by Travis Mateer
Before we get to what I learned at the Missoula Democrat Mayoral Candidate Forum, I should acknowledge that a TRILLION dollars is only a slight embellishment for our AWARD WINNING library. It took something like a $30 million dollar bond and extra half million from MRA to make sure Missoula has the BEST library in maybe the whole universe.
Here’s a quote from the last link (emphasis mine):
According to Mae Nan Ellingson, a retired public finance lawyer and the library board’s accounting expert, the firm they hired to perform the design and engineering plans for the library told them last fall that the roughly $35 million budget wasn’t going to be enough to cover the project that the board envisioned.
“We were about a million and a quarter over what they could deliver,” she explained. “One of the logical ways to cut costs was removing the fourth story. But as someone who wanted it to be an iconic establishment downtown, I was not willing to let go of that fourth floor.”
The fourth floor has been designed to have an event space that would house 250 people, an expansive view to the south with perhaps an outdoor deck, a reception area and a boardroom. Mayor John Engen said he and city chief administrative officer Dale Bickell believe that having the MRA pledge the money will not jeopardize future projects because although the district is running low on money now, it should see a significant increase in the next few years.
I am SO glad Mae Nan persisted in seeing her vision through (with other people’s money). The big windows provide a lovely view of Missoula, like the Madison street bridge, where a girl stabbed some other girls in alleged self-defense.
The political event was indeed on the 4th floor, but inside. Did I learn anything significant? Absolutely. I learned our current placeholder Mayor was born into a tough situation where, as a baby, he more than likely violated some health codes while being raised in a crib at his parents restaurant.
The pain of being the top bureaucrat presiding over a local government that could FINE someone like his own mom and dad must create some low-level cognitive dissonance within this placeholder’s psyche. Poor baby Hess!
While this is NOT baby Hess above, the very first picture definitely IS Mayor Hess saying YES to Tax Increment Financing. In fact, candidate Brandi Atanasoff was the ONLY candidate to write NO in this silly “flash round” of the event.
Did I learn anything else of value besides our Mayor entering life as a health code violation? Yes, I learned he named his dog Nimby, as in the acronym that stands for NOT IN MY BACK YARD.
Oh, and he wants to reshuffle local government in what sounds like a move that could be HUGE and EXPENSIVE. I even got a peek into how they’re going to try and do it.
Are you ready for this? Allow me to introduce the INTEGRATED PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT!
Isn’t this cool? But, I’m sure you’re wondering, how are we going to get to there? My hunch is through a ZERO-BASED scrutinization of each and every department, which would be a process that would last over a period of several years.
My ears perked up at “zero-based” because several candidates mentioned it. What is it? It’s a method of going back to ZERO when budget planning and justifying each and every expenditure as you build back your budget from the ground up.
While this might sound like an appealing process to suckers who think efficiency will be the result, they probably haven’t been almost killed by committee tedium, and, believe me, this tedium is intentional, since most don’t have the intestinal fortitude to stomach it.
This image is my impression of baby Hess spitting up his MEAN STATE OF MONTANA routine, which he reprised last evening to include a municipal conspiracy theory that the state of Montana is making our local fiscal pain SO BAD in order to make locals STOP VOTING for things like $30 million dollar library bonds.
Are you fucking kidding me, baby Hess? Did someone forget to properly burp you before this political event?
When I entertain conspiracy theories, like clowns being not-so-funny representations of evil Nephilim, people look at me weird. But when you’re baby Hess, I guess you can make up whatever paranoid conspiracy about STATE intentions you want–especially surrounded by OLD Democrats who probably can’t hear (or think) so good anyway–and get away with it.
If questions from the public had been allowed to be public, I would have asked the room for a show of hands of people under the age of 40, because there was like maybe 5, then I would have asked about how the candidates planned on engaging youth. More than likely I would have included some snark on how busy the kids are with stabbing each other, so it’s probably good the Dems kept the public leash tight.
Thanks for reading!