Archive for the ‘Stacy Rye’ Category

by jhwygirl

First the Ward 3’s Vote for Bob Jaffe video, which comes to 4&20, not by Bob Jaffee, but via Skylar Browning’s Indy Blog post:

Browning’s brief remarks are funny, and I agree. I also think that Badenoch was funny, saying “I think Bob Jaffe represents a lot of things I support. He’s progressive…but at the same time (my emphasis), he’s reasonable. I can tell that thinks about issues very seriously. He’s not a knee-jerk kind of guy. He’s thoughtful and I appreciate that.”

Council goddess Rye is hilarious, and so is Bob Clark, Missoula citizen.

Oh – and credit definitely has to go to “Bob Jaffe fan” Paul Wheaton – at minimum, he has a future in campaign election videos, for sure.

On the other topic…

Some HOW TO VOTE information…

Deadline is past for voter’s (pre)registration. If you want to vote now and haven’t registered, you have to head down to the fairgrounds, where the County Election’s Office has set up (due to high turnout in previous elections, and limited facilities/crowded halls).

This move has few, happy (maybe the county elections staff). Even Missoulian reporter Keila Szpaller lamented the move in a tweet.

Even the results. {sigh}

Can we maintain no tradition?

City elections are mail-in only. No polling stations will be open.

Mail-in ballots are coming out in a few days. There’s Mayor (unchallenged), the Municipal Judge (unchallenged), then your councilperson vote (of which Ward 4 is unchallenged too). It looks like if you live in Seeley Lake, there’s an election there, and another in the Evaro/Finley/O’Keefe area to form a community council – at least what I can see of the sample ballot.

So when you get that ballot, fill it in ENGEN LOUDEN and, depending on which ward, STROHMAEIR or HOUSEMAN or JAFFE or WILKINS or O’HERRON or MARLER and get it back in the mail.

Voting early helps all the candidates, no matter who they are. Their effort will be to get you to vote – if you get it done early, you allow your candidate the potential to round themselves up even more votes.

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 Rebecca Schmitz

I would like to offer my congratulations to all the winners of yesterday’s City Council election. (The Iraq War referendum outcome? The maraschino cherry atop this sundae of progressive values.) J-school students at UM have tallied the results on their blog:

Ward 1
X Jason Wiener: 1,676, 64%
Justin Armintrout: 887, 34%
Ward 2
X Pam Walzer: 998, 52%
Don Nicholson (incumbent) : 906, 47%
Ward 3
X Stacy Rye (incumbent) : 1,504, 57%
Doug Harrison: 1,089, 42%
Ward 4
X Lyn Hellegaard: 1,506, 53%
Jerry Ballas (incumbent) : 1,282, 45%
Ward 5
X Renee Mitchell: 1,220, 54%
Christine Prescott: 1,026, 45%
Ward 6
X Ed Childers (incumbent) : 892, 50.48%
Lewie Schneller: 852, 48.22%

The big winners here, of course, are the voters themselves. Forty-six percent of them returned their ballots to the Election Office. Not an ideal 100% in a perfect world to be sure, but still proof that the new mail-in ballots and successful local voter drives can work for the betterment of our city’s political system. The Missoulian summed up the election nicely in today’s editorial:

More than Flag Day or Independence Day or any other show of devotion to this nation, Election Day – and the day after – are the true test of our commitment to democracy.

That’s so true. The simple act of voting itself–whether it’s at the dining room table or in a curtained booth–is more patriotic than all the hollow chest-thumping displays of the same, from enforced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to plastering “In God We Trust” across school classrooms.  Young voters, same-day voting and fictitious liberal “machines” are not a menace to Missoula.  Apathy is.  Everyone who voted and everyone who ran, whether they won or not, deserves to be called a patriot.

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 – You have shown that you have a good understanding of the importance that Affordable Housing is the community. You have also publicly lamented that City Council does little or no actual ‘planning’, which certainly affects the ability to deal with the Affordable Housing problems that Missoula faces. What ‘planning’ would you like to see tackled?

Affordable housing is the most complex of the issues the City faces. I think about the only way the City can get at the major cost of housing – the cost of the land- is through regulations. I also think that there has to be a given that most people understand the lack of affordable housing in the community and have the will to enact some measures to alleviate the problem. I’d like to see us take a look at inclusionary zoning, a real estate transfer tax, small lot development where it’s already zoned for apartments or commercial, and working through some of those regulations with land trust organizations and private developers. Another way we could do it is through redevelopments districts and have some portion of the increment go towards affordable housing, again working with private agencies.

