane is trying to influence, and I found this about masking kids in schools:
I also dug around for more context on Ruth Reineking and found her glowing support of the pedestrian bridge scam that extended the life of the Urban Renewal District after the project took on massive debt.
Here’s Ruth from another Gomer article:
Ruth Reineking, a member of MRA’s Board of Directors, said that while the agency has long partnered with public and private entities to help improve economic vitality, create jobs and encourage investment, the new bridge represents a milestone in public infrastructure.
“Through MRA, the city has constructed all pedestrian bridges in Missoula,” said Reineking. “This bridge, though, is by far the most high-tech, beautiful and exciting bridge project we’ve completed.”
Ruth can say how high-tech and beautiful this bridge is because the Gomer article is from 2017, before the problems with the bridge got so obvious and dangerous this absurd fix was required (emphasis mine):
The South Reserve Street pedestrian bridge in Missoula has an issue — it gets too icy in the winter for people to walk safely across it.
From September to May the bridge is subjected to frost, and the deck’s current heating and sensor system can’t keep up when temperatures dip below 20 degrees.
On Wednesday, Missoula’s Parks and Recreation Department approved fixing the bridge’s defrosting system.
It will cost the city $30,000 but is expected to help lower the electric cost to run the system and will not need as much maintenance from staff.
See Ruth, I DO do my research before forming my opinion that you are just another rubber-stamper for the Engen cabal.
Though we may not always agree on methods and tactics and the degree of cynicism required to navigate this beautiful cesspool (we’re gonna need to talk about the 420 party downtown, Missoula), I’d be happy to share a bunk with Danny at the MRA reeducation camp.
I’ve got a great Gomer song I think he’d appreciate.
Thanks for reading. And tomorrow, the poem…