Archive for October 14th, 2007

by Rebecca Schmitz

I overhead someone say at a party last night, “A Realtor is just a developer without enough money yet.” I wish I could take credit for that, but I can’t. It’s pretty accurate. Comments like it remind me of the billboard on Interstate 90 near Clinton advertising the “Ridge Above Rock Creek” subdivision offered by local Realtor Katie Ward. (Warning: possible high levels of Norman Maclean overexposure on that link. Consult a bottle of antacids before viewing.) I’m used to seeing ads for various developments in urban areas–you know, like along I-15 through the Salt Lake Valley. Every five miles there’s a sign for “Fox Pointe Estates” or “Aspen Grove Heights” featuring a young, white, presumably Mormon family happily playing in the yard of their five bedroom home. The first time I saw Katie’s sign it was jarring because I’m not used to seeing those billboards here. I guess it’s literally a sign of the times: subdivision outdoor advertising is firmly entrenched in Montana.

So it was an interesting coincidence that I was still thinking about that comment when I opened the Missoulian this morning because Keila Szpaller reports (in an article not available online) that the Missoula Organization of Realtors is backing the following candidates:

Ward 1: Justin Armintrout
Ward 3: Doug Harrison
Ward 4: Lyn Hellegaard
Ward 6: Ed Childers

In fact, on Justin Armintrout’s website the MOR is listed as his first and perhaps most important supporter. Presumably the group is unhappy with the answers provided by both candidates in Wards 2 and 5 because there’s no official endorsement in either race. Depending on your feelings about Realtors and the complex issues surrounding growth and development, you can consider the opinion of the Missoula Organization of Realtors when it comes time to complete your voting ballot for this year’s City Council races.

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