Archive for the ‘Ed Childers’ Category

by jhwygirl

Boy, what was I, one for three on yesterday’s posts? Sometimes you just gotta walk away from the keyboard…..

Councilman Ed Childers – an all to infrequent poster both here and at his own weblog – sent me some clarifications on my post from yesterday, Thoughts on That Seemingly Defunct Gas Tax.

Apparently the city’s police station won’t be on the levy and bond list for the next election, and the city isn’t complaining about maintaining the county roads, because, well, they don’t maintain the county roads (a fact I knew, btw…)

We differ in our view on the PAC issues – the story I link to shows that MRA is writing up a urban renewal district to meet the needs of a potential developer of the PAC and the mayor does seem to continue to be awfully cushy-cushy with the whole deal…but Councilman Childers is entitled to his opinion. Maybe it isn’t city council, but it is city entities seeming to push the big elephant forward. That and some well-connected citizens, I guess.

Boy, I really don’t like that PAC, do I?

Ed’s pretty fancy with his MSWord skills too – check it out: Ed Childers’ Clarifications…

One more clarification, too, was needed: Apparently you do need a permit from Planning & Grants for a money tree. Hopefully it isn’t more than $50.

by jhwygirl

Councilman Ed Childers has decided to enter the blogosphere, with his musings on things ranging from the total weight of the world’s population to the cost of forestalling terrorism. With topics like that I’m thinking he suffers from occasional insomnia. He’s named it Ed Childers’ Weblog – go check it out.

Another blog that I’ve taken to peeking at, with fairly regular basis, is perennial 4&20 commenter Catnapping’s odd neighbor illustrations. It’s a mixture of visual and literary arts, and occasional social commentary. She’s been at it quite a while, actually. Refreshing.

Welcome, both.

by jhwygirl

….should prove for an interesting few hours and some healthy conversation on, among other things, taxes.

Hillview SID will be before the full council, and you may recall that it didn’t fair so well in its last committee meeting with the SID being recommended for denial by a vote of 7 – 1, with Ward 6’s Ed Childers being the lone dissent.

Instead of working its way through the waiver issues, council caved to threats of lawsuits despite the assurances of both Director of Public Works Steve King and former director and current City Administrator Bruce Bender that the method of assessment has been utilized over and over, and was legally defensible. Keep in mind we’ve had 500+ SID’s before this one.

Don’t forget, either, that Dick Haines seems to believe it is the role of city government to play the role of banker for future developers.

Caving to pressure in Hillview will send a message to the rest of the community that all you have to do is get out there is somewhat nominal numbers, threaten to sue, and then you’ll be able to avoid an SID….

That healthy discussion, therefore, should include a discussion on HOW to provide for the improvements needed on Hillview – how to provide for safety and sidewalks and bikepaths – how to keep cars from landing in people’s yards. Is it taxes? What does that require? How much will it require? Will those that deny the SID vote to raise taxes? Where will the money come from? And how will it be prioritized?

Now that is the question? Does anyone see Haines/Hendrickson/Ballas/Wilkins voting to raise taxes?

Juxtapose that discussion upon the Performing Arts Center request for an 18 month extension on the parking lot at the old Fox Theater site. 18 months. What does 18 months get us? Another request for another extension in 18 months. And almost certainly another extension request after that. It also gets us a request for a $20,000,000 bond.

We just voted down a $10,000,000 school bond.

And if they if they get that $20,000,000 bond, they’ll then be fishing through the community for another $20,000,000 in donations just to get the performing arts center off the ground.

A vote against the performing arts center is not a vote against the arts. It is not a vote against economic development. It is a vote for reasonableness.

We need a new police station – hey – maybe that new police station should go right there at the triangle? – we need infrastructure, roads, street lights, and we need more police personnel, considering how the Griz football team is stretching the force’s time.

The city/county should not abuse or overstretch its ability to bond and the good will of its citizens by asking for $20,000,000 for a performing arts center with so much necessary matters needing attending.

