Defund The Ruse Of Missoula Economic Development Spending!

by Travis Mateer

This week a socialist-leaning City Councilor made a fiscally conservative move I can totally get behind, and that’s trying to slash the city’s expenditure to the Missoula Economic Partnership from ONE HUNDRED GRAND down to fifty thousand, a much less offensive number when it comes to funding an organization that lists the Riverfront Triangle as one of its development sites.

Here’s more from MEP framing the Urban Renewal District this site sits in for any future developers who might be enticed by such a scheme (emphasis mine):

Located in one of Missoula’s Urban Renewal Districts, the site has plenty of opportunities for public/private partnerships which could include working with the city for shared parking, using TIF funding for infrastructure or site improvements, or a commercial partnership with a locally-owned entertainment and events promotion company to manage an onsite event center.  The city, downtown businesses, and community are interested in seeing this site transform into model development project and welcome all creative ideas and partners to get that off the ground.

The slashing of the six figures down to five is still a long shot, but that doesn’t stop me from greatly enjoying the unexpected delay, along with the resulting propaganda consternation Martin “Gomer” Kidston has to put out from his CURRENT.

From the link (emphasis mine):

A simple effort to renew a contract with the city’s economic development partner failed to advance on Wednesday after City Council member Daniel Carlino sought to cut the contracted funding amount and offer other amendments to keep it from advancing.

For a decade or more, the city has contracted with the Missoula Economic Partnership to bring business and jobs to the community. The organization has been successful in growing the city’s economy and, more recently, it has been a strong advocate for the construction of workforce and affordable housing.

Both the city and county each provide MEP roughly $100,000 a year to sustain the work – a figure that has remained unchanged for years. But Carlino sought to cut that amount to $50,000 and divert the remainder to a range of social programs.

By RECENTLY showing “strong advocacy” lip service to subsidized housing, the head of MEP, Grant Kier, is hoping to fashion for his org a figurative umbrella for a real shit storm that’s brewing. Will it work?

I think it will, and the six figures will win out eventually, but for now, ending the week with palpable annoyance wafting like Pilsner fumes from Gomer’s words is deeply appreciated.

Grant Kier, president of MEP, said the organization has evolved over the past few years in response to the pandemic to focus on other community needs. After a public engagement process, MEP created a new comprehensive economic development strategy that looked toward housing and growing existing businesses.

The organization has the broad support of most council members.

“We need targeted economic growth and MEP provides that to us,” said council member Mirtha Becerra. “I think it’s important to have those with that area of expertise, that set of tools, to help us grow economically.”

The City Council will try again next week to ratify the contract.

Try and try again, you BROAD SUPPORTING City Councilors, because it’s only been how many weeks since you were so apoplectic over having no money for homeless solutions?

To wrap up this post, here’s an image of a sign that ended the forward progression of any multi-modal travelers that came across it on Thursday.

Why was a police cruiser on the bike path? Because a stabbing occurred earlier in the day, so the crime scene had to be secured.

I wonder what a drug crisis does to the task of pimping economic development to nice employers, like Cognizant?

If you’d like to help fund my pursuit of answers to questions like those, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to help, while making a donation at my about page is another.

Thanks for reading!

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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