Missoula and Carlyle; jury duty; happy hikers

The fight between the city of Missoula and the Carlyle Group is ramping up. Here’s the latest.

Also, Tuesday evening, the Missoula County Democrats select the person who will be on the ballot as Clerk and Recorder. Vickie Zeier was the only person who filed to run, and since then, she got promoted to chief administrative officer for Missoula County.

You can see names and application materials of people interested in the job here on the Dems’ website.

No one from the GOP filed to run in that race.

Another matter: Did you see the way this judge in Sanders County isn’t letting people skate for jury duty?

I’ve been on the list for jury duty in Missoula County, and I showed up once in Municipal Court and once in District Court, but I got sent away both times. The most recent request from District Court coincided with my departure flight out of the country.

Guess what happened? I sent the Clerk of Court a letter with copies of my itinerary, and I got a voicemail from someone in the Courthouse not only excusing me but wishing me a great trip. How about that?


And in other news, the sheep are on Mount Jumbo, and I love the way this sign wishes people a great hike.

All for now.

– Keila Szpaller

Missoula taxes, parking, advocacy!


Our new parking “garage” won an award. Congrats! Here’s the story about Park Place and the reason parking professionals think it’s cool. It’s waaaay more than a garage. Photo by Michael Gallacher.

Also, reporter Martin Kidston did an analysis of taxes the major cities in Montana levy. In Missoula, we’re getting a bargain, according to the figures in this story. Kidston said in order to do an apples to apples comparison, the review doesn’t include programs voters approve on the ballot, such as open space bonds. It’s a look at the ones levied by elected officials and out of our direct control.

And speaking of taxes, if you’re protesting the proposed safety and justice district, your deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, June 20 in one week, June 22. (Thank you city clerk Marty Rehbein for the correction.) More on that in an upcoming story. And here it is!

Do you remember the nondiscrimination ordinance Missoula adopted back in 2010? Long meetings, many comments, lots of debate? Jamee Greer of the Montana Human Rights Network led the organizing, and after launching his social justice career in his home state of the Big Sky, he leaves Montana for Oregon. Here’s a conversation with Greer about his work and the way it’s changed.

— Keila Szpaller


Catch up on Mountain Water, Carlyle stories

I was away from the newsroom for a couple weeks, and my colleague Dave Erickson covered the Mountain Water Company and eminent domain case while I was out.

I’ve thought that I should post more stories here that are related to local government in case you missed them, and I’m going to go ahead and take that step now with links to Dave’s excellent work.

1. “Group of Mountain Water employees file motion to intervene in condemnation lawsuit.

2. “Carlyle says it isn’t owner of Mountain Water, can’t be sued.”

3. “Carlyle director gives contradictory statements to PSC, court, on Mountain Water sale.”

For your reading pleasure.

– Keila Szpaller