The sun was shining and it was somewhere between 95º and 100º F depending on the electronic business sign you were looking at. I was looking forward to some taxpayer-funded air conditioned at the Council Chambers. It was with great surprise, therefore, that I walked across Pine Street, grabbed ahold of the door at #170, and found it to be locked. Yes, the Council was not in session.
My mind quickly began to swirl with possibilities.
- Did the mayor have a heart attack?
- Did Governor Bullock shit-can their asses?
- Was it really Monday?
That was it; I’d gotten the days confused. I don’t really have a real job, and the days are fading together what with the family gone…that was it, it was Tuesday, I’d simply munged up the days.
But…that wasn’t right, either. I knew it was Monday because I’d made an appointment to get an oil change on Monday afternoon, and had done so. I was not in a time warp.
Then it dawned on me – the Missoula City Council only meets four Mondays a month. Today was the fifth Monday.
Mike Mansfield never would have stood for that nonsense when he was at UM, and I don’t feel that Missoula taxpayers should have to stand for this nonsense from their City Council. If it’s Monday, they should meet. There’s always important business to discuss.
Sadly, the Council doesn’t really feel the need to discuss much of this, and they don’t often listen to others. This produces frustration, leading to blowups.
Kidston doesn’t think those comments of mine saying “the public is so sick of you” are “productive.”
Many didn’t find Kidston’s article to be productive, including former Missoulian editor Bill Schwanke, who worked at the paper from 1970 to 2010. He really gives Kidston a drubbing:
As a graduate of the University of Montana journalism school I long for the days when they were actually turning out reporters and not crusader and/or cheerleaders. Martin Kidston falls into both categories. It's amazing to me that someone that has been around as long as he has, working in Missoula and elsewhere, can't figure out why public comment is diminishing.
Anyways, it’s a good article, chiefly because of the comments. I left a long one that lays out my case of why spending is so bad, and you get a complete bond history of Missoula. Check it out.
Like Schwanke says in the article, if you comment you’re “treated with obvious disdain or disinterest” because you have a different viewpoint than the council. This is why the public doesn’t show up, he says.
I don’t think I’ll show up anymore. What’s the use? They don’t want to listen to me, and besides, I can’t make much difference. I could possibly make a difference if I was to run for City Council, but the filing deadline is Thursday and I don’t have the $140, not with car insurance this month and rent on top of it. I’ve got to drive up to Whitefish this week to pick up my family and then to Butte for the 4th.
Nope, I need to focus my time and attention on making money, and then I need to spend that money constructively. Spending money to run for the Missoula City Council, the way this town is today, is not a constructive use of finances.
The day that letter appeared in the newspaper she was at the New York airport, ready to head to Russia. I asked her how she’d feel about leaving Missoula. She would have absolutely no problem with that.
Wow, why not? There’s really no point in writing about politics…nothing ever changes, and anyone that’s in a position to do anything is so entrenched and uncaring that it does little good. The only time anyone cares about writings on politics is if they’re running for election and need some press. And it’s clear that Montanans don’t feel the need for political writing. The lack of interest after Dennison and Johnson left is evidence of that, as well as the shutdown of 4&20.
I think I need to write about writing again, or just not write a blog at all. I should focus on fiction and other things that actually make me money. I kind of complained about this before with my thoughts on no one sharing or commenting. Maybe for July I’ll just put up a couple posts, like I did in March, and on other stuff. It’d sure clear out my Montana To-Do Folder:
Yeah, 4 years they’re doing this. It’s going to cost $12 to $14 million, another indication of how terrible our local governments are – they don’t even know what something costs, and think a $2 million discrepancy is acceptable.
I was surprised to see the construction in January 2014 when I filed to run for the Montana House and headed down to the courthouse with all the other Missoula Democrats. I think it’s a real shame that a project like this takes so long, and costs so much.
Montana didn’t used to be this incompetent. We use to have leaders. When I think of this courthouse remodel, I can’t help but think of Montana’s 14th Governor, J. Hugo Aronson, the “Galloping Swede.”
When the heating plant at the governor’s mansion went down in the late-1950s, Aronson “happily cleaned the valves, replaced a sixty-five cent gadget, and got the system going again.” The state plumbing board “issued the governor a master plumber’s license” after the work, according to the December 1957 issue of the Saturday Evening Post.
Sadly, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
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