On Missoula’s well-liked mayor

An elderly constituent attacks Missoula mayor John Engen.

An elderly constituent attacks Missoula mayor John Engen.

Two weeks ago, Missoula mayor John Engen won reelection with 65% of the vote. He faced four challengers who registered their candidacies on the day of the filing deadline, and the closest one got 16%. He ran unopposed in 2009. John Engen is going to be mayor for a long time, partly because he has no credible rivals but mostly because he is extremely likable. He listens to people. He is particularly sensitive to neighborhood concerns, as when he sided with residents who opposed Missoula College’s expansion to the UM golf course, or when he supported a city council plan to retroactively zone a soup kitchen out of business. That last one doesn’t sound like such an unqualified triumph, does it? Mayor Engen has the virtues of his faults, and sometimes his willingness to accommodate his constituents can lead him astray. That’s the subject of my most recent column in the Missoula Independent, which you can read instead of a real blog post. Or you can click on over to one of the web’s many clearinghouses for tasteful erotica—don’t let me tell you what to do. We’ll be back tomorrow with Friday links.

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  1. Jesus Dan, that was beautiful. At moments like this, I wonder whether you’re just a savant with appealing language structures or if you have a deep insight into the functioning of the human mind and its function in society. Sarcasm reigns on the internet so I want to emphasize my sincerity.

    “A taxpayer-funded improvement is never more resented than at the moment people are asked to pay for it, and the mayor’s good plan will probably earn him significant political opposition for the first time in his career. He may have to choose between what’s popular with Missoulians and what’s good for us.”

    Spot on. In the context of the article? Amazing.

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