Missoula City Councilor Vasecka Lights Up the KGVO Phone Lines
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Ward 6 Missoula City Councilor Sandra Vasecka is running for reelection, and was a guest on KGVO’s Talk Back show on Wednesday answering a number of questions from listeners.
Vasecka and another city councilor took the city and county to court over a mailer supporting the Crisis Levy in the last election.
Vasecka Took the City and County to Court over an Illegal Mailer
“It was produced at taxpayer expense, and that is illegal, that is against Montana Code Annotated 2021,” began Vasecka. “So I filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Political Practices who said I needed to take that up with the county attorney. So I did. Daniel Carlino, who was pro-levy, and I who was anti-levy, and together, we filed a lawsuit against the city and the county letting them know that that is not okay to use taxpayer dollars in blatant disregard to the Montana Code Annotated. I haven't heard any response yet. We'll see what happens. And this was a few months ago when I filed it.”
Vasecka is not fond of what are called ‘urban campers’ on the trails and in the parks of Missoula.
Vasecka is one of a Growing Number who are Opposed to Urban Camping
“We have a huge urban camping issue,” she said. “I live really close to the Russell Street Bridge, and I have a two-year-old and I bike and walk underneath because there’s a nice riverfront trail there. But, I won't bring my child there again, because I was walking through with his cute little wagon and there were just folks ‘mean dogging’ me and just staring. They have camps right along the side of the trail, and they just stare at you as if to say ‘what are you doing on my property’? You feel really vulnerable, hesitant, and kind of scared and you shouldn't feel that way on public trails.”
Vasecka invited KGVO listeners and app users to attend an upcoming city council meeting to address the issue.
The City Council will Take up Urban Camping at Monday's Meeting
“There's an emergency ordinance that we are going to be discussing on June 5, that’s next Monday, so please come to the city council meeting and let us know your thoughts,” she said. There will be an ordinance that you cannot camp overnight on the public right of way, on public city land, or on trails. There have been a lot of emails from people that are against that ordinance, and there's been a small number of people that are in support. So if you are against urban camping on public land inside the city center, then please come to the meeting at six o'clock in the City Council chambers at 140 West Pine Street.”
Vasecka said she has been looking into the ways that other cities deal with the urban camping issue.
“Over the weekend, I was talking with some folks that I know that worked with the Spokane Police Department, and there is an option that we can encourage folks to file small claims court lawsuits against the property owner if it is causing a public nuisance,” she said. “So that is something that I just learned about over the weekend and I am going to look into that and hopefully that we can clean it up because I don't like riding my bike over there. I have a friend that lives over there. I won't go to their house anymore.”
Click this link to find out more about Ward 6 City Councilor Sandra Vasecka.