Good luck to all the council people tomorrow night. They’re gonna need it.

by Rebecca Schmitz

Lewie Schneller defended his campaign against Councilman Ed Childers recently, in response to a complaint filed with State Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth. While the heart of the Ed’s complaint is the fact that Lewie may have misrepresented his votes on City Council, I was struck by this:

[Lewie] said he relied on his supporters, including some council members, to proof his material, but he declined to name them…“I am unaware of any legal requirement to disclose sources that I have consulted with…”

While it’s illegal to conduct an anonymous campaign against a political opponent, it’s not illegal to provide simple assistance to a candidate for office.  However, this isn’t Dick Cheney’s infamous 2001 super secret squirrel Energy Task Force meetings.  It’s a campaign for a City Council seat in a small Montana city.  What’s with the hush-hush crap?  Why can’t a sitting member of City Council admit to providing analysis and advice on a colleague’s voting record?  It’s a savvy political strategy on the part of a challenger.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.  Unless, of course, that Councilman is trying to hide the fact his information about the colleague’s voting record was not, as required by law, accurate and true. 

by jhwygirl

Big HUGE congratulations go out to Ward 1’s winner Jason Weiner. Jason takes a decisive win over Justin Armintrout, with over 64% of the vote! Jason will be a big supporter of the issues that are important to voters in Ward 1 – transportation and affordable housing. Welcome aboard Jason!

In Ward 2 – an important race due to incumbent Don “Just say No all the time” Nicholson – Pam Walzer campaigned a nearly 52% win out of what was a very tight race. A progressive having picking up that seat will be key in breaking up the clogged up council of the soon-to-be past. Way to go Pam!

Ward 3 – which holds what I believe some of the best large blocks of lands suitable for what can bring us real solutions to Missoula’s affordable housing problem – brings Missoula a very decisive victory with incumbent Stacy Rye beating out Doug Harrison, a former councilperson himself. Stacy took over 57% of the votes in Ward 3. Her experience and understanding of the economic impacts of affordable housing will be key, I believe, in bringing forward and keeping moving solutions for that important issue. (No pressure there, huh?) Big kudos to Stacy and the voters of Ward 3 in making the forward choice for Ward 3 and the City of Missoula.

Incumbent Ed Childers also brought Missoula progressives a win in Ward 6. That was – surprising to me and many others here in the ‘hood – the tightest race, with Ed taking it by 40 votes. Only 1,767 voters voted in Ward 6…Shame. Shame. Shame. Congrats to you too Mr. Childers! Ed coined the word “Regressives” (at least as I know it), and if only for that, I have lot’s of love for him. Plus that cute little Cooper he drives just makes him look “Oh So Cool!”

Disappointing, of course, was Christine Prescott’s loss in Ward 5. A lawyer and a minister, Christine would have done a lot to bring back civility and reasonableness to city council. Council doesn’t seem to get much help from Nugent, either, when it comes to ensuring that new ordinances and regulations are easily enforced and understood – and Christine would have helped immensely with that. Christine deserves a huge THANK YOU, though, for having run. It’s not easy – and demonstrates a dedication to community that not all of us are willing to do at such a level. Thank You Christine Prescott!

Also disappointing was Jerry Ballas’ loss in Ward 4. I don’t expect Lyn Hellegaard – who is apparently aligned with Jon Wilkins, John Hendrickson, and Dick Haines – to provide us anything more different than that which we are getting currently from that group of regressives. Jerry will be missed, as he has served this community well.


Now clean up those election signs – get some rest – do your homework – and get ready to bring Missoula some PROGRESS!


by jhwygirl

1 – City Council has been so divisive for what seems forever. Why do you still want to be on City Council?

My service on the City Council has been interesting and challenging. I’ve had the good fortune to be on the prevailing side on most issues most of the time I’ve been on the Council, and I’ve seen the city grow and prosper.

Looking back, compromise has been the hallmark of everything that’s been accomplished, and there’s been a lot. The civic stadium, new policy toward maintenance of conservation land, accommodating a second judge and expanded court facilities, new Council Chambers and MRA offices, aquatics, continued provision of good services to Missoulians as costs rise, the West Broadway safety issue, new Tax Increment districts, the St. Pat’s/Safeway deal, new and replacement fire stations, everything that’s been accomplished has been the result of discussion and compromise. A portion of the Council, let’s say about 1/3, often stakes out positions from which compromise doesn’t seem to be possible; that’s unfortunate, because constructive participation in the process is way better than the alternative.

2 – How much time a week do you spend on City Council business?

I don’t keep track of that. I go to lots of meetings, do lots of reading, looking at project proposals, trying to solve people’s problems and answer their questions. Thankfully there’s e-mail and digital documents. I can imagine trying to hold down a full-time job, or two and trying to do Council work. I don’t think I could do nearly as much Council work as I do now.

3 – If you could have your druthers – and knew that everyone on council would want to compromise and come up with a solution where at least 3/4 of them would agree – what three issues would you tackle first? And in what order?

