Boom-town blues

After I read the article regarding the Riverfront Triangle project ("On the Riverfront," Feb. 23), I wrote to the City Council, the mayor and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency to shame them for once again putting profit over people. I am so tired of seeing the council and the mayor falling all over themselves to cater to developers and spend our tax dollars on projects that give developers free rein. I've never seen a developer keep promises that aren't officially required (e.g., promises to build sidewalks and community parks in residential developments). They do nothing that isn't contractually required, and even then they weasel out of commitments via indefinite delays. Yet city and county officials continue to fall for it, saying we have to trust them. Why on earth should we trust them?

Why can't we have a city commitment to supporting unions instead of empty lip service?

Missoula's problem is hardly not enough development. Our problem is high housing costs and low wages. So why do local leaders support development that does nothing to address what ought to be the overriding concern? I assume they are afraid the developer will take its ball and go home, along with the supposed jobs. If so, so be it! Missoula citizens are not desperate for more development and the handful of lousy jobs it brings, we are desperate for affordable housing and living wages. Why is that not the priority?

I assume it's too late to cancel the Riverfront Triangle project or renegotiate the terms. Over the years I have become more and more disgusted watching these developers call the shots while our elected leaders roll over. I have contacted our local labor groups to show my support for their efforts, and I will encourage my friends to do the same.

It may be too late to put the brakes on this project, but I and other Missoula citizens can still make some noise. Who's in?

Gwen McKenna


Scraping by

This is such a joke ("On the Riverfront," Feb. 23). Missoula needs to support the people that already live here with real job opportunities, not 500 low-paying jobs that will cost Missoulians even more money in taxes. Why is the city financing mall renovations, expo centers and parking garages when the average person in Missoula can barely scrape by? It has become very evident that our mayor is only concerned about filling his own pockets and has no concern for the people of Missoula.

Rebekah Barsotti

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Watch the money flow

Released now or later ("Show us the money," Feb. 23), voters are going to be in for severe sticker shock.

Matthew Neer

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Best for last

The last paragraph is the best ("Show us the money," Feb. 23)! The mayor estimated the legal process would cost $400,000! To think that the Carlyle Group would roll over on an asset grab so easily was either completely naive, incompetent or a complete lie to coerce public support. Legal fees were off (just for the city) by a factor of at least 20!

Tony Cate

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No privacy

Absolutely b.s. ("Show us the money," Feb. 23). It is a public entity and as such there should be nothing private!

Adam Pummill

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Following orders?

I called his office and they claim this is standard procedure that all representatives follow ("Did Ryan Zinke go AWOL?," Feb. 16). Funny, Jeff Sessions didn't quit voting!

Ian Chechet

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Money for nothing

Yet surely he's still collecting his congressional paycheck ("Did Ryan Zinke go AWOL?," Feb. 16). What has he done to earn $20,021 since Jan. 5? (Members are paid $174,000 per year.)

Emilie Ritter Saunders

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Who hates snowflakes?

He's putting together his plan to start utilizing and harvesting our natural resources, and drafting legislation to do away with frivolous lawsuits by enviro-terrorists ("Did Ryan Zinke go AWOL?," Feb. 16). The snowflakes are going to freak out after he gets confirmed!

Kris Wosepka

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Ignore Daines

Sen. Daines' outlandish demand that Sen. Tester immediately endorse Trump's nominee for Supreme Court justice is an insult to my intelligence. Isn't Daines the same senator who refused to give Obama's nominee even an interview for nine months? Isn't Daines part of the party that, before the November election, threatened to never seat a Clinton nominee if she won? He is. Did I hear Daines chastising his fellow Republicans for such trash talk? I did not. How does this blatant hypocrisy work? Does he think we're stupid? Or that we suffer from short-term memory loss? Sen. Tester is a patriot, not a puppet. I trust him to represent me. That means careful vetting of any nominee. There hasn't even been a hearing yet. And, thanks to Daines and his fellows, we've been without a full Supreme Court for more than 11 months. He obviously didn't think having a full court was important when the shoe was on the other foot. Daines forfeited all moral right to make any comments about Tester's decisions concerning Supreme Court justices. There is no reason for Tester to pay any attention to him. Neither should we.

Pat Tucker


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