Some 73 percent of survey respondents – all voters in the city of Missoula – support the city’s bid to buy Mountain Water Co. “at a fair price” and run a municipal utility, according to poll results released Thursday by the mayor’s office.

“This survey confirms what I’ve been hearing from citizens for the last three years,” Mayor John Engen said in a statement. “We need to own our own water company. This information helps me and the Missoula City Council as we continue our fight to own this company before it’s sold to yet another private firm accountable to investors who don’t care a bit about Missoula.”

The city intends to use results as evidence to support its eminent domain case pending against Mountain Water and owner The Carlyle Group in Missoula County District Court. Most council members have supported the mayor’s pursuit of public ownership, and in a statement, council president Marilyn Marler said she was pleased with the poll results.

“I and most of my council colleagues have long supported public ownership of Mountain Water because we know that’s what most of our constituents want,” Marler said. “The survey results strongly support our instincts.”

One councilor, though, has been critical of the mayor’s decision to pursue condemnation and has pressed for transparency in the process. On Thursday, Councilman Adam Hertz questioned the language and composition of the poll – albeit not the support for municipal ownership the results indicated.

“I’m not at all surprised that people think owning the water company is a positive thing,” Hertz said.

However, he said the questions don’t get at the manner in which the city takes ownership. Do people believe condemnation is fair? Do they agree the city should fight a global investment group in court to take its property?

“For me, that’s the bigger question,” Hertz said. “Should the city go through a multimillion-dollar condemnation process with no clear outcome and potentially a huge multimillion-dollar tab for the taxpayers? That wasn’t the question, but that’s kind of the reality.”

The survey polled 510 active voters via land lines and cellphones in the city of Missoula. The poll by Harstad Strategic Research of Colorado was conducted May 11 through May 15 and has a 95 percent confidence interval of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

“The strength of support was surprising to me,” Engen said. “What I hear from our pollster is those numbers of support are high for just about anything, and in Missoula, we sometimes disagree on things. So this is a case where there seems to be tremendous public support around the notion of municipal ownership of the water company.”

The survey cost $35,000, and according to the city, it “is part of the legal expense authorized by the city in its case against Mountain Water and Carlyle and will be added to acquisition costs.”

The mayor said the city also will be paying some expert witnesses – although not all – to testify on its behalf.

After making several unsuccessful offers last year to buy Mountain Water from global equity firm Carlyle, the city last month filed an eminent domain proceeding to force a sale in court. The case is pending, and Carlyle officials have said the case has no merit.

Carlyle took ownership in 2011, and infrastructure fund managing director Robert Dove has argued the firm has improved the water system since with $11.6 million in investments. On Wednesday, Carlyle also announced Mountain Water will be on the market as part of its plan to sell Western Water Holdings, a trio of water companies.

***

In the survey, one question asked was the following: “Think for a moment about the water system in Missoula that delivers drinking water to homes and businesses and maintains local water pipes and storage tanks. Do you think this water system in Missoula should be owned by the city or should be owned privately by a corporation? And do you feel strongly about that or not?”

According to results, 65 percent of respondents believe the water utility should be owned by the city, and of those, 48 percent feel strongly; 20 percent of those who answered questions believe the system should be owned by a corporation, and 13 percent of those feel strongly.

Respondents also were asked to rank their level of concern from zero to 10 about criticisms raised of the city’s bid to purchase the water company. Reads one: “It will cost the city of Missoula – and taxpayers – over $60 million dollars to purchase Mountain Water Company. There is nothing wrong with our water system, and this money would be better used to deal with actual problems in the city – like fixing the streets and improving our parks.”

Those surveyed offered the following concern levels to that question: 22 percent noted the highest concern, a 10, and 31 percent had the lowest concern level, from zero to four. (22 percent said 10; 4 percent said nine; 13 percent said eight; 13 percent said six or seven; 15 percent said five; 31 percent said zero to four; and 2 percent didn’t know.)

Another criticism read in the survey is this: “According to their own public records, the founders of the international private equity firm that owns Missoula’s water system actually earned $250 million dollars each last year. The profits that come from Mountain Water company in Missoula are helping to pay these obscene salaries – instead of being invested back into the water system in the form of maintenance and improvements.”

In response, 29 percent of people asked said they had the highest level of concern about those profits. (29 percent said 10; 10 percent said 9; 12 percent said 8; 16 percent said six or seven; 13 percent said five; 17 percent said zero to four; and 2 percent didn’t know.)

