Missoula Advancing Sustainable Development
By Tim Ravndal
Missoula Montana is frequently referred to as “Zoo Town”. For many years the nickname has raised eyebrows across the state. The city officials regularly address social issues at their official meetings where controversy has made headlines.
Not long ago officials declared the authority to bring to the people a new ordinance aimed at gun control. The ordinance would make the exchange of a weapon in city limits without a background check a criminal act.
The Montana Attorney General Tim Fox issued a legal opinion on the matter and was consequently challenged by the City of Missoula Attorney in court. That case is still pending with the Constitutional right to keep and bear arms on the table. The Constitution of Montana under Article II Section 12 clearly states: “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be called into question…”
This last year, President Donald Trump held an event in Missoula. The event was originally scheduled to be held at the Adams Field House which is part of the University of Montana Campus in Missoula. The City of Missoula officials declined the request for a permit to hold the event. The President moved the event out to the Missoula Regional Airport where the the city did not have any jurisdiction. Since that event, the city has been working on annexing that property into the city to enhance their ability to maintain planning and activities in the entire area.
The City of Missoula has been on the front lines in refugee and immigration here in Montana. The influx of refugees to Missoula Montana has been gaining attention across the nation. A group called “Soft Landing” is setting Missoula up as a refugee host city. The process for refugee integration into society is now gaining traction in cities like Bozeman, Billings and Helena.
Many Montana residents through the month of February and now into March are regularly questioning the claim that the world is facing a global warming trend. The promoters of this concept, including Mr. Al Gore, are likely pulling ice from their play book trying to explain this changed weather phenomenon.
Missoula has joined cities like Moscow Idaho as members of an organization known as ICLEI. The organization is world wide and promotes Local government joining together to develop sustainable development locally and regionally. ICLEI has a network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to sustainable development.
Missoula has once again adopted the latest social movement known as “Climate Change.” County officials have not usually taken lead on the social movements, but this time the county is out in front teaming up with the city. The County has tasked Diana Maneta “Energy Conservation and Sustainability Coordinator” to present a resolution on how the county will face the effects of climate change. This effort is a partnership with the city and the official designation of “Climate Smart Missoula” previously adopted by the city.
Last year the headline focused on hot summers with wet springs and flooding. This year so far, record snow fall and cold temperatures are making headlines. So will the government of Missoula be in a position to prepare for changing weather conditions?
The county will be meeting on Thursday March 14th 2019 at 2:00PM in the Sophie Moiese Room of the Courthouse Annex in Missoula. The County will be discussing their planning programs and partnership with the city and will provide for public participation.
The resolution that will be presented will cover goals of carbon neutrality for county operations by 2035, as well as lowering greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. an interim goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2016 levels by 2025.
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