I am writing this July to provide a bit of an update on the election/campaign. As you probably know, the county commissioner race will be part of the general election in November, but with no republican or independent in the race, I'll be the only one on the ballot. The 6-year county commissioner term begins January 1, which leaves a chunk of time between now and then to begin my commissioner education.
Right now, I'm in the midst of the most intensive month in the life of a vegetable farmer in western MT. We're still planting according to an unyielding schedule, weeding relentlessly, moving water and now harvesting at speed as well. It's all happening, and all at once.
Given the sheer volume of informational specifics I must acquaint myself with ahead of commissioner work in January, and the agricultural abyss where I currently find myself, baby steps toward the new year are the only viable option now. I am filling lunch hours on the few days each week where schedule allows meeting with anyone and everyone who can provide useful info. So far I've visited with county government department heads, elected officials, folks from the business and non-profit community and neighbors. Invariably I leave these meetings inspired and daunted, if not crushingly humbled at all there is to know, and each person supplies more names. So, for now the list of names of folks to see grows after each conversation.
Beyond the myriad details of county government and operations, these meetings invariably touch on major issues facing our county. These include justice/jail diversion and mental health, the provision of social services in the wake of our state's budget cuts, affordable housing and economics, the ever-widening gap between property taxes and income, the patterns of growth and development amidst a housing boom, energy, sustainability, climate change and emergency management, and a whole slew of neighborhood/area specific issues that inspire powerful passions around quality of life and the character of our future. I am looking forward to diving into it all with the same level of commitment I currently approach farming in July.
If you want to chat about any of this, please let me know and we'll get together one of those lunch hours in the coming weeks or months.
Thanks again for being part of this!
Missoula County Commissioner Elect (Six year term begins January 1, 2019)