by Travis Mateer
Yesterday I attended the kick-off to the campaign to convince voters they need to finance two more buildings at the Missoula County Fairgrounds. Despite claiming this will be a great thing for the community, maybe 20 people actually showed up, and I think most of them probably came for the free LemonDairy drinks.
Did I have a free LemonDairy? Yes. Was it delicious? Yes. Am I now supporting this bond to build two buildings for cows and hockey players? Hell no. And neither should you.
The slogan VOTE FOR OUR FAIRGROUNDS is really dumb because we don’t need to vote for something we already have. I guess saying VOTE FOR TWO BIG BUILDINGS didn’t have the same, disingenuous ring to it. But they are pretty nice looking buildings.
As I sat at a picnic table waiting for the Ice Rink board president, Ryan Yearous, to speak, I considered the offensiveness of this bond being pitched during an election cycle with double digit tax increases at the City AND County level, not to mention the other bond for the Sheriff’s Office payout, and the mill levy for sustaining homeless services.
And then I saw this:
This guy must be a lot of fun for cops and Poverello staff who ALL must be cynically scoffing at how this whole criminal justice thing is supposed to work. From the link (emphasis mine):
“Missoula Police officers responded to the Poverello Center after Virinder Brar threw a rock through a big window, causing it to shatter,” Arnold said. “On scene, witnesses told officers that Brar was upset because he was denied staying at the Poverello for the evening. Brar had also been throwing rocks at sleeping guests. He was also yelling and screaming at them. Witnesses were able to provide officers with Brar’s name, clothing description, and the direction of travel he left on.”
According to court documents, two people who were outside the Poverello told officers that Brar had been asking people for “crystal” and when they said no, he started throwing rocks at people and saying he was going to kill them.
Another staff member found the rock that was thrown through the window. The window was large and double-paned. The rock traveled through the exterior window and also caused an interior window to spiderweb when it hit it. The rock was also wrapped in the lottery ticket that Brar had tried to redeem.
“Officers located Brar near the Poverello Center and took him into custody,” Arnold said. “Officers took photos of the scene. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division. This is the fourth time Brar has been arrested by the Missoula Police Department since September 3, 2022. Two of the previous arrests were for felony charges and one was for a misdemeanor offense.”
The cost of the Sheriff/Homeless taxpayer package is around $9.4 million. The Fairground ask is more than double that.
I know there’s a baby in there somewhere, but there’s also A LOT of dirty bathwater. It’s going to be difficult work getting in there and finding what needs to be truly rescued, but I’m going to try.
And to those who have been around the block a few times, and who think yesterdays tactics will play with tomorrow’s POA (power of attorney), you should really think twice about continuing on your current trajectory.
My suggestion? Enjoy a brain-freezing LemonDairy, they are truly delicious! Thanks for reading!
Unfortunately I believe all these bonds/mills will pass and handily. As Mr Hunt often points out 40% + of Missoulians are from the passive income monied class. They will vote in support as they try to transform Missoula more into where they originally came from (funny they let those places but want to recreate them). Added taxes are not an issue to this group.
Further, there will be (as always) a large get out the vote (and vote correctly) campaign focused on the college students. As this group will not see the consequence of their vote and cannot correlate higher taxes mean higher rents they will vote for these projects. Engen was a master of rallying idealistic college votes – 5 to 10 thousand to push his agenda. How we ended up with a $40 million park, a $40 million library and $ 20 million dollars of open space.
During low voter turnout these two groups alone will ensure these frivolities pass.
Expect our taxes to go up even more than the 22% increase we are already going to see from City/County.
…..And then next year we will be hit with Donna Gaukler’s dream community rec center for another $40 mill!
Never ends – just keep raising taxes and whining that the State wont fund Missoula’s wish list