This November, Missoula County voters will approve or deny a $15 million, 20-year general obligation open-space bond to acquire and protect more land. Proponents say approving the bond will enhance economic development; increase and protect open space and improve public access; conserve agricultural lands, waterways, and fish and wildlife habitat; and protect scenic views. Opponents say approval will increase already burdensome taxes; impede development of affordable housing; push seniors and others on fixed incomes out of their homes; and price low- and middle-income people out of Missoula.
Attendees at City Club Missoula October 15 will hear both sides of the question. Speaking in favor of the bond will be Julie Gardner, treasurer for pro-bond ballot-initiative group Yes for Open Space, Rivers and Farmlands. Ward 4 City Councilman Jesse Ramos, an outspoken bond opponent, will speak against the measure.
Former longtime editor of the Missoulian Sherry Devlin, now affiliated with the Missoula Current, will moderate the panel.