Engen had earlier declined to discuss the poll or share the questions being asked. On Thursday, he said the attorneys who worked on the survey didn’t want to influence respondents by releasing information in advance.

“Really, this was all about being independent, arm’s length, and making sure that we got an accurate random sample that truly reflects public opinions,” Engen said.

Reach Keila Szpaller at @keilaszpaller, at keila.szpaller@missoulian.com or at (406) 523-5262.

Reporter for the Missoulian

(59) comments

erlyirn
erlyirn

Missoula County has the highest tax rate in the state. Anyone had enough yet?

Montana Property Taxes By County - 2014 - Tax-Rates.org

Leadfoot
Leadfoot

Schwanke & Walter12 have it. Engen isn't fooling anyone with this self-serving manipulated poll. It will be used as a justification by Engen & the City Council for the expenditure of millions of our tax dollars when they lose this in court, again. Let's see....the city council "put aside" $50,000 for the court condemnation fight for the mayor. The mayor's poll has already taken $35,000 of that. Pretzel money compared to what is coming. I & many others have a solicitation blocker on our phones that eliminate annoying poll-related calls around election time. Only Obama & Tester ignored the threatening legal message recording during their campaigns. Many individuals have this blockade on their phones. This slants the data obtained by the pollster & is never taken into consideration when evaluating the data. Also, the wording was such that a reasonable low-information person would answer those questions exactly the way they were designed to obtain the data that was DESIRED. It was simple: "Do you think that the city should take the condemnation proceedings back to court again to obtain ownership of Missoula's water system, with the probability that it will cost millions to do so? 75% would not have answered in the affirmative. 75% of people in ANY group wouldn't agree that it would be a good idea to cure cancer. Not in Missoula. The one amazing good thing that I see happening in Mayor Goodyear's debacle is that the usual left-wing socialists are in agreement with Miss Perfect, Walter12, Mr. Schwanke, etc. This confirms my prediction that many Democrats are going to swing vote these tax & spend Democrat bums out of office. Taxes can only go so high before everyone, Democrats & Republicans alike, have to vote out the bums that raise them, universally. Hey guys. It took a while for you to see the light, but eventually all of you who actually do pay taxes do see it. Montanamuralist is buying after the election, so belly-up. Look for the "D" after the name and vote for the other guy.

Eric96
Eric96

Did I miss something in this article? The headline and lead sentence cites 73% of the citizen sample were found to support the water purchase. Yet, I find this number nowhere in the body of the article, nor do I see it represented by any arithmetic of answer portions, either. I only find reported here that 65% of respondents answered that they believe the city should buy. How the heck was the essential 73% figure derived?? Either I'm missing something, and I read poorly myself--for which I will owe Ms. Szpaller and an editor (plus the rest of you commenters, too: just wait)-- an apology, but for all the description of the study in this long piece, nowhere do I see any evidence of how "73%" was found. And how is it that none of you commenters here (or at least those I quickly scanned) really looked at the numbers themselves, for all your complaining? Are numbers so uninteresting that none of you noticed this critical numerical disparity, even though this 73% figure will be used, repeated, and take on a life of its own in the months ahead? Explain this, please, someone!

ds
ds

The survey is posted to the right of the article (on line). It's a good survey. The 73% comes from a question (as stated in the first paragraph of the article) that was read after a complete discussion of all the pros and cons.

montanamuralist
montanamuralist

Well a majority of Missoulians were dumb enough to vote for Engen in the first place. Doesn't surprise me. They will realize their mistake after the sale is complete and Engen sends them their first water bill....oh what happened??? I can hear it now.

GNGRPWR
GNGRPWR

Perfect! Our corrupt city pays for a bias survey to get the answers they "just knew" we were thinking. The sickness continues. Do not question Das Fuhrer!!!

JustUs4All
JustUs4All

Let us have the questions as presented to the 510 people and who was it that picked the list of the people to call from?

ds
ds

It's posted to the right of the article (pdf). There is a science to random sampling of phone numbers. The company is a political pollster, which makes a living off of accurate polling data. That is, if a campaign does not have accurate data, they make bad choices.

A few years ago, phone surveys were criticized because they tended to just get land lines, and therefore over sampling the older population. By using cell phones, they are able to reach out to younger individuals.

