by Travis Mateer
It’s really too bad OUR MISSOULA COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP, meeting for just the second time in its short existence, was not set up for public comments. Because if they HAD been ready to allow public comment at this PUBLIC meeting, then I would have given them a comment to remember about Tax Increment Financing and PUBLIC FUCKING SAFETY.
I was ALSO planning on commenting on the breaking news that City Council member, Daniel Carlino, is going to be sued by a butt-hurt developer by the name of Matt Sullivan over claims of reputation-harm and other supposedly scandalous stuff Carlino did to hurt the gentrification plans Sullivan has been developing with public dollars.
Before getting to the impending litigation, here’s how the Missoulian reported on the conflict back in April (emphasis mine):
Despite the criticism of a Missoula City Council member who called it “gentrification” and criticized the developer, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s board on Thursday approved $257,924 in Tax Increment Financing for a new housing project. The money will pay for deconstruction of existing aging houses and public right-of-way improvements to help with the construction of a new 26-unit apartment building on Front Street downtown.
Developers Matt Sullivan and his wife, Caroline McCauley, own 401 and 333 Front Street, near Kiwanis Park. They plan to allow Wasteless Works to deconstruct the two buildings on site, which were both built over 100 years ago.
“The funding request is for asbestos abatement, deconstruction of the buildings and site clearance, improvements in the public right-of-way and restoration of any impacts to Kiwanis Park,” explained MRA director Ellen Buchanan in a memo to the board. “The right of way improvements include sidewalks, curb and gutter, storm drainage, boulevard landscaping and a new downtown standard streetlight. Work in Kiwanis Park will consist of reclaiming and reseeding disturbed landscaping and removal and replacement of trees where required.”
Isn’t this nice for Sullivan and his wife, Caroline? With all that money they are saving with public dollars, they can more effectively finance their retaliation against Carlino:
A family business in Missoula has retained legal counsel to represent their claims that a member of City Council acted in a “libelous and unethical” manner as the city reviewed and considered their proposed downtown apartment project.
Matt Sullivan, who owns MC Real Estate Development with his wife, spent the past year working to get their planned 26-unit apartment project through review.
Now represented by Datsopulos, McDonald & Lind, the family alleges that Ward 3 council member Daniel Carlino took a number of steps to interfere with their project, including an attempt to block the granting of a small easement and publicly spreading false information about the project and the family business.
“Our client’s overall observation is that Mr. Carlino’s dogged opposition is almost always paired with public statements that are demonstrably false … all of which seriously threaten the viability of our client’s project and their valuable reputation,” the law firm wrote in a letter to the City Attorney’s Office.
I highlighted the FAMILY depiction of Matt Sullivan’s real estate business because I think it’s an adorable touch for the “reporter”, Martin “Gomer” Kidston, to make with his totally biased, pro-development cheerleading. Good job, Gomer!
I’m particularly sensitive to the retaliation Carlino has received for his principled stand against Tax Increment Financing since it’s the kind of retaliation I have experienced myself. That’s why I found it particularly galling to be condescended to today by the woman who forwarded her career by helping cover up the dangerous character flaws of elected leaders, like our former Mayor, John Engen, and Ellie Hill/Smith/Boldman.
As I continue to look into the corruption within our Homeless Industrial Complex, I hope the people who once valued my work understand how much I continue to HOLD BACK what I know about how they operate, and who has benefited from their complicity in corruption.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about all this in the Week in Review, if I can find the energy to record something before Sunday. As it stands, I’m pretty fucking done with this week, so maybe I’ll take Sunday off. Or maybe I’ll just post the cartel song I wrote and recorded this morning.