[MissoulaGov] 8.3.16

Jim Sayer sayermon at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 4 20:43:21 UTC 2016


I want to echo Ed's comment and praise our mayor and council for moving on a strong, steady course to secure ownership of our local public resource and systems.
I also was at yesterday's Budget Committee hearing for a couple of hours, observing council at work, and want to thank all the council members for their service -- I am regularly amazed by how much time, energy, and good work they put into these nominally paid (but very important) jobs.
Thanks Em, Bryan and all for keeping this listserve going. 

    On Thursday, August 4, 2016 1:38 PM, Ed Childers <ed.childers at charter.net> wrote:
 

  Thanks, Councilor. Regarding Justice Rice's comment that the City used "diabolical tactics:" The City of Missoula went up against one of the biggest, nastiest entities in the world. The City's approach - The Mayor's and his advisors' tactics - was to go all out, to push every issue, to be sure no stone was unturned. That was the right approach by the right guy. As much as I appreciate the phrase "diabolical tactics," the fact is that the City prevailed because it did not try to do the job on the cheap. Public ownership of the water system is a forever thing. The City owns it. Hooray! ---ed Ed Childers
406-728-3751
 On 08/04/2016 12:05 PM, Emily Bentley wrote:
  
 Good afternoon, 
  Our week has been very complex with highs and lows on multiple fronts. In Land Use yesterday we discussed the conditions of the developer agreement for the Merc. Negotiating by committee is like designing a building by committee - not efficient. My goal in the meeting yesterday was for the committee to give clear direction and empower staff to engage in negotiations. Ellen Buchanan will help, since she knows more than anyone about these contracts. In the meeting councilors stated their views on what they would like to see. There was consensus about pretty much everything, which makes things easier. It normal circumstances staff would bring us a negotiated agreement, we would go a few rounds with the developer and move on. In this case, since Council has been leading, the chronology is reversed. Hopefully now we can get back on a normal trajectory. If MRA funds are involved, it will  require a subsequent agreement and process. Some, but not all, issues from Council were: encouraging opportunities for further preservation, some kind of a surety or performance bond from the developer, local supervision of deconstruction, and keeping preservation groups at the table as we move forward. 
  In budget we started pulling items out of and putting items into the budget, which will continue into next week. Highlights: assistant judge stays in, lobbyist for legislative session stays in, two of four police officers for downtown are in (the two community service officers are out), $24K for our over-loved conservation lands maintenance was added in, $13.50 minimum wage (slowing moving to $15) was added in. Still up for consideration to add in: 1 FTE for street maintenance  (pot holes and snow plowing - currently the equipment sits idle), earlier introduction of business manager for parks, 1 FTE urban forester to plant trees, .67 FTE animal control officer, $12K for 4th D Club, 1 FTE city planner to help manage construction boom, and $70K greenway maintenance. Still up for consideration to come out: city band, portion of funding for the Missoula Economic Partnership, and MRTMA. I won't be there next week as I am  traveling for work. However, I'll watch closely and move to amend during final voting on a Monday night on close votes where I think my presence can change the outcome. Given how little we pulled, I doubt we can add much of anything. I also moved the city band under the Parks and Rec budget for next year (if it makes it), so it has more assurances it will remain in the budget each year. 
  During Admin and Finance we reimbursed the city for costs incurred on all of last year's curb & sidewalk projects ordered.  The details include where and how the city will make required debt payments, how the debt is secured, and when the city can redeem the bonds early. We also set a public hearing to levy the road and parks districts according to the budget we adopt. 
  In COW we had a presentation from the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition. I had another meeting at that time. However, I caught the end and was interested to learn of some policy changes we could make to encourage urban agriculture. 
  Obviously I am thrilled at the water ruling from the MT Supreme Court. It was a strong 5-2 ruling without no special concurrences, making it even stronger. Rice's dissent, like most dissents, was fiery. It focused on our discovery tactics, which was an accusation that we chose not to answer with the Supreme Court. I know that any body that heard our side of the story too would see that Carlyle matched our tactics. We look forward to taking care of the Mountain Water employees and most importantly, fixing our rapidly decaying system.  
  Em   
  -- 
 Emily Bentley
 406-546-6552
    
  
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