(Photo courtesy of Campbell for Missoula)

Military veteran and 25 year police officer Bob Campbell appeared on the Monday Talk Back Show to answer questions from KGVO listeners as to why he is running for the Ward 5 City Council seat.

Campbell said he finds himself in the same predicament that thousands of other Missoula residents are experiencing, such as rising property taxes and runaway city spending.

“I've been a homeowner since 2004,” said Campbell. “I've seen my property taxes double. For some elderly folks in town here, it's whether or not they're going to be able to stay in their home that they lived in for 20 or 30 years or more. Your taxes going up and they're right at the brink of maybe losing a home, having to leave town or go someplace else because they can’t you afford to live where they're living, and that's a great concern to especially our senior population. New folks coming in are also having a hard time finding housing.”

Regarding the proposed apartment complex near the new Jeannette Ranking Elementary School in the Maloney Ranch area, Campbell said he sees significant public safety concerns in the project.

“I also have taken into consideration public safety concerns,” said Campbell. “In this particular case I’m talking about the ingress and egress into that neighborhood there at the Maloney Ranch and Lower Miller Creek area, where you only have one way in and one way out. We talked about putting a roundabout there to work around that 90 degree hook to the north on Lower Miller Creek past Linda Vista Boulevard. Still, at the end of the day, you have that one way out. You have an elementary school right there, Jeannette Rankin School and it boils down to me, I have a really big concern with that one point of access and the flood of people that I'll be using that road should that development reach full build out.”

Campbell said he has been visiting homes in Ward 5 and has listened to many of the residents about their concerns.

“In my door to door knocking I have heard concerns about the scope of government,” he said. “I think we need to get out of the way of private enterprise, and we need to get out of the way of development. Let's get those numbers up. Let's get those vacancy rates up. There was a survey that was done recently and housing affordability was number one on that list, and we need to address that.”

Also appearing with Campbell was his friend and current City Counselor Jesse Ramos, who has had a continuing war of words with the Engen Administration and the Missoula Redevlopment Agency’s use of TIF (Tax Increment Financing).

“NBC Montana did a story with a professor and expert on TIFF,” said Ramos. “I think he was at the University of Chicago talking about what happened with the bank downtown, and the fact that we gave them $1.5 million, and we didn't have enough money to pay him in cash. So we took out bonds, we took out a loan to pay for that. And we're paying about $1.1 million in interest on that $1.5 million bond. And the big kicker is, is that we borrowed the money to give to the bank from the bank (itself), so we're paying them interest on their own handout.”

The recently married Ramos told KGVO listeners he is not running for another term on the City Council.

To find out more about Bob’s Campbell’s city council candidacy, click here.

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