[MissoulaGov] LGSC

Jim McGrath jmcgrath at missoulahousing.org
Mon Oct 30 08:19:45 MST 2006

For me the issue of nine wards is about how people get elected
throughout the city, not just in Ward 2. The fact is that smaller wards
allow individuals with less money but sturdy feet to effectively
campaign. Larger districts require purchased media. More money, less
direct contact, frankly more spin. When I ran in 1995, there were 6,000
per ward and I walked the entire ward. Now there are 10,000 people and
campaigns take place by mail and telephone and the newspaper. In 1995 I
spent $1500 (and a huge fund); nowadays aim for $10k. Like it or not,
someone like me would have difficulty getting into office. As an
incumbent, not a problem-- raising money as an incumbent is easy.
Getting media attention as in incumbent is easy.

Districts will be drawn through the political process, so the district I
live in will change. If the charter is not changed, Ward 2 will still be
redrawn because the districts have to be to make the one-man-one-vote
work. I may well end up in a ward 1 or 3. Whatever.

-----Original Message-----
From: missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com
[mailto:missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com] On Behalf Of Bob Jaffe
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 8:56 AM
To: missoulagov at cmslists.com
Subject: [MissoulaGov] LGSC

Here is a letter to the editor I sent out yesterday.

Return to Partisan Elections:
Our local political parties serve a vital role in creating excitement
participation in our local elections. By eliminating partisan elections
have effectively emasculated those organizations and weakened their role
in the democratic process. The effect has been a decline in
Some say that fixing potholes and sidewalks have nothing to do with
political affiliation. City Council decisions also cover land use,
taxation, distribution of public resources, and many other issues where
an individual's perspective on the role of government and social
priorities are significant. This is the very stuff that political
help define. Please vote for the return to partisan elections.

Nine Wards:
The decision over nine wards ultimately comes down to how you feel about
Ward 2. Missoula's growth has primarily been on the northwest side of
town. These new neighborhoods have been annexed into Ward 2. Grant Creek
and the neighborhoods to the west have distinctly different needs and
interests than the older Northside and Westside neighborhoods. With
wards those areas will be able to vote for their own representative.
six wards we will most likely split the Northside and Westside,
one to the Rattlesnake and one to the Grant Creek and Mullan road areas.
One of these central historic neighborhoods will forever be relegated to
being a numerical minority to the often competing interests of the new
neighborhoods to the west. This same principal applies to the rest of
city as well. As populations shift and we redraw ward boundaries, nine
wards will give us more opportunity to keep the wards representing
neighborhoods of somewhat similar needs. If you believe wards should
represent neighborhoods and areas of common interest please vote for

Bob Jaffe
Missoula City Council Representative Ward 3

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