Welcome to City Hall. We'll spend time there over the next few weeks learning how it works and how it affects the lives of folks in Missoula. We'll see who has the power there and how they use it.
A good way to learn that is to follow a controversy, and we've got one brewing. Here's the gist: The mayor wants to add a couple of new taxes to start pumping more money into building and maintaining streets and parks. (The city has had a devil of a time finding money for this kind of work.)
It won't cost a typical taxpayer more than a 12-pack of a national brand beer, but any new taxes right are bound to raise eyebrows. The idea's critics also point out that for at least the next year, taxpayers won't see any new road or park work. Instead, the tax will allow the city shift money around to avoid laying off employees and reducing other services. The mayor says he's cut his proposed budget enough already.
Missoulian reporter Keila Szpaller is covering the story closely for the paper and for the paper's city blog, missoularedtape.com.
Do some reading there and on the city's website because we'll be covering Monday night's public hearing on this for a midnight deadline. Yep. By the way, you can sign up here for an advance peek at Monday's City Council agenda.