The Chamber of Commerce, asked a similar question, which was, if money was no object, what would you make Broadway look like. I gave them a great pie-in-the-sky answer which they apparently disliked. It’s too bad, because it was a great answer.

Which brings me to this question. I’d like to be able to answer it, but I just can’t, because so much of what needs to be done in Missoula depends on outside funding, action by the state legislature, whether the economy stays strong, and so forth. I would like to have more emphasis on things that need to be done, such as a public safety building and a new city/county library and Russell-Third and a good look at what the west-of-Reserve-Street area will look like and more traffic calming and such; and less emphasis on who e-mailed what to whom.

4 – What candidates are you endorsing and why?

Stacy Rye, Christine Prescott.

Stacy’s been a forward-looking proponent and supporter of most policies and projects that have proved beneficial to Missoula. She’s smart and dedicated.

Christine says she will be thoughtful and objective and positive, and do things that are in the best interest of Missoula in the long run. Her training and background indicate that she’ll follow through.

5 – Ward 6 is greatly lacking in infrastructure – poor roads, few sidewalks or bike lanes – while having some pretty major traffic routes – 3rd Street, Russell, Johnson, Mount – what can the city do to help ease the financial burden to homeowners, especially when infrastructure improvements on these major traffic routes will benefit citizens throughout the City of Missoula?

Funding is going to continue to be largely a do-it-yourself thing, unless the City puts new funding mechanisms in place.

By “do-it-yourself,” I mean sidewalks and curbs will continue to be paid for by adjacent property owners, same as always; major local street and alley improvements such as paving unpaved streets and alleys will be paid for through SIDs. Members of the Franklin to the Fort Neighborhood Council are actively pursuing installation of sidewalks on some main internal streets so at least kids can have sidewalks to use on their way to and from Franklin School and to the Good Food Store. They’ve polled residents and applied for CDBG funds to assist lower-income residents. Arterials such as Russell and Third qualify for other funding; we have a very limited supply of “Urban Funds” that gets allocated through the Transportation Infrastructure Plan. That Plan is under review right now.

6 – You supported the war referendum resolution. Can you talk about why you think that supporting it was the right thing to do?

Stacy & Bob carried the referendum, and they asked for my support. I thought, this thing can’t possibly be viewed negatively, all it says is, authorize and fund a safe withdrawal. It doesn’t even say Get Out!, just “authorize and fund a safe withdrawal.” How could there be opposition to that? After all, the Iraqis had done nothing to us before we invaded and occupied their country, and the US had supplied Saddam with a huge supply of weapons to use in his war against Iran.

I didn’t realize when we voted to let Missoulians vote on the referendum that 2 out of 5 Americans are still convinced that Saddam attacked the United States in 2001.

I didn’t realize that a referendum to authorize etc. was going to stoke fires that were kindled during the Vietnam era. I came close to losing some good friends over my vote, and may in fact have lost one that I continue to respect.

If I’d anticipated that, would I still have voted for the referendum? Maybe. Maybe not.

As I said in the beginning, the referendum doesn’t do much. It gives our Congressional folk something to think about when they vote, maybe that’s good, but other than that, it has no legal authority, it has no binding effect, is it really worth it? Don’t know.

by jhwygirl

This guy isn’t even finished with an election yet, and he’s already under investigation!

The Missoulian piece brings us more details on Lewie Schneller’s law-breaking campaign for Ward 6’s city council seat.

The Office of Political Practices is investigating Councilman Childers’ complaint, which he filed on Friday, against his opponent Lewie Schneller. Unfortunately, there are 26 other complaints ahead of Childers’, and it’s not likely that they will get to it before the November 6th election deadline.

Among the details the Missoulian give us, Lewie Schneller’s not very smart:

Schneller admitted Monday he had not reviewed his opponent’s voting record before printing campaign material and said he was relying on others to provide him information and to “proofread” his literature.“I was relying on the information I was receiving through consultation with the political folks I was involved with,” Schneller said.

Not smart enough to oversee his own campaign, and not smart enough to select smarter people than himself. Do we really want this guy on city council?:

However, Schneller said his sources thoroughly reviewed his campaign literature before it went to print, and they raised no concerns about the information.“I had these people proofread everything. I was never led to believe that there was any impropriety or wrongdoing,” Schneller said.

