Winds of Change Blowing in Missoula, Montana and Allows Urban Wind Turbines
Jason Wiener was elected to the Missoula, Montana City Council in 2007 and was elected Chair of the Missoula County Democrats in 2009. Wiener has worked to foster communication among council members as well as with the community.
Originally from Concord, New Hampshire, Mr. Wiener has travelled throughout the country and has worked in many different fields including those of finance, teaching, and journalism. Weiner says that it is this broad-based experience which has truly helped him to gain the skills necessary for his position. Using the expertise gained from both teaching and journalism, he is adept at understanding how to best communicate his ideas and messages in ways which gain both the interest and respect of the public.
Jason Wiener is an avid cyclist. His interest in cycling helped him develop an appreciation for sustainable development. Inter-modal transportantion is important to him, but so are other measures.
Wiener understands that both infrastructure and land use can contribute to community sustainability, and have an effect on local energy use. It is for this reason that Councilman Wiener recently introduced an ordinance allowing wind generators to be built within Missoula city limits
. Wiener met with a constituent who was ready to install his own windmill in order to produce energy for his household, and recognized that the city needed a plan if it was to explore this method of reducing dependence on fossil feuls, and reducing energy costs.
After being taken up by the city council, it was agreed that these wind generators could significantly decrease the amount of energy used by a household each month, and so the ordinance was passed with a vote of 11-1. Though there are restrictions on the height and placement of the generators, residents are able to request exceptions and may be allowed to build multiple or larger units.
Though Mr. Wiener acknowledges that the windmills themselves might not make a huge impact on energy consumption, they can be used in conjunction with other environmentally friendly policies to make a much larger difference. Mr. Wiener sees this as a definite step towards a focus on environmentally sustainable technologies, and hopefully this is the first of many to come.
Wiener encourages other city councilmembers to not be afraid of relying on their staff to help them in such endeavors. He found that the outreach program and research of his staff helped him substantially and allowed him to gain the knowledge and facts necessary to make a strong case to his community.
In the future he would particularly like to focus on helping the homeless of his community, and so would like to see more emergency shelters and other measures enacted to protect them.
We are proud to honor him as our DMO of the Month.