When I was going to school in Butte, there were still “working girls” plying their trade in the red light district down on Mercury Street. The running joke was, “A student approaches and propositions (the offer) one of them. Her response — What kind of a girl do you think I am? Not to be deterred, he tries again (the offer). And again she responds — What kind of a girl do you think I am? Whereupon the student says, “We know what kind of girl you are, now we’re simply negotiating the price.”
Fast forward in time and change location to Ravalli County. The Feds offer $40,000 Title X monies. The response — We can’t in good conscience take federal money; they’re broke. Next the Feds can provide $700,000 for a Ravalli County Airport Environmental Analysis with a 10% match. Six unnamed persons from the local Ravalli County Aviation Safety Foundation (six persons sit on the board and there are no members) say they will cover the $70,000 or 10% match (the offer). The response — not a bad offer from the Foundation, and maybe the Feds aren’t quite on their last leg like we thought when we turned down the Title X funds (the offer is accepted). I’m sure there is no quid pro quo here.
The next step (if the EA is approved) is more serious for Ravalli County taxpayers — the actual $17-20 million expansion, 10% of which we will be on the hook for. Is another group going to step up to cover that? I don’t think so.
As the saying goes, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, …
Dick & Jacquie Coppage