Pretty ho-hum…if you ask me.
What I’ve been surprised by is how little the candidates know.
I mean…we have candidates in forums…we have candidates on the radio…and we’ve got them in the papers.
Yet the overriding message that comes from all those media appearances is that the candidates know…nothing.
They know nothing.
They’re damn good at complaining about the problem, but when it comes to offering solutions it’s…um…um…um…um…uh….
I’ve heard this from Lisa Triepke, I’ve heard this from Cathy Deschamps, I’ve heard this from Stacie Anderson.
They’re good at complaining, but little else.
Hey, you come to this site to get straight talk. I’m giving it to you – so don’t give me that look.
So let’s get into some solutions here.
It’s figured that Missoula drivers will spend $75 to get their car fixed if a pothole messes it up, and maybe as much as $1,000.
Back in February 2017 it was figured that 25 pothole victims were showing up in Missoula repair shops a week.
That was double the usual rate.
When it comes to potholes there’s nothing you can do, the city knows this, and they like it that way.
On April 3, 2017, the Missoulian ran a story called “The city isn’t out to get you, but potholes are.”
There are no plans by the Engen city government to fix this problem.
The Easy-Use Credit Cards
NBC Montana has been carrying these stories, mainly because Cyndy Koures is putting in some good work.
The network started their reporting on February 19, telling us that the City Council “signed off on $30,759 worth of credit card bills.”
Those that follow the City Council know that each Monday night a summary of their actions is sent out in email.
This always lists the credit card transactions that were approved, but never do we see what was bought…or why.
Thankfully, we have quality reporters at this TV station.
On March 16 they had an investigation story.
Over a period of 4 months, Missoula city employees racked up an average of $30,000 a month in charges.
That comes out to $360,000 a year.
The report told us that “employees are spending an average of $1,000 a month on food – items like meals, ice, water and tips.”
We also have $5,000 a month being spent on monthly travel, and to places like “British Columbia, Virginia, California and Nevada.”
Mayor Engen declined to comment about these expenditures.
Perhaps the reason why is that he’s too busy recovering from his problems with alcohol, while also trying to win another term as mayor.
Engen doesn’t have time to talk to reporters about the city’s corrupt use of credit cards, but he does have time to do a fundraiser at Pat and Carol Williams’ house.
A total of 46 out of the city’s 500 employees have these credit cards and their combined credit limit is $236,000.
On their first follow-up report, on February 20, NBC Montana told us that in Kalispell they only give out credit cards to 10 employees, though the credit limit is the same.
Kalispell, however, is spending about $12,000 a month on credit card purchases while Missoula spends $30,000.
Billings really takes the cow, however, with 214 of its 900 city employees using credit cards. They rack up $240,000 a month in charges.
The Missoula City Council doesn’t want anything to do with these stories, even though they blindly sign off on the spending.
“So we emailed each of the 12 city council members. Every month they sign off on about $30,000 in credit card bills. The vote is usually unanimous. Some didn't respond. Others said they would, but didn't. Some played phone tag.”
Other, Terrible Expenses
The list of insults goes on and on.
We paid $1.6 million for our new downtown parking meters lasts year, and we spend $122,000 a year on upkeep for those meters.
In 10 years we’ll have paid for those meters twice.
We paid $20,000 in April to figure out how to reduce Higgins Avenue to 3 lanes. When we start on the actual project, it’ll be $1.6 million.
Think about the Broadway Road Diet, and how that reduced the lanes to 3 lanes. You’ll know this area as it runs right in front of the new-fangled homeless shelter.
How do you feel about that reduced stretch of Broadway?
How will you feel about Higgins being reduced?
We’re doing this so a few bikes a day can ride down that more ‘easily.’
No, let’s not talk about the winter and lack of riders – this is Missoula. We focus on small groups of people.
We don’t give a damn what the majority of people want or care about.