What is your message as a Missoula councilor (or councilor-to-be) to the Montana Public Service Commission about the proposed sale of Mountain Water Co.?
The sale of Mountain Water should be reviewed closely by the PSC, to ensure a safe and customer responsive owner. The PSC should also examine the company's current infrastructure, the potential costs of needed updates and who the ultimate owner will be.
Do you support the non-binding ballot measure that urges federal and state leaders to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban corporate personhood? Why or why not?
The state Constitution does not allow for the personhood referendum or initiative, as affirmed by the city attorney in legal opinion 2007-014. But go ahead and spend the people's money on an opinion poll that will have no effect on anything, though it may make some people feel good. I think it is another example of manipulating our representative democracy to a feel-good, mob- rule democracy. The way to really fix the responsibilities of corporations is to redefine the protections given to corporations in regard to the individuals that make the decisions or take the actions that violate the spirit and purpose of the laws designed to protect the environment, consumers and employees, while also allowing more flexibility in regards to wages, job descriptions and rewards for those who strive to work harder, are innovative, or further benefit the company and/or society in fulfillment of it's stated purpose. Making money alone is not a good societal or individual purpose.
Do you support the city budget? If yes, why? If no, what would you change? (If you want to lower taxes, what would you remove from the budget?)
I have the city budget on my computer. The mayor submits the budget. It is an entire package. As a new councilor, I will strive to look at everything with an open mind. I will look and thoughtfully consider what may be necessary, and what may not. The key factors in my decision making will be "purpose," "process," "motives." I will look at previous results, as well as short and long-term goals. Solutions will have priority over Band-Aids. And if the processes have taken over the purpose, it will be a prime area for cutting.
The city is taking ownership of the baseball stadium. Did you support the buy? Why or why not?
Though the ownership of the baseball stadium may be a good thing, the currently passed sale and lease agreement are not. I wrote an editorial to the Missoulian, spoke at the council meetings, contacted two Missoulian reporters and their newsdesk about potential fraud issues and shortcomings in the lease agreement prior to the council vote on the stadium and the Missoulian seems to have thought that the issues should be invisible to the general public. I also contacted the state attorney general in the same regard.
The council has been updating the Animal Ordinance. What's the most important piece you want to see changed or preserved?
I would be fine if the Animal Ordinance remained essentially as it was. The goal of the ordinance is to prevent animals and their owners from becoming a public nuisance, an environmental problem or a health hazard. This is in addition to protecting the animals themselves. As an aside, concern for others is a habit that should always be reinforced. New or stricter laws are not always the answer.