Schneller is also awfully secretive:

He said his sources included “two or three” sitting council members, but refused to disclose the identities of those councilors or others involved. Schneller also said he considered his literature generally true – though perhaps not precise.

Maybe the Missoulian should contact each sitting councilperson and see who lays claim to serving as one of Lewie’s proofreading political advisors?

Wonder who would admit to being part of this mess?

This whole ugly situation only illustrates the nasty partisanship and lengths to which certain politicos will go to get what they want.

Lewie’s ‘political advisors’ will undoubtedly sit back and let him swim on his own with this – they don’t want to be connected to this illegal activity.

Ugh. The thought of 2 more years of nasty personal attacks and partisan politics and “NO” to anything and everything which moves towards improving our community is too much to bear.

Lewie is someone’s puppet – already. If he’s not smart enough to take the blame on his own for this mess, I wonder if his so-called ‘political advisors’ even still want him around?

My guess is that they’re screening their calls and checking the caller ID.

by jhwygirl

Yesterday I posted a piece on city council candidate for Ward 6 Lewie Schneller’s violations of Montana’s election laws.

Boy, that opened a can of worms!

Apparently councilman Ed Childers, the other candidate for Ward 6, has filed a complaint regarding Lewie Schneller’s campaign fliers with The Office of the Commissioner of Political Practices.

In the comments to the post, Councilman Childers provides us with this interesting piece of information:

You’ll find that Lewie wrote, 10/16/07, (after fixing his disclaimer address error, which I don’t much care about):“#2. Information concerning Ed Childers voting record was received by me thru conversations with currently sitting Missoula council members, and a weekly political advisory group which I attend on a regular basis. To the best of my knowledge, the information on my brochure is true and correct.”

It also seems Childers has been in contact with Political Practices for some time, because Lewie Schneller has already had time to defend his flyers – by saying that he’s gotten his information on Childers’ voting record “thru conversations with currently sitting Missoula council members, and a weekly political advisory group which (he attends) on a regular basis”

So which council members are feeding Ward 6 candidate Lewie Schneller information such as “increased local property taxes at 6% per year for the past 8-years” and “proposed doubling the current city council salary from $11,000 to $22,000”???

And as for the “weekly political advisory group” which he “attends on a regular basis” – should we have any doubt who they are?


Any and all candidates for council should be disgusted and outraged at this lie-filled smear campaign.

by jhwygirl

We’re supposed to vote Lewie Schneller into office and he can’t even follow the laws that may help put him there? The laws that ensure open and fair elections for citizens?

How can I expect, with this behavior, that Lewie Schneller will play fair if he ever gets on Council?

Campaign law is easy to access – Montana has a easy-to-use website, and the stuff is printed there in plain English. I’m not even an attorney, and I can understand it. I got the above line by using Google.

Is Lewie Schneller afraid to print the truth? Does he even know the truth?

Does he know even how to use the internet?

On the front page of his most recent mailing, Lewie Schneller hypocritically cites the Open Meeting Law while violating campaign law on the back page.

So much for openness in government, huh?

In Lewie’s first campaign rag, he violated MCA 13-35-225 (1), which requires “All communications advocating the success or defeat of a candidate, … must clearly and conspicuously include the attribution “paid for by” followed by the name and address of the person who made or financed the expenditure for the communication.” Lewie Schneller, while having his phone number and email available, left out the legally required information.

He also violated MCA 13-35-225(3) in its entirety. On the back page of his first campaign materials, he lists 10 things that “opponent and incumbent Mr. Ed Childers” supposedly supports – by citing things like “(Childers) voted for requiring Missoulians to vote on the Iraq War resolution” and “Supported and voted to approve 8-million dollar overcharge for the ‘Splash Aquatics Pool’ projects without ballot and bond approval” and “Supports increased local property taxes at 6% per year for the past 8-years”

Hey Lewie – is that compounded or just a straight 48% increase in taxes that Childers supposedly did us wrong?

The pool project, I’m pretty darn sure, cost under 3-million – other issues aside. Calling out 8-million? That’s just plain bullshit. Yep, I said it – BULLSHIT.

Childers voted to require me and everyone here in Missoula to vote on the the Iraq War Resolution? Interesting…….

MCA 13-35-225(3) requires that a candidate, when citing information about a candidate’s voting record, provide “a reference to the particular vote or votes upon which the information is based” and a “disclosure of contrasting votes known to have been made by the candidate on the same issue if closely related in time.”

