In the News
"Vasecka was strong in her opposition and accused the city of working around existing zoning to accommodate the shelter on a year-round basis. She also said the city has failed to communicate and shouldn't be in the business of funding homeless services in general. That should be left to the nonprofit sector, she said.
“The neighborhood needs assurances. We've put so much on them,” said Vasecka. “I understand the need for programs and shelter for vulnerable neighbors. But I won't change my mind about the Johnson Street shelter until we start criminalizing criminal behavior and families feel comfortable letting their kids play in their yard or at the park across the street, which they pay high property taxes for.”
A battle between decorum and free speech is playing out in the Missoula City Council thanks to an effort brought by two councilors to change the body’s rules.
Representatives Sandra Vasecka in Ward 6 and Daniel Carlino in Ward 3 want to amend the city’s rules about public comments in a move they say would bring the city of Missoula into compliance with a U.S. 9th Circuit court ruling.
Their changes would strike the current language that prevents public commenters from engaging in name-calling and personal attacks, along with loud, threatening, abusive and indecent comments, among other adjustments.
“There’s just some freedom of speech issues that we have going on,” Vasecka said, “and we just want to make sure that all citizens and folks that want to come in and speak are allowed to do so in a way where their truth actually matters.”
"A push for more security comes as other councilors are trying to loosen public comment rules. Ward 3 Councilor Daniel Carlino and Ward 6 Councilor Sandra Vasecka proposed a change earlier this month regarding public comments.
Citing concerns over free speech, the councilors’ proposed changes would strike the current language that prevents public commenters from engaging in name-calling and personal attacks, along with loud, threatening, abusive and indecent comments, among other adjustments. A decision on the public comment changes likely won’t be made until the fall."