Archive for November 23rd, 2007

by jhwygirl

Buried in the financial folly of the Performing Arts Center and the Hillview SID vote this past Monday – of which only ONE city councilperson was consistent in their fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers – Ward 3’s Stacy Rye – was a vote on the final authorization for construction and funding of the Hill/Higgins/Beckwith roundabout.

Now, this roundabout moved forward after a lengthy debate that was held for several meetings back in 2005. There have been several interim votes since then, all related to authorizing finance related matters – contracts, federal funding paperwork, etc.

All sitting councilmembers have voted on this project at one time or another.

Failing to approve final authorization of construction and the $55,000 in funding for the Hill/Higgins/Beckwith roundabout would have resulted in the city loosing $180,000 in previously spent engineering fees along with a delay of 20 years to obtain state funding to improve a poorly designed (thanks to feuding developers from back in the late 1800’s) intersections.

Let me repeat that – failing to approve final authorization of construction of the Hill/Higgins/Beckwith roundabout would have resulted in the city loosing $180,000 in previously spend taxpayer funds and a delay of 20 years in fixing a dangerous intersection.

There was only one “nay” vote Monday night – Ward 2’s Don Nicholson.

At least he was fiscally consistent – he voted against the Hillview SID too.

Notably, though, there were 4 councilmen who abstained. Yep. Abstained.

Now, the 4 that abstained – Ballas, Reidy, Wilkins and Hendrickson – have all voted on this project before. Consistently voted “nay” whenever anything vote related to the Hill/Higgins/Beckwith roundabout came up – but hell, at least they voted, right? (or wrong, as it were, right?)

Abstaining from this vote was childish. They can’t stick to their guns? They can’t show a little backbone?

At least they were semi-consistent with their consistency related to their lack of fiscal responsibility to the citizens – these same “Fab 4” voted against the Hillview SID.

Maybe they knew that voting against the funding would show them to be irresponsible with taxpayer money?

Sorry “Fab 4” – bowing out of the vote all together, especially when you have all voted on this thing before, makes you weasels. And fiscally irresponsible.

So nestled in the Engen-inspired chaos of Monday night was a third issue that helps illustrate how fiscally responsible a councilperson is to the citizens.

Above, when I mentioned that only Ward 3’s Stacy Rye was fiscally consistent with her vote to deny any extension to the Performing Arts Committee and to approve the Hillview SID (she voted ‘nay’ to the motion to deny the SID), I was wrong.

I should have added that Ward 3’s Stacy Rye was the only one consistent on all 3 votes.

by jhwygirl

By now, everyone has read that Bill Kennedy, Democratic challenger to Dennis Rehberg’s congressional seat has dropped out of the race due to health concerns. Concern naturally lies with Bill and his family, and we all truly do wish him the very best and better health in the future.

Several names have been tossed around as potential challengers to Dennis’ seat – locally we have David Wanzenried contemplating a run. Other names that have been mentioned are Kendall Van Dyke, a state representative out of Billings and Steve Doherty, former state senator from Great Falls and current chair of the MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks commission.

Highline Lily threw another name out yesterday to contemplate: Mike Wheat, who is currently a candidate for Montana’s Attorney General seat (held currently by term-limited Mike McGrath).

Doherty is also rumored to be contemplating a run for the AG’s seat as well.

Wheat is a Bozemanite who has roots here in Missoula, having graduated from law school here in 1978. He’s also a decorated Marine who served a tour in Vietnam.

Previously, Kennedy was giving Rehberg a good run for his money – with Rehberg caving on CHIP and most recently his having-found-religion reversal on congressional earmarks.

The CHIP link, warning, will take you to Denny’s original point of view on CHIP.

Rehberg has plenty of reasons to be concerned – Tester’s win, and Schweitzer’s strong support among some of those reasons.

Republicans across the United States, though, are running scared – in neighboring Wyoming, 7-term congresswoman Barbara Cubin is calling it quits, having faced both a tough primary run and an even tougher general election challenge in 2006 – and there are, in fact, 21 other Republican’s that will departing the lush offices of the Senate and the House:

In the Senate:Wayne Allard, CO
Larry Craig, ID (maybe – I think both sides are hoping for Craig to make this list)
Pete Domenici, NM
Chuck Hagel, NE
John Warner, VA

In the House:

Barbara Cubin, WY
Terry Everett, AL
Mike Ferguson, NJ
Dennis Hastert, IL
Dave Hobson, OH
Duncan Hunter, CA
Ray Lahood, IL
Steve Pearce, NM
Chip Pickering, MS
Deborah Pryce, OH
Jim Ramstad, MN
Ralph Regula, OH
Rick Renzi, AZ
Jim Saxton, NJ
Tom Tancredo, CO
Jerry Weller, IL
Heather Wilson, NM

I find it the possibility intriguing that we may have a candidate for Congress right here in our own back yard – or at the very least, one with some roots right here in Missoula.

Hopefully, though, the Montana Democratic Party will come up with a candidate quickly.

“Time’s a wastin’,” as they say.

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