On Wednesday’s KGVO Talk Back show, Mayor John Engen appeared as a candidate for reelection to his fifth term and took questions from callers.

Engen was first asked about his views on the fight against COVID 19 specifically in Missoula.

“We're not in a position as a function of the legislature to mandate masks or certainly vaccinations, so I'm simply saying as one human being to another who has who has seen the consequences, if you haven't been vaccinated, please do so,” said Engen. “And please, if you're not vaccinated or if you're in a situation where you're susceptible or someone in your life is susceptible, mask wearing can't hurt.”

One caller asked Engen if, in a perfect world, he had the power to mandate a vaccination card before being allowed to receive services at a local business, Engen responded.

“Thank you Alan,” he said. “It turns out that my job is to be on the spot and to make decisions. I try to make those decisions with lots of information and not in a vacuum. But I but I think the idea of having proof of vaccination to get service in public places is a good idea.”

Engen was asked several times during the hour long conversation about housing issues and policies of his administration.

“The most impactful things we can do come from policy, and so that housing policy based on market conditions calls for housing production goals,” he said. “And those goals range from; it's really soup to nuts. From folks who are unhoused today, all the way to seniors who need who need assistance and a particular housing type, and everything in between.”

Wrapping up the conversation, one caller asked the Mayor about his personal journey through his treatment for alcoholism, and he did not shy away from answering.

“I will celebrate five years of sobriety on the 25th of this month, which is two days shy of my 57th birthday,” he said. “It's tough, but there are so many folks who are affected by addiction. But I quickly discovered I was and that I'm not alone.”

Engen is running for his fifth term as mayor against political newcomer Jacob Elder.


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