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Missoula ‘Special Districts' tax: Bender, councilors betray taxpayers

Missoula ‘Special Districts' tax: Bender, councilors betray taxpayers

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Every Missoula property owner should read LaNette Fowler's letter in the Sept. 19 Missoulian. She was 100 percent on the mark concerning the backhanded handling of the special district funding "request" by the city.

The protest process was nothing more than a sham. Especially shocking was Bruce Bender's slideshow at the City Council meeting in which he "proved" (his words) that the majority of taxpayers were in favor of the tax. Did he really think we were foolish enough to agree with his assumption that every person who failed to respond was automatically in favor of the tax?

The wording on the proposition was left open-ended as a way to get their foot in the door. There is no cap on the assessments and no end date. No fiscally responsible person would sign a contract with those omissions; yet the majority of the City Council members rubber-stamped it on our behalf. Shame on them. And shame on Councilman Jason Wiener for failing to mention those important facts in his newspaper opinion (Sept. 13).

Jon Wilkins, Lyn Hellegaard, Dick Haines and Renee Mitchell are the only ones who should retain their council seats because they are the ones who fulfilled their duty to represent the taxpayers. I applaud them for voting against the tax and for taking a stand against the steamroller tactics of those who initiated and voted in favor of this blank-check tax. It's too late now to undo the damage, but please remember this travesty when it's time to elect new council members.

I love Missoula. I want it to be well-maintained and would gladly have written a check to cover the "small amount" suggested by Wiener. However, I deeply resent being placed in a situation that gives any government entity the power to take whatever they deem necessary.

Wilma D. Spence, Missoula

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