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

Why didn't Big John just ask for ans election? I am sure we could have had an election for nearly the same price as this worthless survey.

Answer:

Big John does not really want to know what you think........YOU voted for him, ans "Elections have consequences!"

You also voted for Baucus and Tester.......and just look at the great works they have done. After destroying healthcare on a party line vote......Good Timing Max took off to China with wife number three.

Tester does nothing but spend alot of monies coming home to Montana every week instead of staying in Washington, where his job is.

ALL democrats........very hush hush on the "Death Row" waiting lines at the VA hospitals. Where are you Senator Walsh? How about you Tester........can you stop eating for a few minutes and do your job?

Nope! They cannot ........the DNC told them to keep quiet.

ds
ds

Surveys are more accurate than voting, because of sampling techniques. Elections cost more than surveys.

Tracker
Tracker

If they surveyed me, I would have said, "Buy it!" Many municipalities own their water systems. The result is no fees paid to a for-profit entity and close scrutiny of an enterprise fund during required fiscal audits. I think this is a good move for Missoula.

DoNotLieToMe
DoNotLieToMe

Really, buy it? I bet you haven't done the math on the purchase cost, divided by the taxpaying property owners receiving city water in the respective area. Yep, a "special assessment" like you've never seen nor heard of, likely ever. Or for those that can't or won't pay it, a lien on the property encumbering it until sold or transferred, where it will have to be dealt with at that time. Boy, that will surely boost the interest in Missoula's dead real estate market. Then again, there's also nothing like leaving a debt to your children when you die, where they must sell the home in Missoula's perpetually stale market to pay off an old lien. Yea, this is a terrific idea.

Tracker
Tracker

DNLTM, I'm guilty as charged. I definitely have not done the math, and frankly, wouldn't know how to. My overall reaction, though, is that local control has to be better with municipal ownership than with out-of-state stakeholders. If you walk me through the math, my mind is open.

ds
ds

They pay taxes out of the profits they get from customer payments. The city can just cut out the middleman, reducing the amount that goes to the highly paid executives and other profiteers, and still get the same revenue.

quackerwhacker
quackerwhacker

talk about a salted poll, when are people going to get a clue about this joke of a mayor and vote him out of office, he wouldn't know how to budget if his life depended on it, he just raises our taxes to cover his incompetence. I'm guessing this poll was done within a mile of the university.

ds
ds

What evidence do you have that this is a "salted poll"?

gph1
gph1

If they'd have surveyed me I would have said no to Mountain Water. Sounds like Socialism and our government spending money we don't have or need to spend. This poll interviewed 500 people out of 75,000 people. That doesn't look like a large enough sample and the questions look skewed to get a certain response. So 73% out of 510, that’s 372 people agree with the mayor. How much does it cost to move out of the city and drill a well?

We are paying for the city to buy the company and then we still have to pay for the water every month? Sounds to me like we're paying for it twice.

The city already has the highest tax rate of any larger city in Montana. 70 Million more than Billings which has 40,000 more people living there.

How is this going to look to companies looking at relocating to Montana? When we have an aggressive local government who thinks that it will just take you over if you're not doing things the city thinks is in the best interest of the city. No wonder we are having trouble drawing companies to the area. No wonder we have a reputation for being a community that's unfriendly to business.

How is this a benefit to the taxpayer?

ds
ds

Most cities or municipalities own their own water service. Are you saying that they are all socialist? Besides, capitalism only works when there is competition. How can there be competition in water supply, except by bringing us down to LDC levels? (less developed countries)

erlyirn
erlyirn

“Really, this was all about being independent, arm’s length, and making sure that we got an accurate random sample that truly reflects public opinions,” Engen said.

Wikipedia lists the city's population at 68,394. When protests were mailed out for the proposed STD that mailing was to about 24,000 plus. I would like to know by who's math ( as if I really have to ask) that 510 people polled is an accurate random sample. I'm just not buying it but in the end I may have to pay for it.



ds
ds

Sampling is determined not solely (or even largely) by the number in the population, but by the construction of the survey. The ratio of sample to population can affect the estimate of error. If you increase the sample, it doesn't necessarily add much precision to the outcome of the survey (if the sample is properly constructed). By including the demographics at the end, you can see whether you think the survey adequately represents the voters of Missoula. See the survey pdf to the right of the article.

Willie
Willie

Oh no it's McCheesezilla! Run, he's eating our town!

