There was a very short story on the city/county’s propaganda rag yesterday talking about the possibility of Trump having a rally in Missoula County for Daines.
County Commissioner Dave Strohmaier is still ticked-off at the $13,000 the county had to foot for Trump’s 2018 rally for Rosendale.
That ain’t much.
Hell, county commissioners have increased their own pay by a lot more over the past couple years.
In fact, their pay has gone up 27% since 2016.
The top county commissioner gets $26,800 more this year than they did when Trump first ran for office.
The least important of the county commissioners gets just $21,000 more than they did in ‘16. I suspect this is Juanita Vero, the appointed.
Anyways, the county’s propaganda rag didn’t include those figures in their latest report.
Yesterday I saw their report up and I brushed it off. But I revisited it today, noticing that nearly 500 people on social media have now shared it or talked about it.
That’s where everything of importance happens now - social media.
That’s where the man making $102,000 a year goes when he wants to be heard:
“Mr. Trump can certainly come to Montana, but he better bring his checkbook with him if he comes to Missoula County!” Strohmaier stated on Facebook. “Local government should NOT shoulder the burden of public safety/law enforcement costs for a purely partisan campaign event.”
I did something I rarely do - I visited Facebook today so I could see the reaction to the prop rag’s post.
They have 76 comments so far and 84 ‘likes’ or some form of reaction. The rag’s top commenter is from Detroit.
Boy, they’re angry. They don’t like the idea of Trump coming here.
I wonder how long before the next shiny story grabs their attention, and they rush over to that to boo and hiss, forgetting this one in the process.
That’s what social media is - the fishbowl of diminished attention spans, the refuge of the voiceless.
Imagine if our three county commissioners actually focused on their jobs, and the terrible financial situation they’re about to enter.
We’re in a recession, probably a depression. And there is no talk about the county’s finances.
The county has $9.4 million in debt, for instance.
But we shouldn’t talk about that.
The county is in such dire straits financially that they pushed a 2 cent gas tax increase onto voters, which unfortunately passed.
Now Missoula residents have to pony up an additional $700,000 in taxes each year, with tourists donating another $400,000.
But let’s bicker over $13,000 from two years ago, most of which ($10,800) was extra pay given to police officers.
God our commissioners hate the idea of paying police.
The whole argument for doing the gas tax was that county commissioners wouldn’t have to raise property taxes.
We hear this a lot - property taxes and how that’s the only option here in Missoula for revenue.
The county makes 73% of its annual revenue from sources other than property taxes:
The county brings in $181 million in revenue each year, but then spends nearly $184 million.
As you can see, most of the county’s money goes to paying its workers, $67 million a year for that. Over a quarter of a million is given to the three county commissioners alone each and every year.
When it comes to service expenditures, we see that 51% of Missoula County’s budget is eaten up by its health department and its spending for “culture and recreation.” An additional 20% is used to pay police and fire.
Yes, Missoula spends most of its money each year on a department that shut down businesses and ruined lives, and continues to do so to this day.
If I was Dave Strohmaier, I’d blame Trump too.
It’s a helluva lot easier than digging into the budget and figuring out where the problems are.
And if there weren’t problems, why did we need to foist that gas tax on the county’s residents?
If the budget was sound, we wouldn’t be worrying about new revenue sources.
But the budget isn’t sound.
It’s a mess, with spending outpacing revenue by $2.6 million a year.
Even if the gas tax brings in the expected $1.1 million...where is the other $1.5 million going to come from to make our budget sound again?
I think the answer’s obvious: