In advance of the 2019 primary and general elections for six Missoula City Council seats, Missoula Current asked each of the 15 candidates a series of questions based on issues facing city leaders in the years ahead. Their answers will be reprinted verbatim.
We continue the series with Ward 3, where three candidates are vying for one seat. The field will be narrowed to two candidates in the Sept. 10 primary election, with the winner chosen in November’s general election. City Council races are non-partisan; each term is for four years.
Ward 3 includes Missoula’s Rose Park, Riverfront and University Area neighborhoods. Gwen Jones is the incumbent councilwoman; she is running for reelection against two challengers, Dakota Hileman and Drew Iverson. Their responses will be published on consecutive days, in alphabetical order.
Drew Iverson, Ward 3
Q: Do you support the use of tax increment financing as a tool for economic development, job growth and expanding the city’s tax base?
A: No, because it doesn’t support schools or hospitals
Q: Do you support the city’s new housing policy, and what would you do to implement the recommendations?
A: No, because it raised property tax’s
Q: What would you do to expand the city’s tax base to pay for essential services and the increasing cost of providing those services?
A: Spend less and balance the city budget. We must make sure we budget funds toward programs that will benefit Missoulians.
Q: Do you believe a series of tweets sent out by President Donald Trump targeting four minority members of Congress this month were racist? Why or why not?
A: In the spirit of transparency, I have no knowledge of what has transpired over Twitter with President Trump’s tweets with national issues that has happened with Congress and racism. I am focused on city issues that matter to Missoulians.
Q: What would you do to ensure the city continues to meet the wide range of citizen demands while keeping an eye on taxes?
A: By making sure City Council is kept accountable for their actions by not having habits of frivolous spending such as these primaries that costed the City Council $51k which could have benefited Missoulians either by fixing potholes, sidewalks, having more bike lanes or snow removal.
Q: What more can the city do to accommodate non-motorized transportation to achieve the goals in the Long Range Transportation Plan?
A: We need to accommodate non- motorized transportation by having more bike lanes especially on major roads such as Reserve.
Q: What would be your primary goal as a member of the City Council? How would you fund it?
A: My primary goal for City Council is to make sure we have lower taxes for property owners and renters by spending less with the City Council’s budget. Not spending funds on travel like the City Council has in the past with making trips to New Zealand.