The law does allow for a candidate to make the types of unsubstantiated statements that Lewie has made without referencing the actual votes by providing a “statement signed” by either the candidate or the preparer of the literature that states “to the best of the signer’s knowledge, the statements made about the other candidate’s voting record are accurate and true.”

Schneller does neither – and perhaps its because since most of his stuff is crap, a signed statement saying that what he’s stated is ‘accurate and true to the best of his knowledge’ might throw up a little red flag in a voters head?

But geez Lewie, the City of Missoula, too, has an easy-to-use website. I use it all the time.

In Lewie Schneller’s second campaign rag, delivered right to my mailbox this past week, he manages to comply with MCA 13-35-22(1), by providing the “paid for by” statement…but he continues with violating MCA 13-35-335 (3) by accusing councilman Ed Childers of disgracing the Pledge of Allegiance.

He writes “…the Pledge of Allegiance was disgraced August 6, 2007 in comments of Council members opposing a permanent change to add the Pledge of Allegiance to the City Council Agenda.”

I’m confident Childers did no such thing – what are you trying to tell me Lewie? That Ed is calling the Pledge of Allegiance some communist statement? A plot to overthrow the government? Ed and the rest of Council exercised their Constitutional rights to free speech, I am sure, but absolutely no one said anything to “disgrace” the Pledge of Allegiance.

He also calls out Childers for “continuing down the current infill path or even increasing crowding to make housing more extensive.”

Hmm – first – what, exactly, is he continuing? Can you cite some voting records or evidence to support that which you contend he is continuing?

And as for wanting to “make housing more extensive” – you really need to explain that one. I thought you supported affordable housing (rag #1, “Need intelligent and reasonable planning for infill housing and neighborhood clusters.”)

Schneller cites, also, that Childers “proposed doubling the current city council salary from $11,000 to $22,000.”

I think not.

Unless, of course Mr. Schneller, you can prove me wrong.

There’s more – but hell, I shouldn’t have to reprint the whole darn thing!

I might want to think, because of his campaign violations, that he doesn’t know how to use the internet – but, unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

He lists an email address in both of his campaign rags (one left at the door and the one mailed out this past week) of – so why not email him and ask him to comply with the laws of the State of Montana?

Those campaign laws are written to protect the citizens of Montana – voters like me and you – and, frankly, candidates like Ed Childers and Lewie Schneller – from unfair practices and unsubstantiated claims (and as I noted above, “bullshit”) like that which Lewie Schneller is dishing out in his campaign literature (and probably at the Missoula GOP picnic too.)

Here is MCA 13-35-225, in its entirety.

by jhwygirl

Forward Montana brings Missoula citizens a most excellent voters guide.

It provides information on each candidate in the form of a short Q&A, along with links to the Missoulian interviews and a list of who is endorsing which candidate.

It also has information on the war referendum, and links to news sources on the Iraq war. AND it also includes a ward map – which will be helpful to oh-so-many people (I can’t believe how many people don’t know what ward they live in!)

Lots of great information, all in one place. I highly recommend that you check it out.

But you won’t be able to get much information on any candidate in Ward 4 – neither Jerry Ballas nor Lyn Hellegaard bothered to answer the questions. Neither.

Maybe they didn’t have any answers or thoughts to offer. One question probably presented them with real Catch 22 – “How do you plan on being effective in light of this divisive council?”

I can only surmise that neither just plain doesn’t have plans to be effective. I guess I can give ’em a pass on that one – but geez, they couldn’t even bother with “What is your ward’s biggest problem and how do you plan to tackle it?”

I hate to find myself saying this, but maybe Ballas is the best choice there – I mean, at least you know what your getting there…with Lyn, who in the hades knows?!

(There’s a shining endorsement….)

Ward 2’s Don Nicholson didn’t bother either – but he was probably getting some needed nap time in, so he gets a pass there too.

Ward 3’s Doug Harrison also didn’t bother…but he might have been caught in a Catch 22 with the “How do you plan to be effective” question.

Not bothering to participate in answering questions of a non-partisan group of young people who are showing interest in the political process is a real shame. Their lack of participation – the seemingly organized lack of participation among 4 Republican candidates – sends a bad message to some young people who are going to be voting for a long long time.

And in local elections, when there really are so few (compared to state-wide or federal elections) sources with which to get information on candidates, it is important to get information out there from as many sources as possible. It helps in the sense that it can smooth out any bias that come come from reading just one source for information.

Shame on Ballas, Hellegaard, Harrison and Nicholson.

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