The Mega Load friendly Representative Champ Edmunds has been forwarding government officials and interested people a copy of a letter to the editor that ran in several state newspapers written by R. Bennett of Missoula. Mr. Bennett spent four-weeks traveling through Montana following the controversial “monster mega-load” that has drawn all the environmental activists attention the last few months. You can read Mr. Bennett’s letter below.
'Evil' super wide monster mega loads welcome
I have just finished a four-week trip through Montana with the so-called monster mega loads, escorting them through our great state of Montana. In my opinion, the loads went flawlessly, without any accidents and without anyone getting hurt (except the feelings of a small minority of anti-work, anti-business, and anti-friendly group of protesters, which includes the Missoula City Council, Missoula County Commissioners, and Missoula district representatives).
Every town we stopped in, except Missoula, we were the talk of the town and the biggest thing since soft ice cream! We were welcomed with open arms, friendly handshakes, and "welcome to our community" comments. Town representatives from motels, restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, pizza parlors, laundry mats, auto service businesses, clothing stores, and the occasional taverns and pool halls, all with gracious employees, bent over backwards to do whatever they could to make our stay in their community comfortable.
I would like to take this time to personally apologize to any of the members of Adventure Cycling who may have been disrupted for a period of 10 minutes from riding their bikes on Upper Lolo Creek Drainage on a 21 degree, 30 mph windy cold March morning from 1:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. And the members of the Square Dancers of Lolo who chose to not let their skirts twirl at 4:15 a.m. on the same March morning (you party animals!). And, also, the university professors who were kept from their beauty sleep when the loads went down Reserve Street from 1:30-3:30 a.m. and parked safely at an Orange Street turnout.
If the journalist/reporters from the Missoulian would get out from behind their desks and their laptop computers and do some old-fashioned work and talk to the real people who represent the real working class people in Helena, Townsend, White Sulpher Springs, Harlowton, Lewistown, Grass Range, Roundup, and Billings, they would see that there are more than the environmentalists who speak for the rocks, trees, and earthworms who can't speak for themselves.
After only two days in Billings, I can see why they have industry growth and building expansion going on. They are not afraid of employment and getting people off of government-assisted programs and back to work where there is a trickle-down effect to the rest of the city, schools, businesses, and children of their town.
I would like to thank Conoco Phillips for employing me and letting myself and hundreds of other honest Montanans be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Also, thank you to the motel room maids, waitresses, and floor swampers who all benefitted from, and were positively affected by, this opportunity.
After returning home, I found out that our three Missoula County Commissioners, using county taxpayers' money and attorneys, have joined the law suit against the Montana Department of Transportation, preventing them from issuing the necessary permits that would allow me, and many others, employment and a fair wage (not nickels and dimes, as some say) to provide for my family, and taxes that pay the commissioners' wages.
To sum up what a Billings commissioner said: Missoula is a black eye on the rest of Montana, which is trying to bring in out-of-state business industry and a fair working wage for their citizens and future generations. What are they thinking? He said they have commissioner meetings each week, and Missoula commissioners never mentioned their plans.
Parents of Missoula, if you wonder why your children have to leave town to find work, look no further than the Missoula City Council, and Missoula County Commissioners.
To the city fathers and mothers of Missoula: After Stone Container is gone and forgotten, maybe you can put in a tye-dye T-shirt facility - but wait! That would take an environmental impact study taking up to five years to study the effects the color red would have on the mosquitoes buzzing up and down the Clark Fork. And, oh yeah, that would mean employment. Never mind!