DoNotLieToMe
DoNotLieToMe

It's funny, due to my wife's work we know a lot of folks in Missoula. What's funnier, is that absolutely nobody we know was involved in this purported survey. Were they only asking those within 100' proximity to the court house, or the Pov? I mean, seriously. What a complete waste of "our" tax money, again. This has got to stop, or make our elected decision makers to be accountable for their actions. Especially mismanagement of our tax monies.

GaryTinkSanders
GaryTinkSanders

They probably got their call list from the U of M, Missoulian and the public works department.

nemo
nemo

'This survey confirms what I’ve been hearing from citizens for the last three years,” Mayor John Engen said in a statement. “We need to own our own water company.' Why then Johntanamo did you throw your mass behind the original sale to Carlyle with such zeal? No matter how you try and spin a lie in the end it is what it is. We'll get our city owned water company, next will come the special tax district to support it. Let's face it, you will only be able to raise rates so high (who is going to pay $100-$200 per month?) and those huge sums to "maintain infrastructure" the STD (what an appropriate acronym) generates will come in real handy when diverted to other "needs". And if you intend to fluoridate our water Johnboy count me out. I'll just switch to Nutradeath laden pop, get me some bladder cancer and check out of your tax base.

Buzz Feedback
Buzz Feedback

The poll also revealed that 4 out of 5 dentists choose Trident, and choosy moms choose JiF.

PJarvis
PJarvis

If anyone has suspicions as to the validity of this Poll, or why it cost taxpayers $35,000 to call 510 people, read on:

Harstad Strategic Research: Polling. Messaging. Winning

"At Harstad Strategic Research we excel at crafting strategy to help our clients achieve their goals. Led by Paul Harstad, Andrew Maxfield, and Michael Kulisheck, we at Harstad Research believe every project is unique. We work in close collaboration with our clients and their teams to produce creative and insightful research."

"Harstad Strategic Research has been a pollster and strategic consultant for Barack Obama since 2002 - serving as lead pollster in seven key Battleground states in both 2008 and 2012, and directing polling in a dozen 2008 primary states, including the critical Iowa caucuses. In U.S. Senate elections, we have won 14 of our last 16 races, including hard fought wins for Jon Tester in 2012 and Michael Bennet in 2010. Harstad Research was named a Pollster of the Year by the American Association of Political Consultants for its work on the Obama campaign."

- http://www.harstadresearch.com/

The answer resides in this one line: "we excel at crafting strategy to help our clients achieve their goals." Making Engen and Marler to be liars, once again. But this time they used taxpayer monies to manipulate data while in office (not while running for office - where it'd be their own money). That use of taxpayer money, to that purpose, makes it base corruption. But they have been corrupt for so long they cannot recognize what is right and wrong any longer.

Let's see, on the one hand Engen hates money going out of state... and then sends money out of state to buy a poll to prove his case. Hypocrisy, much? Couldn't find anyone in Missoula, or Montana? Not one? Or not one that would give Engen the results he needed? "Winning" being the all-important result.

And why were the obvious questions not asked in this article: "Why did the survey cost $35,000?" and, "Do you think it a acceptable use of taxpayer money?"

BS in Missoula stink much?

ds
ds

The point of political polling is to give the candidate or campaign accurate information. If they don't get accurate info, they can't adequately strategize. See what happened to Romney. A lot of his problem (besides being a dink) was bad polling.

AaronJL
AaronJL

You guys are missing the Point, who was the company that absorbed that 35K, "Harstad Strategic Research of Colorado" their claim to fame is Helping Barak Hussein Obama in the 2012 elections, This company only operates for Democrats, they are an inside company as well.
This reeks of back door dealings, buying support from this company so in the future they can receive their help, for future elections.
Why did you use an out of state research firm that is known for being one sided and biased?
Why did we spend 35K in 4 days on research?
Who is this company, and what are their objectives?
Did they make the questionnaire that they pulled on, or was it a city initiative that was given to them to do the poll?
Furthermore why did you sell the asset in 2011 to the Carlyle group, (which has ties to the bin Laden family) when it was already a very unpopular deal with locals?
Where did all the money go from that sell back in 2011?
What was the purpose of this deal to sell it off in 2011, then reacquire it again after three years?
(“This survey confirms what I’ve been hearing from citizens for the last three years,” Mayor John Engen said)
Why did you sell it in the first place then?
Who benefited from this ordeal because it was not Missoula.

