UPDATED: Financial stress doomed ballot measures, supporters say

Bret Anne Serbin

Inflation and other economic pressures may have led to the failure of two local ballot measures at the polls on Tuesday.

Missoula County residents voted down both a bond for the Missoula County Fairgrounds and a levy for crisis intervention services.

Counted votes as of Wednesday morning were 27,977 against the fairgrounds bond and 20,272 for the bond.

Similarly, votes were 26,474 in opposition to the Crisis Services Levy and 22,121 in favor of the levy.

Proponents of both measures expressed frustration Wednesday at the results.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” said Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way of Missoula County.

She cited inflation, rising property taxes and low voter turnout as reasons that the ballot initiative didn’t pass.

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“Those were all factors,” she noted.

Still, Hay Patrick was optimistic Missoulians will find a way to support the locals who would have benefited from the Crisis Services Levy, which includes unhoused people, people in mental health crises and crime victims.

“We don’t always agree on what constitutes the right thing for our community but we have a way of moving forward and figuring out what’s next,” Hay Patrick said.

She insisted that those who did

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