Makin’ my day: County Commissioner Barbara Evans announces her retirement

by jhwygirl

NewWest.net is reporting that Barbara Evans has announced her retirement, effective August 30th.

{{happy happy, joy joy}}

I’ve got no love for Barbara – having watched her over the years, I can direct you to this post which sums up what I’ve come to see from her.

It will be real interesting to see what the Republican Central Committee comes up with. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was Jim Edwards – who ran last year for County Commissioner, challenging Democrat Jean Curtiss. Barbara endorsed Edwards.

And – if you go to the post I reference above – you’ll learn that Barbara Evans only reluctantly voted against Jim Edwards’ (who was running for election at the time) misguided gravel pit-next-to-the-river-and-smack-dab-in-the-middle-of-rural-residential-uses after first suggesting that if the public doesn’t like something first they should buy out the developer (i.e., Jim Edwards). There’s more than that to the post though – go read it.

This move is an attempt by both Barbara and the Republican Central Committee to help insure that her seat will be filled by a Republican when it comes up for election in November 2008. Incumbents can be hard to unseat.

RCC Chair Will Deschamps notes “This would be an opportunity, quite frankly, to give somebody on the job learning before the election, rather than try and get someone elected cold.” Barbara goes on to say “If I wait until the election, chances are it would be one political party.”

So Barbara – is it about the voice of the people or about protecting the political needs of the Missoula Republicans?

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  1. noodly appendage

    Coming out vs the outstanding Jean C was low, imo. But as I read the democrats are getting into the non partisan city races, then I’d say no lower than that.

    Supporting an incumbent is ok, but doing otherwise the collegial (as in ya gotta work with her for the next six years) relationship is threatened. With only three commissioners in county government, that can lead to bad govt for several years.

    I never trust anyone who says, “quite frankly”. The rest of the time, are they lying or just bullshitting?

    A gravel pit in an unzoned area, though, does seem like a easy decision yes. Sorry, but “unzoned” is just that, and if that’s where someone chooses to live, it many times is just for the “charm” of lack of zoning and land use regulation. It’s a little late, after taking your own advantage, to complain about a neighbor taking theirs. It could be a chicken factory or a hog farm or a cell tower or a gravel pit, unzoned is just that, get a permit and go.

    Gravel pits should be in the rural county areas, next to the farms and ranches, and homes should be in town, right?

  2. The gravel pit wasn’t in an unzoned area – Edwards had requested a rezoning. There is a rough circle around the city that is zoned by the county.

    I believe -as it appears you do? – that we should have 5 County Commissioners. 3 doesn’t leave enough room for a full array of opinion – is too conducive to incumbents being re-elected over and over – and is not enough representation for a county of Missoula’s size.

  3. “This move is an attempt by both Barbara and the Republican Central Committee to help insure that her seat will be filled by a Republican ”

    Where you been, girl? This exactly the same move Mayor Dan Kemmis made circa 1997 by giving Mike Kadas a little boost up too. Oh, that was nonpartisan.

    Yeah right.

  4. jhwygirl

    boy, I don’t even know what to say about that one Ayn….

  5. noodly appendage

    Well, plenty of people do this move, on both sides of the fence.

    The hoo rah over the flyer with the plastic bagged wrapped woman that the republicans sent out was preceded by the hoo rah over the flyer with the battered woman that the democrats sent out two years earlier. Both equally disgusting, too.

    Which is why I don’t like the democrats insinuating themselves into the non partisan city races. KEEP the PARTISANSHIP OUT. We don’t need to turn city government into the last legislature.

    And rezoning in general is bad, except at the edge of the growing city. Otherwise I see it as a promise to the adjoining landowners. Sorry I thought I’d read it was in the unzoned portion of the county when I followed your link.

    One last thing, county government breaks when the county gets big enough. The election of three managers, who run on legislative issues, is ok for most all Montana counties. Not for Gallatin or Missoula or Flathead. It’s all about representation and land use, not managing, the way it is in little counties. In little counties, the commissioners get together for breakfast or whatever, and sign a few checks, get some reports from the row officers and their clerk, and kvetch a little about the sheriff and the road department. In big counties, they are hammered constantly by land use and other legislative issues yet are still supposed to manage a growing bureaucracy of department heads. Those department heads who the county commissioners supervise, get little supervision. The county population gets underrepresented by just three persons. It makes votes that require supermajorities, votes that require unanimity. Two commissioners can’t even meet and talk without public notice. I could go on and on.

    Five’s a good number. I like it for both counties, yours and mine. The extra money’s worth it, too, for better government.

  6. cass

    “The hoo rah over the flyer with the plastic bagged wrapped woman that the republicans sent out was preceded by the hoo rah over the flyer with the battered woman that the democrats sent out two years earlier. Both equally disgusting, too.”

    Say what?? We talking about Furey’s dirt against Opre or what? Do tell!

  7. noodly appendage – you present a much better thoughtful analysis regarding the representation issue. And you are quite correct – in small counties – I work with several – the three commissioner system serves the purposes of small government business management well. Sitting in on a Madison County Board meeting, for example, is indeed much like sitting around a kitchen table.

    carol – I would like to articulate one distinction between the Barbara Evans – Daniel Kemmis one that you attempt make as equal (other than the obvious statesmanship of Kemmis)….When Kemmis left, his replacement was chosen after a public meeting of publicly elected officials who also took public comment on the nominations.

    In the decision that is to take place on whom will replace Barbara, a committee will make a decision, absent the electorate that put Barbara in office in the first place.

    Further, statements like “rather than get someone elected cold,” and “If I wait until the election chances are it would be one political party” shows that not only are they not even attempting to hide their motivation, but that input from the electorate doesn’t seem to be high on their priority.

    Now, I’m not a Republican Central Committee member (obviously), but if I were someone who had voted for Barbara and came to find out that I’d have no say in who would replace her – that she would be chosen by a committee of what is probably less than 1% of the population of the county, I wouldn’t be happy.

    I’m all about letting the voice of the people be heard – and if it can’t be an election, it should at least be elected people who are answerable to the people….that ain’t happening in this situation.

  8. jhwygirl

    Well, it looks like I was wrong (that’ll teach me to believe everything NewWest prints). Barbara and the other two commissioners get to select from 3 candidates submitted by the Missoula Republicans.

  9. So I hear but that’s sure not the way I read the law…whatever.

  10. noodly appendage

    Me neither, I didn’t think she’d get to pick, only the two remaining commissioners have to agree on a candidate. Barbara’s resigned, or there’s no vacancy. If she’s resigned, she’s got no authority. If she hasn’t resigned, there’s no vacancy to fill.

    I think that needs to be checked out.

  11. Her resignation isn’t effective until August 30th – perhaps that is it?

    Today’s article says that she’s picked the 3 candidates, anyway – so even if she doesn’t get to approve it at the commission, she’s already given approval de facto anyway..

  12. noodly appendage

    I don’t have any of my old dogeared and bookmarked title 7s or I could tell you.

    I’d still say it’s the two that have to agree on a replacement. I’d seriously doubt it would be Jean C’s opponent getting the call, though.

  13. Ayn Rand

    the selection HAS to live in Evans district.

  1. 1 Is a Gravel Pit Looming in Your Neighbor’s Backyard? « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] – this stuff isn’t hysterics here, folks – even though I’ve blogged about this One, Two, Three, Four times here – and even once at Left in the West. It’s reality. The potential […]




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