Can We Bill Condon for the Cost of Processing Their Succession Petition?

by jhwygirl

I understand a taxpayer – any taxpayer, all taxpayers – having concerns with making sure they are getting the most for their tax bill, certainly. If you going pay taxes – and there isn’t any way to avoid them other than death, right? – then the government better not be throwing the cash away, right? Condon’s just wanting to make sure that its tax dollars are being spent to provide it its services its paying for, right?

Which is why I’m concerned about my taxpayer dollars being dedicated purely to the Condon area’s succession follies.

How much did it cost to hold that joint meeting up there last night? Gas, travel, lights,…staff, overtime.

How many staff hours have been spent on this? Are we keeping track? How much is that cost? What about all that paperwork?

If they get 50% of everyone’s signature on the petition for secession, most of the cost is on Missoula County. Missoula has said that they’re then going to do a financial study. How much is that going to cost? Then there’s a county-wide election. How much is that going to cost?

In all that studying, may be they should be studying that too.

Bet the leaders of this circus are a bunch of conservative small-government type, too.


  1. Gosh, darn it, this democracy thing is messy. Wouldn’t it be easier to have a King? We could then just petition him, he’d make a decision, and we’d grouse for a few weeks before we forgot about it all.

  2. It’s about politics, jhwygirl. This quote should clue everyone into the motives of this bunch:

    Dan Baker delivered the most passionate case for secession and said it had more to do with the hoops Missoula County puts its residents and builders through and what he termed the “roses and lollipops” his tax dollars provide for.

    “It’s ludicrous,” he said. “These people are off the charts and won’t even talk about it.”

    “These people,” Baker added, motioning to the Lake County delegation, “are honest. They’re conservative. They listen to you.”

    I’m pretty sure Jean, Michele and Bill are honest. Something tells me they listen to their constituents. Gosh, I wonder what Donovan, Baker and company really want their county commissioners to be.

    • goof houlihan

      Well, I don’t see the uproar over this, other than sort of a knee jerk defensiveness of land use planning fees. If they want to change counties, why not let them?

      Why be the bad guys stifling poor old Condon’s rights to self government? Suddenly, the Missoula County Commission decides to be “King George”? And JH, you think that’s the right side to fall on?

      I’d say, goodbye, so long, auf wiedersehn, adieu.

      or maybe “whatever you good people want, I’m sure you are a better judge of that than I am”.

      See how easy it is? It’s like…chickens.

      • I will say that I wrote this post intending to be heavy on humor and snark. Perhaps the word is satire, which means there is a statement up there, or at least I think there is.

        I am serious about letting them leave if they want. If 50% or more of them want to leave, then auf wiedersehen, for sure.

        In practicality – and how it will work – is that if the vote goes the way of the secessionists (and we’ll really see if old Dan Baker has his marbles along with the friends), there will be a study. Then Missoula County will know whether, truly, Condon is getting the best bank for the $. On the other hand, that information could be a two-edged sword.

        What if Condon is a significant drain on the Missoula County budget? How are Lolo voters going to feel to find out that Condon is a drain on the budget? What about Frenchtowners? From there, Condon could end up finding out something that might sound peachy-keen for them but will be received quite the opposite in the rest of the county.

        Here’s another – if they think Lake County is going to be a haven for small government forever (and I’m not saying that it is now), they’re ignoring the land use pattern that is closing in around it. They’ve got a lake up there along with plenty of open space. If you ask me, it sounds like a future Whitefish, just a little behind the times.

        • klemz

          It’s funny you mention Whitefish because I seem to recall the problem with their zoning donut being the fact that the donut-dwellers had no right to vote for or against the city officials. Certainly it wasn’t cheaper for the taxpayer to have the county intervene on behalf of the county residents in that case, but it seems most people (progressive or not) agreed that Whitefish was out of line.

          But what if Whitefish wasn’t out of line? Would it still be an undue burden on the taxpayer to allow the donut residents to be heard before permitting Whitefish to restrict their land use rights? Just because the Montana constitution makes it really hard to secede doesn’t mean that we should start sanctioning non-frivolous attempts to exercise a still-existent right of process.

          I understand your post is a joke, but I detect some sincerity.

          • Irony if not sincerity. I get that tax dollars are for the good of all.

            Frankly, I find it all very interesting from the political side of things. Lots going on there.

            On donut dwellers – no donut dwellers anywhere had the opportunity to vote. That was the elementary basis for its withdrawal out of state law. I say elementary because water quality was one thing that went out the window with that legislation.

  3. Big Swede

    I wish Condon success.

    Overbearing county seats need a wake up call.

  4. ladybug

    Condon’s economy, like most of our small rural communities, is dependent on federal taxdollars and private and corporate grants to its quasi-government-run “Ecosystem Center.” If the county lavished community development dollars on Condon the way it does Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake, there would be less drama. It’s all about more and bigger “welfare” checks from the same government they say they want to shrink and drown in a bathtub. A conflicted lot.

  5. Pogo Possum

    “. . . . Dan Baker delivered the most passionate case for secession and said it had more to do with the hoops Missoula County puts its residents and builders through and what he termed the “roses and lollipops” his tax dollars provide for.

    “It’s ludicrous,” he said. “These people are off the charts and won’t even talk about it.”

    Seems the people in Condon are quoting Michele Landquist almost verbatim:

    Michele Landquist is running for Missoula County commissioner because she has “. . . witnessed citizens walking away after participating in the public process feeling distraught, as though their concerns, opinions and ideas were being heard but not listened to.”

    It also appears they don’t much care for Michele (self proclaimed ‘friend of the rural people’) anymore than they like the other commissiners.

    • goof houlihan

      Reading that, I was wondering, how many jobs has Michele “created” so far? That seemed to be her summation paragraph in the article.

      I think it is fair to measure her success now, don’t you?

  6. Pogo Possum

    “Well, she didn’t say she was going to create any jobs. Seems fairly dishonest to pretend that she did.”
    Jim Lang

    Jim, I have noticed you have a tendency to accuse people of either lying or being dishonest when they make factual statements. Goof is completly correct here. Go read the article again.

    Unless Landquist claims she was misquoted, “creating more jobs that pay better” is exactly what she was promising she would do if elected:

    “Landquist said that her main priority was more afforadable housing and that the key to that was to create more jobs that pay better.”

    In fact, she even stated how she planned to do it:

    “. . . To do that, Landquist would create tax incentives for companies that pay more than the living wage and offer health care and other benefits.”

    Goof is right, it is completely fair to begin measuring her promises and success at this point by the number of jobs she has created.

    By my count, the current tally is:

    Number of Better Paying Jobs Created by Landquist = Total # 0

  7. Pogo Possum

    While we are at it, let’s keep track of her companion promise – creating more afforadable housing.

    The current tally is:

    New afforadable houses created by Landquist = Total # 0




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