Governor in Missoula Tuesday to Discuss Smurfit-Stone Closure

by jhwygirl

Governor Schweitzer will be in town tomorrow, 11 a.m to 1 p.m. at the University Theater to discuss the impact of the Smurfit-Stone plant closure.

They like to get a count before hand, so try and RSVP to Debbie Evans at

This was announced pretty late, I have to say – a 6 p.m. announcement on Bob Jaffe’s liserve, which was a few hours after Mayor Engen organized a conference call – which included White House representatives and our Senator’s aides – to discuss where to go next for the displaced workers, and where to go next for Missoula.

I mean – when other elected officials are saying stuff like this: “I don’t think any of us really has any particulars on how it’s going to play out, but I’d be darned surprised if it didn’t have a pretty major impact on this county,” on the morning of the closure, it sure makes me glad we got people like Engen thinking that we better do something sooner than later. Pick up the phone. Make some calls. Get leaders involved. Like now. ASAP.

  1. goof houlihan

    Been there. I hope, for the 417 workers’ sake, that the Governor’s got something substantive to offer that he’s worked hard to line up in advance and results in real, substantive aid for them.

    • JC

      Why should the governor levy more worry on 417 workers–who had an average salary of $75k/year and excellent pensions, benefits and most likely generous severance package (and hefty savings accounts)–than any other unemployed worker?

      There are probably 10,000 other out-of-workers in the county that wished “that the Governor’s got something substantive to offer that he’s worked hard to line up in advance and results in real, substantive aid for them.”

      Or am I to take away from your statement that you really do believe that the more advantaged citizens deserve greater attention when it comes to dishing out public support and subsidies to failed industries?

      • goof houlihan

        You seem pretty worried he will actually have something.

        • Well, JC does have a point – the Flathead lost something like 1,200 jobs or so (maybe more, maybe less) in succession, bam, bam, bam, over the last, what? 6 months?

          Barely a blurb in the paper. And those people are still out of work. How long does unemployment last?

          What maddens me is that Who Didn’t See This Coming? Was anyone from the Governor’s economic side down there knocking on Smurfit’s door? or what about Stimson? Because that thing was in the works, too, for years.

          Not only that – Stimson sits dead and quite. There is an industrial site, with a railroad running right through it and an interstate a spittin’ distance away and no one appears to even be shopping the site around.

          I’m betting – too – that due to clean-up costs, Stimson will be more than happy to write it all off, rather than have to clean it to sell it. If no one takes a proactive stance towards trying to fill that place, it’ll rust itself into the ground.

      • goof houlihan

        The schadenfreude is strong with you, JC.

  2. matt

    Have to be cynical here. Feels like the most that might come out of this will be politician’s handshakes, but time will tell what the real results are.

  3. Big Swede

    “I feel your pain”, moment.

  4. Bonner mill all over again…

    Just a matter of time before some grant-subsidy-churner shows up with a grandiose plan to “help the workers” again like scott you know who.

    Show-boating politicians Draw ’em like flies….

  5. problembear

    just in case you don’t know or forgot about scott you know who…….

    • Cooney’s even bailed on the minimal stuff he did actually commit to – a bunch of those houses that he was going to “save” are still sitting up on blocks…Looks lovely, doesn’t it.

      That Smurfit plant is currently capable of 13 megawatts at maximum output – that’s enough power for over 4,000 homes.

      Can’t some sort of cooperative be put together? We’ve got Missoula Electrical Cooperative here…

      I guess the market’ll take care of it.

  6. problembear

    if i were sadistic i would ask mr cooney how all those big plans of immortalizing himself in history as the savior of bonner are going?

    but of course, as everyone here knows….i am not.

    he drifted away about the time the easy grant and subsidy money dried up….

    dare anyone to wander into harold’s club around 1:00 am and tell everyone there what a great guy scott cooney is……

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