Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

Split votes favor downtown

  • 0

A couple of observations on City Council and council representatives.

First, it appears that on most important matters, City Council votes 7-5. And secondly, it appears to me that more time, energy and money is spent on downtown issues (within 1 1/2 miles of council chambers) than on issues related to city neighborhoods more than 2 miles from downtown.

Does the 7-5 voting behavior and the perceived downtown emphasis of council have any validity or implications? I am quite concerned, given this 7-5 split, as to whether council people "represent" their ward constituents in their voting or whether the magic 7-5 voting comes from more of a "political" agenda?

Observation: Of the seven councilors that frequently vote together, six live within 1 1/2 or 2 miles from downtown. Of the five that tend to vote together, they all live more than 2 to 3 miles from the council chambers.

Questions, given these assumptions:

• Does where one lives determine or correlate with how one votes? And do physical addresses determine more "votes for downtown" more often than not?

• Do council-people who live farther from downtown have people in their wards who have "different and unique" issues from those of "downtown people"?

• When discussing our rezoning plans, are some issues which are good and relevant for downtown perhaps not so good for the suburbs? For example, talking about density, smaller lots, biking and walking may be great for downtown, where businesses are more clustered. However, outside the 2- or 3-mile radius from City Council, businesses are not clustered, the landscape is not always level, subdivisions annexed or approved do not have dense populations and thus the same issues are not nearly as viable.

n If "voting behavior" and "where one lives in the city" are correlated, might one want to re-evaluate who one votes for as a city council representative?

Pete Pettersen, Missoula

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News