Run - A- Mook
Run - A- Mook

AaronJL ; in answer to your questions;
Maybe the following will help shed some light on them.

{1}. Why did you use an out of state research firm that is known for being one sided and biased
Elected Officials — In addition to helping elect and re-elect Barack Obama president, we have won 14 of our last 16 races for U.S. senator. A selection of the people we have helped elect include:
•President Barack Obama
•U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Montana
•U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Colorado
•U.S. Senator Mark Udall, Colorado
•U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa
•U.S. Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island
•U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Missouri
•U.S. Senator Barack Obama, Illinois
•U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, Colorado
•U.S. Representative Betty McCollum, Minnesota
•U.S. Representative Walt Minnick, Idaho
•U.S. Representative Mark Udall of Colorado
•Governor Tom Vilsack, Iowa
•Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

(2). Why did we spend 35K in 4 days on research? Refer to answer no. 1.
As Engen is a far left-wing progressive, spending other people's money is
what they are good at.

(3). Who is this company, and what are their objectives? See answer to
no. 1. & 2.

(4). Did they make the questionnaire that they polled on, or was it a city
initiative that was given to them to do the poll? I will bet, it was concocted
between the two of them.

(5). Furthermore why did you sell the asset in 2011 to the Carlyle group, (which has ties to the bin Laden family) when it was already a very unpopular deal with locals?
"International
Bin Laden Family Liquidates Holdings With Carlyle Group
By KURT EICHENWALD
Published: October 26, 2001
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25— The Saudi family of Osama bin Laden is severing its financial ties with the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm known for its connections to influential Washington political figures, executives who have been briefed on the decision said today.
In many ways, the move by the bin Laden family reflects the problems the family has faced since Sept. 11, as it has struggled with tensions between its global business interests and its connection to Mr. bin Laden, one of 53 siblings. The family, which publicly condemned the terrorist attack, disowned Mr. bin Laden in the 1990's and maintains that it has no relationship with him anymore.
Bin Laden Family Liquidates Holdings With Carlyle Group ...Bin Laden Family Liquidates Holdings With Carlyle Group ...
www.nytimes.com/.../bin-laden-family-liquidates-h...

(6). Where did all the money go from that sell back in 2011? The money came
from, The Carlyle Group bought Mountain Water in 2011 as part of a package.
The money went to Park Water Co. of Downey, Ca.

(7). What was the purpose of this deal to sell it off in 2011, then reacquire it again
after three years? Park Water Co. wanted to its interest in Mountain Water and
Carlyle bought it. The city is not trying to reacquire it, they {Engen} is trying to
acquire it, by hook or crook, if necessary.

(8). Why did you sell it in the first place then? The city didn't sell it, because they
never owned it.

(9). Who benefited from this ordeal because it was not Missoula. Or should the
question be; {Who is going to benefit from ............... .} John and his progressive
money grabbing/spending libs in Missoula.

Miss Muralist 12
Miss Muralist 12

Survey question one- "consider the city of Missoula a puppy dog that wants a water company, you don't hate puppy dogs, do you?"

VoteInYourBestInterest
VoteInYourBestInterest

What a bunch of naïve people. Let me share a few things with you that will hopefully clear the fog from your brain:

1. The Carlyle Group has only owned the water business for 3 years, invested a few million each year and now wants to double down on their investment. Do you really think the next private owner isn't going to raise your rates? Or do the same thing that Carlyle Group did in another 3 years?

2. A resource like water or power is a critical component for a community of any size to function, grow, survive. These are also markets for which there are only exclusive monopolies. If you don't want to buy your water from Mountain Water, you can't just go to Company XYZ down the street. If you don't have some control over the costs of these resources you can't create an environment that attracts people and businesses to Missoula = create jobs!!!

3. All this nonsense about government being this separate evil entity from the people of this community is beyond me. Government is you...as represented by people you did or didn't vote for. It's called a democracy - if you don't like what your government officials are doing (the mayor trying to take control of a monopoly so Missoula can have some control over it's future), then we have this thing called "elections" where you can vote for people that you agree with. However, we aren't likely to return to the "lawless" West of Hollywood fame that so many radicalized gun loving folks who comment here seem to advocate.

