Ward Four Missoula City Councilor Jesse Ramos will not be running for reelection, as he informed KGVO News on Wednesday when asked to comment on the JEDI program update presented to the council during its Committee of the Whole meeting.

Ramos was deeply critical of the entire program.

“What essentially is that we're going to be hiring more bureaucrats,” said Ramos. “At the end of the day, it's a way for the government to sneakily grow itself by covering it with the guise of trying to seek this perfect utopia which they seem to always be chasing. But that's just a ruse. They just care about making it look like they're doing something to satisfy the voters.”

Ramos continued his comments by stating that the program is another way to get $150,000 from the Missoula taxpayers.

“It’s an empty platitude that they use the taxpayer money to essentially make a campaign platform for themselves and say, ‘Oh, look at me. I'm so good. I'm so pure. I'm this deity of moral goodness’,” he said. “It really does absolutely nothing. They're spending $150,000 in addition to $150,000 that they spent last year on the LEARN (Listening, Engaging, Action, Reflection Network) program.”

Ramos said the program is primarily empty words meant to increase government power.

“This is nothing more than empty platitudes,” he said. “It's going to cost a lot of money grow the government and the only people that are going to benefit from it are the bureaucrats and the politicians, because the bureaucrats will get to grow their bureaucracy; they'll get to draw these big old salaries and the nice benefits and then the politicians will get to use it to get reelected by saying, ‘well, we have this whole study and look at us how good we are. We're trying. We're doing something’. But at the end of the day, they're not doing anything except spending the money of hard working Missoulians, including those in the minority communities.”

Ramos then spoke personally of his own Hispanic heritage.

“It's really despicable,” he said. “I mean, I'm a Hispanic man. I'm one of two Hispanic people on the City Council, and this is the worst thing that I've seen come across my desk because it is discrimination in a package for us. It's encouraging more and more of it. And it's really exemplifies to me the soft bigotry of low expectations by saying that minority members in our community can't get help without the nanny state of the government. They can't get ahead unless the government is there to babysit them, and I think that's just disgusting and insulting quite frankly. And I know a lot of minorities in the community agree with me on that.”

Ramos has been at odds with Mayor Engen and the majority of the City Council since he was first elected, and has decided not to run for reelection. He said he will share his future plans with KGVO at a later date.


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