Missoula Police Officer Bob Campbell announced recently that he is running for the Missoula City Council in Ward 5 against the incumbent Stacie Anderson.

Campbell expressed his gratitude for being able to live, have a career and raise his family in Missoula, but became troubled about the direction the city has been led over the past decade.

“I look at the tax burdens that are being placed upon us by the controlling leadership of the city and of the city council and the burdens to businesses,” said Campbell. “I feel that the city government has created an environment that’s trying to remove those opportunities from us and limit those opportunities where we can be a true part of the community here.”

Campbell has seen the majority of the council follow Mayor Engen and his goals for the city and strongly disagrees with the direction the city is heading.

“By and large, you have a majority membership that goes in lockstep quite frankly with what the mayor wants,” he said. “You look at the bloated size of government this last fiscal year, I think the budget allocation is in excess of $230 million and I want to bring balance to that spending.”

Campbell provided some examples of what he sees as egregious spending by the current administration.

“Have a look at things we've spent our money on recently, such as the Sleepy Inn Motel,” he said. “You know, we spent $1.1 million on that for more than twice its last appraised value. We're getting into the tree nursery business, about $165,000 on that. We're leasing property and now we're talking in the future about anywhere from $17 million to $27 million on a community center where the Parks and Recreation director doesn't even know where we're going to get the funding.”

Campbell was also particularly concerned about the city’s use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

“Some millions of dollars are coming off tax rolls for basic services due to the use of TIF funding for all these various corporations coming into town,” he said. “Marriott International with Southgate Mall with properties recently purchased on West Broadway. I just want to bring control, to refocus and re-center the council and their priorities, allocating their money, and to get back to the idea of providing basic services, which I feel is what city government should be all about.”

Campbell said he is in agreement with other fiscal conservatives on the council, such as Jesse Ramos, John Contos and Sandra Vaseka.

 

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