4. Missoula is and has been a progressive community. If you moved here or stayed here thinking differently, then I suggest you move to Ravalli County or perhaps Idaho. Please take your guns with you. I would hate to see you arrested for shooting the Mountain Water meter reader because he trespassed on your property.

walter12
walter12

Missoulians just do not understand the mind of a liberal (leftist). It is all about acquiring power over the average Joe and being able to collect money from the average Joe till the End of Time.
This is what Engen is all about.

DoNotLieToMe
DoNotLieToMe

I'm curious what is on the other side of the record? The side you keep playing has a skip and keeps repeating, over and over the same message of disgust. Yea, we get it. You're a "Republican't," but complaining here doesn't change anything and it never will. You actually have to vote at every election. To be so angry at all politicians, it appears you don't bother voting and you believe everyone else is at fault for the outcome. Wrong sugar lumps. Vote.

Roger
Roger

You're making a huge assumption here - you have no idea whether Walter12 votes or not. You know what they say about people who make assumptions, I presume.

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

Big John
Big John

Ev'ry mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six foot six and weighed two (Three) forty five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew, ya didn't give no lip to Big John

(Big John, Big John)
Big Bad John
(Big John)

Nobody seemed to know where John called home
He just drifted into town and stayed all alone
He didn't say much, he kinda quiet and shy
And if you spoke at all, he just said, "Hi" to Big John

Somebody said he came from New Orleans
Where he got in a fight over a Water Company
And a crashin' blow from a huge right hand
Sent a Louisiana fellow to the Promised Land, Big Bad John


Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

Well, no sausage for breakfast today now.

GaryTinkSanders
GaryTinkSanders

@ miss perfect, you have forever scarred me with that leftist version of a great classic, I will never again be able to listen to it with a straight face.

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

I am guilty....it was supposed to be funny, but I see it's not.

Miss Perfect
Miss Perfect

The survey cost $35,000, and according to the city, it “is part of the legal expense authorized by the city in its case against Mountain Water and Carlyle and will be added to acquisition costs.”

Don't you just love it when politicians tell you what you want? Obama does it every week......for some reason I never want what he says I want.

WHY DID Captain Blackbeard SPEND OUR MONEY ON A SURVEY......WHY NOT JUST HAVE A VOTE ON IT?

OUCH! MAYOR SCRATCHES HIS HEAD.......FURROWS HIS BROW......AND SAYS......"UMMM.......BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WANTED A SURVEY"....HAHAHAHAHAHA! Just like Obama.......how stupid does he think we are?

Here are appropriate survey questions:

1. Are you a real property owner in Missoula (home or business)?

2. Do you feel the mayor and council have been clear and upfront about the costs involved?

3. What is a "Fair Price?"

4. would you support the forced purchase of Mountain Water.......EVEN if it raised your water bill several dollars? How about $30 per month? (That's $360 per year)

5. Has the mayor told you how much interest your children will be paying on the debt bonds?

6. The acquisition costs of Mountain Water will be over $1 million dollars.......whether the mayor succeeds or not. Did you agree to this?

7. Do you think it is fair to take private property from other people, even if it is a water company. If you agree.....then what else do you feel is fair for the taking? How about your property by a park?

None of these question were in the survey of course.What if.........70% of these alleged "Voters" are NOT property owners? Is it not a fact there are more voters that are NOT property owners than people who are? Is it fair........that people that do not get water bills would decided on a huge debt, taxes and fees when they will NOT be paying them?

Hug a progressive today! They spend and spend....until they run out of your money.

ds
ds

Why don't you read the survey before you start making stupid comments? 56% of the respondents owned their own home. The survey contained a complete list of all the arguments I saw posted in the Missoulian both for and against the purchase.

Larry Lewis
Larry Lewis

This whole thing is a joke. The survey should have been done before the decision was made to seize private property. The survey questions were leading and the sample was too small. And who pays 35000 for 510 respondents? That's $68 per call. That alone should convince people Mayor McCheese doesn't value tax dollars.

ds
ds

Do you know what goes into making a survey? First you have to have studied for years to learn survey construction. Then you construct a company infrastructure to perform the studies. Then you study the question presented (all the background). Next you need to write it. Then you hire people to make the calls. Then you need to analyze the data. When you hire an attorney, you are paying not just for the time s/he spends on your case, but also for her/his education, experience, knowledge, and skill, as well as the office, the support staff, and all the rest of the attorney's work expenses. The same goes for surveys.

