by Travis Mateer
Parks are community investments, and the neighborhood adjacent to Play Fair Park successfully stood down a perceived threat to that investment recently, so in honor of that I wrote up a little tune.
Before we get to that, here’s our new Mayor talking about parks and how things like bonds have been passed by voters to make parks, like the Fort Missoula Regional Park.
She also said some of Missoula’s tax issues are locally induced, particularly around the slurry of voter-approved bonds passed in the first two decades of 2000.
“It’s something we need to come to grips with. But what’s really hard with that, we made a decision on something like Fort Missoula Regional Park a decade ago when our property valuations and appraisals – and correlating property tax situation – was a completely different reality,” she said. “It has put us in a very tough situation today.”
What was the reality like back then? Here’s a portion of a cranky letter from 2014 to get a feeling:
It stinks that the Parks and Trails bond passed, not because money for parks and trails is bad, and not because money for softball and soccer fields is bad. It stinks because of how it was done and what it will do.
The rider (see dirty, underhanded congressional trick) titled Parks and Trails should have been a separate bond called the Fort Missoula Complex Bond. The audacity to call it something that many people would vote for without researching is backdoor political maneuvering that has no place in Missoula. Those responsible and the organizations involved should be embarrassed.
Parks and Trails was a deceiving $34 million bond to build a high maintenance complex for a portion of the community that will lure more tourists to a city with growing crime, traffic and housing epidemics.
Yep, the author of this letter made some good points back then, but what’s good about making good points if the actions that follow are just more of the same?
I don’t have an answer, just a song.
Thanks for reading!