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.?
A great number of people have expressed great concern and desire for Missoula to own its water system.
What will this cost? Can we afford to do this? Can we afford not to do this?
The testimony of John W. Wilson on behalf of the Montana Consumer Counsel must be taken seriously.
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?
I do not equate corporations or unions with individuals, yet I believe in the right of free speech. I abstained on this one; it is non-binding. Defining corporate personhood is a band-aid for a much larger problem. I believe that election reform and campaign financing has to be addressed. I urge individuals to contact their Congressional representatives.
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 will not approve a city budget that contains increased taxes to cover wasteful spending. Discussion with the majority of council rarely gets very far. Assumptions are made that in order to cut spending, services must also be cut.
Whether that is the case or not, without access to the very same raw data that the city uses for its accounting, how can council or anyone know exactly from what sources the money is coming and where it's going? What's to hide? Let's see the raw data.
The city is taking ownership of the baseball stadium. Did you support the buy? Why or why not?
The use of tax increment funds to restructure debt in order to acquire the baseball stadium was not something I could support. Missoula citizens twice voted against a baseball stadium. Even though Mountain Baseball needs a stadium and the stadium needs a baseball team, the passions and best efforts of Play Ball couldn't meet their financial obligations. This would have been a good assignment for the mayor's Missoula Economic Project to tackle. Instead, it was taxpayers to the rescue.
The council has been updating the Animal Ordinance. What's the most important piece you want to see changed or preserved?
Updating the Animal Ordinance will never be enough unless citizens take care of their animals and pets and make sure there is no harm done to other people or to other peoples' property. There just is not enough money or personnel for adequate enforcement. What will make this a better ordinance is if everyone takes responsibility for removing from their yards any trash and food items that attract unwanted critters.