Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Retired Missoula Police Department Sergeant Bob Campbell is running for the Missoula City Council Ward 5 seat being vacated by John Contos, who is not running again.

Campbell appeared on the KGVO Talk Back show on Thursday and was asked about how he would have voted over the city budget with its 9.7 percent tax increase.

Campbell said he would not have Voted for the new City Budget

“I would not have voted for that budget,” began Campbell. “I mean to me, look at the effect that it’s had on local taxpayers. I do my door knocking and that's the first thing that comes out of people's mouths is that they're laden down with a 12 percent increase from the city last year and nearly 12 percent from the county as well. And now we're talking 9.7 percent again this year, it just creates an untenable and unsustainable situation.”

Campbell said he does not believe the city can sustain its level of services without the federal funding left over from the COVID pandemic.

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Campbell said the City has to Learn to do Without ARPA Funds

“I don't think the city can sustain the level of service that they think they're going to be able to sustain over the long run,” he said. “I say that because you know what the Johnston Street shelter for instance, they're using by and large ARPA funds for that for this year and they're scraping by; and then, that's going to be it for ARPA, because there’s no more ARPA after this year. So, starting with fiscal year 2025 and going forward, it's going to be upon the city budget to figure out how to fund these different things and they're not going to have the luxury of federal funding, certainly to the level they've had in the past.”

Campbell does not Favor Uncontrolled Homeless Camps

Campbell was asked about a proposal to have rotating homeless camps in city parks with no city services or law enforcement protection, and as a retired police officer, said it would be untenable.

“I've just heard that in the last week or so, and quite frankly, I think it's untenable,” he said. “It's not sustainable. I don't know how you would manage what they're talking about making it ‘unmanaged’. I don't know how you would ensure public health and safety, particularly for people who live in those neighborhoods. It just doesn't make any sense to me. I am still trying to wrap my head around that idea.”

Campbell also ran for the Ward 5 seat in 2021 but was unsuccessful.

He has received endorsements from former City Councilor Jesse Ramos, and the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

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