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Join the conversation: Missoula County commissioners host weekly podcast

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Posted at 9:26 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 10:36:27-04

MISSOULA - With 30 departments and 11 independently elected officials within Missoula County government, there are countless ways you might be impacted by the county, its happenings, and its leaders.

Yet, these issues and their solutions can get lost in translation. Through their podcast, Tip of the Spear, Missoula County Commissioners hope to explain the ins and outs of county government in a conversational way.

“Welcome back to Tip of the Spear with your Missoula County commissioners,” said Jaunita Vero, notes in hand and headset in place. “I’m here with Josh Slotnick and Dave Strohmaier, and today we’re joined by our office of emergency management director Adriane Beck.”

The topic of this week’s episode is flooding. Gathered around a conference room in downtown Missoula, the commissioners and their team work their way through a list of questions – the same questions you might have as a member of the public.

“How are you, as we speak, preparing for flood season,” asked commissioner Dave Strohmaier.

According to commissioner Josh Slotnick, the idea for a podcast came from conversations with Missoula County communication coordinator Sarah Bell. In contemplating the best way to frame messaging around county government, a podcast came to mind.

“It’s more intimate and people don't get as distracted when listening to a podcast,” said Vero.

“It allows us the opportunity to drill deeper into issues than we would otherwise be able to when we’re in a more formal meeting setting,” echoed Strohmaier.

Podcast topics cover housing, transportation, health, and other matters you’ll find on meeting agendas and public forums, but some things are better explained through a conversation. Between laughs, the commissioners explain that this is a format that makes sense for them.

“The three of us like to have conversations,” said Vero, “And you feel stilted in that public meeting setting where you can’t really talk about the issue in a way that feels human.”

So, they’re talking it out, hearing from other local officials and experts, and explaining how county government works.

“We might not solve every problem, but you’ll catch us trying,” said Slotnick, “I personally really want the public to catch the three of us trying, and this is a way to make that happen.”

New episodes of Tip of the Spear drop every Wednesday. You can learn more about the podcast here.