Bob Jaffe isn’t having withdrawals from Missoula City Council

Bob Jaffe spent eight years on the Missoula City Council, and I thought he might have some withdrawals.

Not at all, he said.

I talked with him this week for a story about the sign in front of his office, Cedar Mountain Software.

Afterward, I asked him about life after council. He said he’s really likes to keep up on the happenings without the pressure.

He reads the listserv and newspaper stories, and then, he goes about his life.

“It’s nice to follow it from a much more passive perspective,” Jaffe said.

I figured constituents might still be calling him, but that’s not the case, either, he said. All in all, he has less stress on his life.

“My kids have even commented on how much more relaxed I am these days,” Jaffe said.

Probably lucky for the sign smasher.

In other business, the Indy writes about dogs pooing in the cemetery; and Governing magazine has a chart on minimum wages in all states, with 2.1 percent of hourly workers in Montana at or below the federal limit.

— Keila Szpaller

One hundred+ years ago in Missoula

Get this: If the city of Missoula had bought its own water company in 1906, it would have cost just $325,000. That was the offer, in any case.

That’s about $8 million adjusted for inflation.

The water company is worth a bit more today, though. The city of Missoula offered The Carlyle Group $50 million and $65 million to buy Mountain Water Co.

Carlyle declined.

The historical information comes from my colleague Kim Briggeman, who sent me a list of some old ordinances:

1906, No. 154: “An Ordinance giving notice to Missoula Light and Water Company that the City of Missoula desires to purchase the plant and franchise and water supply of the said Missoula Light and Water Company.”

1906, No. 159: “An Ordinance providing for the holding of a special election for the purpose of submitting to the qualified voters of the City the question whether or not bonds in the amount of $325,000 above the 3 percent limit fixed by law shall be issued for the purpose of procuring water supply for the city of Missoula.”

I’ve been reading some old newspaper stories about the proposed water buy, and at council meetings back then, people in Missoula also fought about sidewalks, special improvement districts, and suspicious cliques.

Sound familiar? Speaking of nothing new under the sun, we have just 11 days until spring forward.

Yes! But guess what I want within 11 days even more than spring forward? Some interesting news about this century’s water deal in Missoula.

— Keila Szpaller

Sleeping in Missoula


I frequently walk over the Northside pedestrian bridge. This winter, I have seen this site often.

I’m not sure if you can tell from this horrible picture, but it’s people sleeping under a tarp in the corner. I’ve come across them when they’re making the bed at night.

During the day, the blankets are sometimes folded over the railing.

— Keila Szpaller