I am the most critical person in the world of surveys--I generally lecture the poor callers when the survey is badly constructed. But this survey was really good. I might have changed it a little by giving half the callers the pro arguments before the anti, and the other half anti before the pro, but otherwise, it was a good survey.

GaryTinkSanders
GaryTinkSanders

We have just been fed so much B.S. that I don't think I can eat for a week!

DoNotLieToMe
DoNotLieToMe

Yep, I've been full of our mayor's efforts to wreck the city for some time now, reinforced by his inept city council members that sit on their hands and nod. We need all new blood in these positions so that Missoula can get back into the black economically. Our community use to be recognized as something special. Now, not so much.

GaryTinkSanders
GaryTinkSanders

I couldn't agree with you more!

Service
Service

Are we all surprised that a city paid for poll shows that 3/4 of Missoulians favor this purchase. Boy that was a big surprise to me. Best poll money can buy to keep the Missoula sheep in their places.

AaronJL
AaronJL

Well Well Well, what have we here, the Carlyle Group, otherwise a defense contractor, interestingly enough, Engen Should do his homework, the Carlyle group is in bed with Booz Allen, yes the same firm that Edward Snowden defected from, their modus operandi is simple buy an asset build it up a little bit then turn around and sell it for a buck. http://www.carlyle.com/about-carlyle/creating-value, Ummm this is getting way deeper then I can go into, but here is something to ponder, the Carlyle group was involved with Bush Sr, yes the president from the early 90's, which Carlyle group Brokered Deals between Osama bin Laden and bush's both Sr and Jr. So if anyone want to do some more digging I am sure it would be way easy to destroy this company.

glacierdude
glacierdude

I know it's difficult...but TRY to make a point.

Run - A- Mook
Run - A- Mook


AaronJL Quote; Well, what have we here, the Carlyle Group, otherwise a defense contractor
The Carlyle Group is not a "defence contractor", it's a private equity group, that buys shares in a range of companies. As we write, the breakdown of their investments is given as follows:
22%: Telecoms and media
17%: Auto and transport
12%: Aerospace
12%: Industrial
11%: IT
6% : Energy
6% : Health
5% : Consumer
1% : Defence
1% : Other
Carlyle Group - 911Myths
www.911myths.com › Home › Others

Quote; " the Carlyle group is in bed with Booz Allen"
Booz Allen is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, employs more than 25,000 people, and had revenue of $5.59 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011. Fortune has named Booz Allen one of its “100 Best Companies to Work For” for eight consecutive years. Working Mother has ranked the firm among its “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” annually since 1999. More information is available at www.boozallen.com. (NYSE: BAH

Quote; "the Carlyle group is in bed with Booz Allen, {the correct name is Booz Allen Hamilton} yes the same firm that Edward Snowden defected from" { Military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Virginia, has shot into the news recently over two of its former employees: Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has just revealed the extent of US global spying on electronic data of ordinary citizens around the world, and James Clapper, US director of national intelligence.}
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booz_Allen_Hamilton

Quote; "http://www.carlyle.com/about-carlyle/creating-value" So creating value is a
bad thing.

Quote;but here is something to ponder, the Carlyle group was involved with Bush Sr, yes the president from the early 90's etc., etc." You have men working in the oil
business working together, OH the shame of it all.

So I wanted to do some more digging, and here some of what I found;
Bin Laden family gave $1 million to Carter Ex-president reportedly met with terror leader's brothers in 2000
Posted: June 2, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
Jimmy Carter speaking in Tokyo in 2003 Former President Jimmy Carter's center in Atlanta received more than $1 million from the family of Osama bin Laden, according to an investigative report.
A brother of the al-Qaida terrorist leader, Bakr M. bin Laden, funneled the money to the Carter Center in Atlanta through the Saudi Bin Laden Group, according to Melanie Morgan, chairman of a group opposing the Georgia Democrat called the Censure Carter Committee.
Morgan, a WorldNetDaily columnist, based her claim on papers she acquired from the Carter Center.

