The Reelect John Engen for Mayor Campaign sent out a press release on Monday (the final day to file for municipal elections) to explain why Engen is seeking an unprecedented fifth term as Missoula’s chief executive.

KGVO spoke to Engen on Monday and asked why he wanted to run again.

“I continue to have the fire in my belly to serve the community, and this job is all about service,” said Engen. “Over the course of the last 16 years, we've been able to accomplish a lot of things, and I always use the term ‘we’ because I do none of this alone. I've got a great team of staff members; I've got great support in the community, and lots of smart people who are willing to work with me to tackle the big issues of the day.”

Engen said he revels in the day-to-day process of running the city.

“Whether it's housing and homelessness, or economic development, or just the nuts and bolts of running a city every day; making sure that when folks call 911, they get the service that they expect and deserve,” he said “I think I have the experience and the track record to demonstrate that I can do those things. I'm also prepared to deal with whatever comes our way, whether it's a pandemic, which I never would have imagined, ever happening, or anything else that presents an emergency that needs experience and solutions.”

Engen was asked about the uproar over property reappraisals and the resulting increases in property taxes, and what the Mayor can and cannot control.

“Some parts I can control, and others I don't control,” he said. “Appraisals, for example, the parts that I control are our mill levies, and I do my level best every budget cycle to balance two things; first, the need and demand for services the lion's share which in our general fund, go to public safety, police and fire, and all of the other new things that we're doing as a function of the feds and the state, sort of stepping away.”

Engen said he also pays property taxes and hears about many of the other problems the city faces every day.

“The beauty of being Mayor of the City of Missoula is that I hear these things too, whether I'm in the grocery store, or in my office or places in between,” he said. “I'm also a property taxpayer, so I also live with the consequences of my actions. We're trying to find a balance that allows folks to both enjoy those services that they expect, while simultaneously not being taxed out of their homes.”

Others filing for mayor include Jacob Elder, Greg Stranberg and Shawn Knopp.

Filings for municipal offices close at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 21.

 

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