What The Hell Are We Paying For?

by Travis Mateer

This mural did NOT cost Missoula County $170,000 dollars. No, two dozen employees INSIDE this building are what cost Missoula County $170,000, but now those employees are going to be without a job. Why? Because corporations do what corporations do, and our elected leaders are either too stupid or too uncaring to fully incorporate this reality into how they make decisions with our public money.

But don’t worry, Missoula taxpayers, Grant Kier totally feels bad about all this. From the link (emphasis mine):

A company that makes dietary supplements is planning to shut its Missoula location at the end of September and has given layoff notices to scores of employees.

Elite One Source, located at 1001 S. Third St. W., employed local workers to manufacture dietary supplements and other custom products. As of October of 2021, the company reporting having 120 local employees, including managers, chemists, cleaners and product blenders. Earlier this year, the company announced a merger with a Florida company called Ion Labs, and the new company was then called Ion Nutritional Labs.

In 2018, the company was on a hiring spree and won a contract with Missoula County for up to $170,000 for the creation of 24 new jobs. The money comes from the state’s coal severance tax in the form of the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund. The program is designed to help businesses create jobs that are paid for by revenue brought in from out-of-state, thus increasing the state’s tax base and boosting the economy.

This is disappointing news,” said Grant Kier, the president and CEO of the Missoula Economic Partnership. “As Missoula targets support for manufacturing and mid-wage job growth, Elite One Source has been a great model of making a great product with great people. Our aim now will be to identify ways that these people can re-deploy their skills and experience to move their careers forward and help other businesses in our community succeed.”

As a reminder, the CITY of Missoula just gave Grant Kier’s organization $100,000, despite the objections of Councilperson, Daniel Carlino. Boy, it sure would have been nice if this news had broken just a few weeks earlier so critics of municipal bullshit like me could ask, in a very decorum kind of way, WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE PAYING FOR?!?

Keeping with this theme, let’s move on the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, a law enforcement institution that runs our local jail while ALSO providing euthanizing services for uppity black men who may or may not have seen something regarding a drug investigation and federal informants in December of 2019 at Silver Park in Missoula.

Of course, that was under our previous Sheriff, T.J. McDermott. The NEW SHERIFF of Zoom Town, Jeremiah Petersen, hasn’t made ANY public appearances as far as I know since he got his job last November when he ran unchallenged to be Top Cop of Missoula County. My first question is WHY NOT? Is this man too scared about what kind of questions a journalist like me would ask if he exposed himself to the public?

My SECOND question to Sheriff Petersen, were I to get such an opportunity, would go something like this: why didn’t the jail take the drug bag, Jeremiah? Were your jailers too scared of what they would find inside?

Meth AND Amphetamine? FFS, KGVO, even your headlines are pathetic. From the link (emphasis mine):

The officer spoke with a male who identified himself as Harley Glover. The officer ran a warrant check on Glover and found an active out-of-county warrant. The officer told Glover about the warrant, detained him, removed his backpack, and placed him under arrest. However, Glover refused consent to search his backpack.  

The officer transported Glover to the Missoula County Detention Facility, which would not accept the backpack. The officer then took Glover’s backpack to the Missoula Police Department and conducted an inventory search.

I have good reason for wondering how much fear has percolated throughout the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office. You see, I sat in a courtroom and watched intently as body camera footage showed how TERRIFIED Missoula County Sheriff Deputies were despite the fact Johnny Lee Perry only had a machete and all these big men with badges had guns.

Why were they afraid? Since I heard their entire plan to neutralize Johnny (the man accused of single handedly rendering Sean Stevenson unconscious before the Sheriff’s Office euthanized him at St. Pats.), I know our Missoula County Sheriff Deputies were afraid of just the POSSIBILITY heavily armed tweakers could be hiding out in one of the structures near where Johnny was playfully swinging around the blade.

Sure, they had solid intel from the other three people out there that no one else was present, but these people were drug addicts, so I guess they couldn’t be trusted, even though the Sheriff’s Office seemed to put A LOT of trust in Jackie Maxvill’s version of the story.

Since I worked for 7 years at Missoula’s homeless shelter, I have lots of good intel to, like how the owner of the backpack the jail was too scared to take, Harley Glover, is brothers with this guy:

And their mother is currently an urban camper with a serious drug addiction who I’ve heard some very troubling things about recently.

I know, maybe if we just spend MORE MONEY on all of this, it will get better. Right, Hess? (emphasis mine):

Hess said that state increase is offset by his reduction in mills, though the city is still looking at $6.3 million in new spending. Much of that is directed toward social services including a second shelter, a Crisis Response Team, a Mobile Support Team, equality and justice, and various subsidized housing programs.

It also sets aside funding for city departments, offers a cost-of-living increase for city employees, recognizes union agreements and funds efforts to streamline development, including housing. Along with the spending increase in the budget, Hess blamed inflation for the bulk of new taxes.