Or, maybe,Wednesday, August 21, 2013Advance Crony Payment: Hillary Clinton to Speak to Carlyle Group Investors
Hillary Clinton is set to be the featured attraction at the private equity firm The Carlyle Group’s investor conference next month - the latest in a string of paid speeches the former Secretary of State is making in the window she has to decide on a 2016 campaign.
Two sources familiar with the event confirmed Clinton’s attendance at the Sept. 9 event in Washington, reports Politico.
The moderator will be the group’s founder, David Rubenstein, a Democrat, who also managed to show up at the White House for a 60th wedding anniversary party for George H.W. and Barbara Bush, and gave the toast!
Clinton’s speaking fee is roughly $200,000, according to multiple reports, says Politico.

{Or}Obama Nominates Carlyle Group Partner to The Federal Reserve
While on vacation in Hawaii, Obama tapped Jerome Powell to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Powel served as the undersecretary for finance under the president George H. W. Bush and was a partner of The Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is a massive private equity firm and one of the largest defense contractors in the world.
They're made up of some of the most influential policymakers over the last five administrations, including both Bush presidents, former Secretary of State James Baker III, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, and former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt to name a few.
Other notable investors in The Carlyle Group include the bin Laden family and the Saudi Royal Family.

Aaron, I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. There is no driven snow here.

the_big_b
the_big_b

Terms like " obscene salaries" don't change the tone or tenor of the question, thereby influencing the response. Nah!!

Government should NOT be in the business of competing with the private sector for jobs and businesses, and the City of Missoula throwing taxpayer money - as if it was their own - at a utility better run in the private sector smacks of socialism. Call it what it is.

glacierdude
glacierdude

Of course that's what the data shows. the poll was CREATED so that there could be no outcome except for a favorable outcome. In the last month I have personally interfaced with DOZENS of Missoulians, ALL want to talk about it and ALL have the same opinion of McCheese and his outrageous law suit. I have not spoke to one...NOT ONE...person who has been in favor of this mess. People are OUTRAGED ! The only place you might muster minor support is from the other Progressives typing away in their grandma's basement.

ds
ds

Really? Did you look at the survey?

ds
ds

I just had to add: This is why you have professional pollsters. We usually only talk to people who think like us. ALL the people I know believe that this is a great decision, and long overdue. And these folks are not in their grandmothers' basements, because most of them are grandmothers themselves. I hang out with an old crowd. You should come spend some time with my church-based knitting group to get a different outlook on life.

Greg Strandberg
Greg Strandberg

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t understand why calling 510 people on the phone costs $35,000.

What if each person on the City Council called 100 people? Aren’t they getting paid already? A few hours a night in one week and that could be done, and I’m sure at much lower cost.

Again, why are things being outsourced to Colorado, or any other state? Wouldn’t that money be better spent here? Are there no consulting firms? How about JL Marketing in Billings? They’re the first firm that comes up on Google. What do they charge?

Still, 73% of the 510 people polled say they support buying the water company. I just wonder what the other 67,884 residents of Missoula think.

ds
ds

Greg, if you're going to try to represent Missoulians in the legislature, you should research first, talk second. You obviously know nothing about survey research. Survey researchers spend a lot of time educating themselves, researching the issue, constructing the survey. The actual calling and data analysis are the smallest bits of the work. You are paying for their expertise and company infrastructure. Just as you wouldn't hire the first lawyer on google, you shouldn't hire the first research firm on google. You go to the place that has the most knowledge and expertise in the area. I am EXTREMELY impressed with the survey posted to the right of the article. It is really well done. I doubt that a "market research" company could accomplish the same.

sportscaster
sportscaster

Is anyone surprised that this so-called poll came out this way? It was predictable. And just exactly what is an "active voter?" How does one determine that? By asking each of them? And what happened if someone answered the phone and said they weren't an "active voter?" Did the individual making the call judge that since they weren't an "active voter" they didn't have the right to be polled? If folks really are more concerned about the salaries of people at Carlyle than they are about the long-term financial stability of the City of Missoula, that's nuts. But then, this is Missoula. - Bill Schwanke

independent
independent

I believe in this case an "active voter" is one who attends the Missoula County Democratic Central Committee meetings.

independent
independent

"This survey confirms what I’ve been hearing from citizens for the last three years,” Mayor John Engen said" Just goes prove the Mayor only talks to people who agree with him and only hears what he wants to!

libertarian
libertarian

As in politics, most polls are designed, to give the buyer certain results. Otherwise why spend the money for a poll. Most comments I've heard people say is that they don't trust the city to own the water company. The city says they will keep water rates low but have other ways to tax us to pay for the upkeep and the upcoming union salaries should the mayor fill his goal of condemnation.

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