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Missoula mayoral candidates differ on fundamental issues - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Missoula mayoral candidates differ on fundamental issues

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MISSOULA - Missoula's two mayoral candidates differed on taxes, term limits and the fundamentals of running a government during a Thursday evening candidate forum.

Incumbent John Engen and challenger Lisa Triepke took questions written by the public on topics ranging from taxes to homelessness and as they were answered, the differences between the two candidates became clear.

"I absolutely think the city should be run like a business," said Triepke. "I spent 10 years working in nonprofits and I've spent the last eight years working for Costcare, and in all of my positions we've been required to set budgets, set timelines and come in on budget and on time."

"The city should absolutely not run like a business," answered Engen. "There are certainly principles of business that we can apply to municipal operations, but the fact of the matter is if I ran the city like a business, I'd do whatever the hell I want. And that ain't the way democracy works, and that's not the way our community works and that's not the way any of us are wired."

"My taxes have gone up 27% in the last four years and then to know that the goal, or the intention - and you used the word intention - that they're going to go up every year. It's unaffordable," answered Triepke about a question on taxes.

"I will always match taxes to need, appropriate expenses.  And most of what we pay for at the city of Missoula through our general fund is public safety. And I won't compromise public safety for the sake of telling you that we're lowering taxes," replied Engen to the same question.

Engen and Triepke face off in the mail only municipal election Nov. 7. The ballots will be delivered to city voters later this month.

RELATED: Missoula mayoral candidate looks to cut spending

RELATED: Mayor Engen kicks off reelection campaign

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