“Inflation is eating us alive at the city,” Hess reiterated on Wednesday. “We’re continuing to be met with aggressive cost inflation.”

While our placeholder Mayor grapples with AGGRESSIVE inflation, regular citizens and boots-on-the-ground government workers will continue to deal with AGGRESSIVE drug addicts who can’t stop putting weaponized chemicals pushed by China into their fucked up bodies.

And as Chinese nationals are being arrested IN MISSOULA amidst a drug war we are fucking losing, some virtue-signalers want to use Missoula history to win some virtue-signaling points. Sorry, supporters of this resolution, but I don’t have a lot of patience for this bullshit. From the link:

The City Council on Wednesday set out to adopt a joint resolution with Missoula County that would officially recognize “and reckon” with the history of the city’s Chinese community.

Among other things, the resolution acknowledges the graveyard in the lower Rattlesnake where many of the city’s early Chinese residents remain in unmarked graves below a residential neighborhood. It notes the role the Chinese played in building the region’s railroads, the business they ran, and how the Chinese community rapidly declined in 1892 after white Montana laborers murdered four Chinese men.

But the resolution also suggests that “Montana politicians across the political spectrum continue to fearmonger and scapegoat Asians and Asian Americans.” The statement raised concerns and sparked a deep debate on whether it should be included, if it should be clarified, or if it should be left as written.

How about a big fucking NO to that emphasized language? Want some history? Then read up on the Opium Wars, and I’ll provide some additional perspective on Sunday with a reading from John Potash’s book, Drugs as Weapons Against Us.

So stay tuned! And help me out, if you’re so inclined, by dropping some funds in Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or hit the donation button at my about page.

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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4 Responses to What The Hell Are We Paying For?

  1. TC says:

    Guess I better come out; being sort of outed. I have been commenting for a few years now as TC. I am actually Tony Cate (from now on I will only comment as such).
    Let me give you a little bio: 25 yrs at Missoula Fire Department. Was all the ranks moving up; retired as Battalion Chief (means 2 days out of 8 every operational call was mine). Was a Fire Inspector/Investigator (actually investigated dryer fire at old Pov about 1997)(as old school MFD went thru Mt LE Academy – graduated in Class of 102 – only Firefighter listed on Wall of Acclaim). Was a HazMat Tech and later Program Manager of all Haz-Mat incidences in Western MT. Was a Critical Care Paramedic (one of few locally that was UMBC Certified).
    In my “off” hours” I worked for the Polson Ambulance and for Marcus Daly Ambo as a Critical Care paramedic. I also worked for Aerie Backcountry Medicine as an Instructor (helped Pburg Ambo staff up and stay viable back in the day).
    Finally, served 2 terms as Gov. appointment for State Fire Training School, was designated local medic for Obama and Bill Clinton in 2008, and go
    t tickets to Obama’s initial inauguration from J.Tester (cause we met).
    Long story short – thru all of this Ive raged against the City of Missoula (most personally against Jolly John). I know where all the bodies are buried and how Missoula got sold. My career and the City drove me to the same place Travis is now; hopeless, full of despair and, for me suicidal on multiple occasions.
    That said – Im good; retired, happily married and found blissfulness thru psylocibin and Catholicism. But seeing what Travis is going thru and being right there not so long ago – I GET IT. So Im the fire guy that took his bang bangs – because I have Love for him and want him to keep speaking truth to power!

  2. TC says:

    Addendum – throughout my “career” in Missoula; for all the hand wringers, virtue signalers and so progressive that are the Missoula decision makers – Fuck YOU! If you havent been present for murders, rapes, suicides, child abuse, infanticide, geronticide, or any other other horrible thing. If you havent had to wipe ass, get spit/puked on, or find a way to get a man unfrozen from the ground – Fuck YOU!
    If you havent ever had to wash blood/brains off the sidewalk so “we” can have a gentrified concert, never had to pull maggots out of a patient or apologize to the ER for bringing someone back for the fourth time in 24 hrs – Fuck YOU!
    Travis has been part of all of this; it cost him almost everything – so if you havent walked in his shoes – shut the fuck up!
    All you Counselors, pretend Mayor, and shit ass County Commissioners- you have no credibility. You all think you are on point – just need to commit more money. But because you have never put boots on the ground you are full of shit

  3. “WHEREAS, the City and County of Missoula has made a formal commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, in order to confront the structural and systemic inequalities resulting in disparate outcomes for marginalized people; and…” — from the resolution

    Talk about emphasized, forced, and distorted language. I thought that the socially accepted term was Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) with enforcement of the policy equated with Justice. Apparently the city and county prefer the acronym JEDI, which pretty well sums up the attitude of all government efforts to correct social wrongs by forcing everyone to comply with the rules.

    Probably, though, the more accurate term would be Diversity, Inclusion, Equity (DIE). Inserting Justice in front of that simply infers that justice dies when oppressive, aggressive government of any size and stripe is involved.

    When will we learn? Will we ever learn?

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