Left in the West is Back

by jhwygirl

Go check it out.


  1. goof houlihan

    I keep getting this sinus infection…

  2. aww, goof, come on. I didn’t cheer when Missoulapolis went down on election day.

  3. goof houlihan

    I won’t go there; they want too much info for this anonymouse and they don’t welcome a differing pov they way you two young women do.

  4. goof houlihan

    My sense is that the huge liberal turnout for Obama in Gallatin county passed the jail. But then, there’s your 911 center. What gives on the 911 center? No need for upgraded emergency service in Missoula?

  5. My own personal opinion is that the taxpayers of Missoula County have been asked – or been told they would be asked – to support some things that have been viewed as pretty frivolous. There is also the school district that has requested (I think) $10 million in “general funding” – and stuff like that, coupled with the hurting economy, makes people think twice,

    After much heartache, and I sincerely went back and forth on this because I do want our sheriff department to have everything that it needs, I voted against the 911 center for these two reasons: #1: County officials never promised that they would NOT move other county offices down to Mullan Road. They had alluded to that originally, and they never ruled it out. #2: County officials never really campaigned for this and never put readily available information out there for me to understand that $23.4 million was being used prudently. I’m cheap. I needed to know that.

    Which brings me back to my cry for them to move into the 21st century and start putting information out there for the public to see and read and discuss. On a website.

    Come back again and ask me – and give me more information and promise me that they aren’t going to move 100+ more employees then they need to out to Mullan Road, and I will sing its praises.

    Not that me singing its praises will get it passed – just sayin’.

  6. JC

    The 911 Center strategy by the County was all wrong. They disguised the fact that what they really wanted was a 23.4 million dollar Sheriff’s Department with all the trimmings in the cloak of an Emergency Ops Center.

    The people that I talked to went something like, “if we need a new 911 Center, why are we being forced to buy a whole new Sheriff’s Department to get it?”

    A new 911 Center would not have cost anywhere near $23.4m. So I know that I and many other county voters felt deceived. The county felt that they could prey on resident’s sympathy for the need for a new 911 Center and slip in a few other items, like a whole new Sheriff’s Department. Bait and switch politics at its worst.

    But, in the end I had to vote to pay for it, knowing all of that. You see, the 911 Center and other Missoula emergency services were responsible for saving my daughter’s life 2 1/2 years ago after she was involved in a horrendous car crash up by Lolo Hot Springs, and was ejected. Sure, they got the job done with the resources they had. But I’ll do anything to help make their work day a little more pleasant and productive.

  7. goof houlihan

    Sounds like the sheriff wanted to drive by with his other sheriff buddies and show them his new erection? Yeah, a new, state of the art 911 center is just being built in Gallatin and it cost a tenth of that.

    911 Center — $2 million

    It’s being built with a City of Bozeman fire house attached.

  8. i believe the floor tiles were to be pure palladium.

  9. Well. Hell’s bells. Now my guilt is considerably lessened.

  10. plus or minus a million


    This article says it costs $3 million. So $2 million could be a fifty percent error

    The fire station I think is more like four million, and I found one reference to the 911 center for 2 million, and a couple of references to a total cost of 6 million for both facilities. It’s getting built right now, both facilities concurrently and sharing parking lot and emergency generator and other facilities and equipment that both fire house and a 911 center would need in a catastrophic earthquake, for example.

    But still, the 911 side isn’t 24 million, and the whole thing, firehouse and 911 is a third the cost of the sheriff-mahal.

  11. I was wrong too – they only (ha!) wanted $16 million from the taxpayers, but the total cost of the project was $23.5 million.

    As you said – “But still….”

    I’ll repeat again – to be fair – they didn’t put enough information out there for me (and apparently enough others) to make their case for the money. I went through the archives of the Missoulian looking to see, even, just how big the thing was. I found where they chose not to go to 12,000 square feet – but I don’t know what the size of the two buildings were. I did see 4 classrooms – (4? needed at one time?) and that it would be a “regional training facility”. I don’t know if that it good or bad. Were other “regions” chipping in?

