I walked all over downtown on Friday. Have you seen the prayer flags at Caras Park? The green flag says this:
Missoula Avalanche Prayer Flags, honoring loss and celebrating community. Made by hundreds of hands and hearts to bless the countryside and the people after the February 28, 2014, Mount Jumbo avalanche. Thank you, Missoula.
The day started out at a preliminary budget hearing with the Board of County Commissioners and CFO Andrew Czorny. It’s a tight budget this year.
The county develops its budget in a different way than the city. In the city, the mayor creates the budget, and the Missoula City Council adopts it, with or without amendments.
In the county, department heads present their budget proposals to commissioners for approval, and at last week’s meeting, the CFO was basically telling them the budget parameters, i.e., the county is not going to be awash in lots of extra money this year, so don’t get wild with requests.
Department heads may ask for onetime funds, and they may ask for ongoing enhancements, but this year, Czorny said ongoing enhancements probably aren’t going to get traction since they’ll mean a tax increase.
Czorny, above, answered a couple other questions in his office after the meeting, like the size of the general fund. It’s projected to be roughly $18 million; by comparison, the city’s general fund is at some $29 million.
The funny thing about Czorny’s office? Well, I’m sure he has a calculator in there somewhere, but I saw seats, those blue ones below. I inquired. They’re from the Yankee Stadium, an anniversary from his sweetie pie. Neat. His grandfather stoked the baseball flame.
“When I was 6, he took me to my first baseball game, which was a Yankees game, and I’ve been a Yankees fan ever since,” Czorny said.
Next stop? The Missoula Art Museum to hear about the urban art park. That story here. There’s a meeting about it Wednesday if you want to learn more or offer input. *(P.S. Tuesday morning, I caught up on Friday’s Entertainer. Catch Cory Walsh’s story about the art installation below, “DoubleColumn,” here. AND see some GOOD photos.)
Then, my favorite: On my way back to the newsroom, I saw this pup named Rogue on Higgins Avenue. She was adopted from Missoula County Animal Control, and I like her spots. (Adoptable pets here!)
Finally, I ran into Tom Catmull at Bridge Pizza. He was getting ready to play at BrewFest, and that’s over, but he’s got a full schedule this summer, and you can read it here.
We’re lucky to have him. And the museum. And Animal Control. Alright, enough for now.
I hope this post isn’t all garbled because of the photos, but in any case, happy Monday!
– Keila Szpaller