Mayor John Engen released today a “best practices” report on the way Missoula should oversee development regs. This note from his introduction:
A recurring theme during the course of nearly a decade in public office is simple: our reviews take too much time, we are inconsistent, we don’t communicate well inside and outside of City Hall, we don’t work at finding solutions or coming to resolution, we are regulators, not facilitators.
In some cases, those criticisms are exaggerated, but generally they are consistent, persistent and fair. They’ve been expressed by reasonable folks and confirmed now by three reports: the Mullen Report, the National Community Development Services Report and, now, the Taylor report.
Each of them says we could get better. I think we should try; it’s as simple as that.
More on the recommendations in another story.
Yesterday, I was in Helena tailing around John MacDonald, the lobbyist for the city of Missoula. He climbs lots of stairs — 28 flights in one day, once — and delves into lots of legislation — 19 yesterday by a rough count.
Since I was gone, I missed the swearing in of Cynthia Wolken, and reporter Jamie Kelly covered the ceremony in this story. Yay! Ward 2 has a full house of councilors! Yay! Councilwoman Pam Walzer doesn’t have to be the only Ward 2’er!!
Anyway, while I was in Helena, I saw Rep. Kristin Hansen, who has a draft request for a bill that would nullify Missoula’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
She hadn’t responded to calls for comment, so I was able to follow up with her in person. Hansen said she read the story and doesn’t have much to add until an actual bill is drafted. She said a couple Constitutional questions are being researched as well.
It seems if a bill is going to come up, it’ll still be a while. I don’t know how many days before transmittal a draft must emerge to be viable, but maybe you do and will share.
— Keila Szpaller