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Missoula mayoral candidate looks to cut spending

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Missoula mayorial candidate Lisa Triepke (MTN News photo) Missoula mayorial candidate Lisa Triepke (MTN News photo)
MISSOULA -

Missoula Mayor John Engen is seeking a fourth term running on a record of accomplishment and management.  But Lisa Triepke is attempting to stop that re-election bid, vowing to cut spending and what she calls government overreach.

Lisa Triepke has never held public office outside a few years with the Target Range school board and a brief stint on the Missoula County Public Schools Board of Trustees.  But for the past several years, she says she's heard an increasing number of people bemoan the way Missoula's local government is run.

"And rather than sitting back and being one to complain, I felt like there was enough of a groundswell to enter the race and try to make a change and do something different," said Triepke.

Triepke officially launched her campaign for mayor of Missoula Tuesday afternoon, though she filed late last April.  She believes perceived government overreach and increasing taxes are serious problems that necessitate a change in leadership, and that the city ought not take on as many projects as it does.

"I think we need to prioritize projects that are currently in the pipeline according to available resources, and possibly take a look at the way we do the budgeting process,” explained Triepke.  “Rather than starting off with an automatic 5% increase in taxes, why not start with stepping back a little bit and looking to see if there's overlap in some departments."

Triepke noted that Missoula is often recognized as one of the most 'livable' places in the country, but the heavy tax burdens facing residents makes Missoula unaffordable to many.

"People that are renting houses, their rents are continually going up because the property taxes are affecting the landlords.  And we've got the people on fixed incomes, and their steady incomes are being chipped away at.  And the most important one to me is the future.  I have four kids and they will not be able to come back and raise their families here at the rate we're going," warned the candidate.

If elected, Triepke promises to focus on constituent input and vows to give Missoulians a greater chance to participate in local government.

So far, Engen and Triepke are the only candidates to file for the mayor's race.

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