    A survey conducted in late August found that most didn’t know anything about it. The survey – and the marketing that came with it – though I didn’t really see any marketing – cost $20,000.

    And now I find myself asking whether my elected officials should be spending taxpayer dollars to determine how we are going to vote on something and how to influence (advertise) us to get us taxpayers to support it.

    Isn’t that what elections and public meetings (and, hell, I’ll go out on a limb here…) and the internet are for?

    All those are fairly low cost or necessary expenditures (i.e., you can’t get around having an election)….but a polling and advertising firm out of Helena? For $20,000?

  12. …perhaps go with just alternating gold and silver tiles instead, as a sort of compromise…

    maybe they need the extra space for mcmeekin to stay far away from his deputies…as a sort of “buffer zone” to prevent any more squabbles.

    i would be very interested to see what a more reasonable redisign could save. they sold a very valuable chunk of land to get the original 7.5million and i believe i remember that the sale was promoted such that the money earned would be enough to build the 911 center. seems like if bozeman can build a fire station and a 911 center for 6million, maybe we could build a sheriff’s dept and 711 center for 7.5 couldn’t we. if not, maybe it is time to check out some bids from architects and builders from Bozeman.

    what in tarnation is an additional 16million needed for?

  13. A valid question, problembear. One that we should probably know the answer to.

    I am struggling to be objective about this without going all-out curmudgeon. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t blog about this leading up to the election.

    Two very good friends of mine had fathers that were chief of police. One had an FBI agent as a dad. Still, other friends were married to policemen. I recognize that the job is stressful and dangerous…every day, even if it is just a routine traffic stop. I want my law enforcement well-trained and reasonably equipped.

    That being said, there was not enough information. Could we have just had one or two classrooms? How often would 4 be needed at one time? More than 4 days a week? If not, they didn’t need that many. If it was a regional training facility – and that may be a good thing for smaller counties like Mineral and Powell and Granite and Ravalli – and it may be a good thing to have joint-training, too – but would Missoula be providing this service free? How was that to work?

    What, pray tell, was the cost-per-foot? What was the square footage?

    They seemingly put this out there and their basis of providing us with information was “come see what we have now” – no numbers…hell, I don’t even know if they put the resulting draft proposal and architectural drawings out for bid? Wouldn’t know that from the BCC agenda because they don’t give us anything but a less-than-5-word-description of what they’re doing.

    Whatever. Knowing the arrogance that secretes out of that building, they’re blaming it all on “uneducated taxpayers” and not on the lack of building a case for the expenditure.

  14. i believe michelle will be curious and i don’t think she will keep us in the dark about it.

  15. Information on the Bozeman joint 911/Fire Center here. A 15,000 square foot facility, solely fire and 911 call center, $6.5 million total cost.

    Now, the county did put a $32 million jail on the ballot – The Law & Justice Center – at what looks like was a request to the taxpayers of $28.5 million. That would include a jail and law enforcement facilities. Apparently, there is a desire to consolidate the services, but maybe the city is pulling out because they aren’t getting the location they want (?).

    That jail bond Law & Justice Center passed.

    Which begs the Missoula question: With the city wanting a new law enforcement facility also, why not consolidate?

    Then there’s the “build up” question, at least for the city. I know the current city hall can only support one more floor, without retrofit – but what does retro-fit cost as compared to more land plus a complete new building?

  16. Big Swede

    I’m thinking they wanted a facility large enough to convert to a prison to hold citizens refusing to give up their guns.

  17. Are you that paranoid, Big Swede, because of Bush’s ignorance of the right to habeaus corpus?

  18. goof houlihan

    Just to make sure with anyone reading this thread and no other; the bond in Gallatin County was JUST FOR the JAIL.

    No “L&J” improvements are paid for with that bond issue. The reason the bond passed was that the jail was to be built so the old L&J would be next door and still be used. Nobody wants to bankrupt the county and the taxpayer to built a Judge Mahal.

  1. 1 Regarding the Failed 911 Emergency Operations Bond « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] The “Left in the West is Back” post has whittled down to a discussion of the failed emergency operations center. […]

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