I would look very forward to the community having a conversation about any of the above planning measures. We cannot continue to have a vibrant economy without addressing the housing issues and the many people who want to live in Missoula proper for its quality of life.

I also think planning boils down to Council giving each other the benefit of the doubt regarding the willingness to entertain new ideas. There have been discussions about different ideas such as inclusionary zoning and redoing the planned neighborhood cluster ordinance and it’s been difficult to talk about any legitimate ideas rationally. At the end of the day (or year), if every idea gets shut down, the community is left with a cumulative nothing.

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

We actually do quite a bit of work that lands on the consent agenda. Only a few items make it to committee reports and those are the most controversial. The Council’s job is three fold, really. The first is to respond to requests and concerns from people who call or write regarding issues. I think there’s probably more immediate gratification at the local level like getting an abandoned vehicle to go away pretty quickly. Other times the issue is much more complex and actually leads to evaluating a policy on the books that needs changing.

Policy work is incredibly interesting and we have some council members who are very good at looking at either new policies or evaluating old laws to see if they need updating. Dave Strohmaier is a policy wonk machine in this regard. This part of the job can be very stimulating when ideas can be honestly debated for their merits. I like it when other council members with whom I disagree with at times, like Jerry Ballas, bring up points that I haven’t thought of. I loved working on public power and the bid to acquire Northwestern Energy. It was the most exciting project a city council person could possibly want to work on.

Staff generally brings the other part of the job to us and we evaluate the requests. Staff does an excellent job of bringing proposals and working on behalf of the community. The Missoula Redevelopment Agency (MRA) is but one example of a city agency that’s very open to new ideas. Working with them makes it easy for the Council to go forward with great projects.

3 – A zoning rewrite is underway. What do you hope to see from the zoning rewrite?

I’d like to see the zoning re-write get us ahead of the growth curve. Regardless of what the population is in the Valley in 2050, it’s going to be a lot bigger. The re-write has the capability to move the community along in a more orderly fashion.

The city is behind the curve in terms of transportation and growth at the moment which leads us to struggle with each and every transportation decision and subdivision proposal. We need a bigger picture and the rewrite help us get at least part of the way there.

I hope the Council of the future is happy with what comes out of this and doesn’t end up scratching their heads at the decisions we make in the next few years with the zoning rewrite. I often do that now, for instance, when we struggle with assessing people for sidewalks for a subdivision that was approved without them 50 years ago.

4 – What makes you the best choice for representing Ward 3?

Well, I’m competent at the job and I’ve built good relationships both with current council members and staff. I also have good relationships with the local State delegation in Missoula and like to work with them on how the State impacts local government. I’m accessible and I can relate to problems people call with or when I bump into just about everyone at the Food Farm which is a big community gathering place. I’m pretty open minded and naturally curious about most things and I take representing 10,000 people seriously; especially in a Ward that is extraordinarily plugged in to local government.

I’ve also learned how to compromise so I can vote yes instead of no and I’ve been part of the majority most times so the city can move forward with most of its projects and ordinances. I haven’t passed on more than one thing that I can think of in four years. I think passing is a cop-out. I’ve initiated things like domestic partner benefits for city employees, more funding for the urban forest, a sidewalk coordinator, and a big conference on growth (the Sopris Foundation conference this past year at the Wilma).

5 – Assuming you could build some consensus, what would be the first thing you would tackle with the next City Council?

I’m one of twelve people; I’m not a committee of one and none of us accomplish anything alone. I’d like to see a bunch of things happen. I’d like to see how to fund the Parks department at a decent level. I’d like to work with the State and County on figuring out how to pay for Russell and 3rd St. I’d really like the Council to work seriously on how the City could help in the affordable housing area. We have some very talented non-profits that do great work and it would be very easy for the Council to partner regulations with the work they do.

Most of these things have to do with funding and I’m sensitive to tax issues when we get letters from constituents who say they are close to the tipping point on paying taxes, especially when they come from people who generally support things like open space.

Funding for local services is a tricky issue, particularly when the feds are funding less of it and the dollar is devalued by the current federal administration passing the Treasury bond buck, causing us to go deeper into debt at the federal level. I’m happy we get local control over decisions when we fund it ourselves – but the federal debt does the local service issues harm.

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