NBC Montana broke down the stances and histories of all four candidates for this year’s mayoral election.
Michael Hyde tells NBC Montana he grew up in local business. His dad owned a diesel repair shop, so he worked on diesel trucks growing up, started a car lot in 2003 and went on to work in construction for building companies around Missoula.
Hyde says he wants more checks and balances in the Missoula Police Department, including an increase in citizen-accessible surveillance footage of police activity.
Hyde also wants to help create an indoor greenhouse and farmers' market, and work to protect the rights of medicinal marijuana users and bring a hemp processing plant to Missoula.
Dean McCollom says he started his career in the environmental field, worked in electronic component sales, and went back to school to get a Master’s in business. He has also worked as a program manager at a circuit board assembly factory in Silicon Valley.
McCollom tells NBC Montana that he wants to improve Missoula’s reputation among business owners in and outside of Missoula. He wants proposals brought to the City Council to be looked at in the context of how the proposed actions would make the city look to the business community.
John Engen is currently serving as Missoula’s mayor. He was elected in 2005 and was re-elected in 2009. Engen went to the University of Montana as a journalism major, worked for the Missoulian, and owned an advertising and public relations company. He also owns a travel agency with his wife.
Engen says he would like to see development at the Riverfront Triangle area of downtown Missoula, as well as for the city to buy the privately-owned Mountain Water Company.
Peggy Cain is a retired practical nurse who has worked in doctors’ officers around Missoula. She is also part of the Advocates for Missoula’s Future group, which has worked to protect the University of Montana golf course from development.
She tells NBC Montana she wants to boost citizen involvement, through changes like the creation of a 24/7 hotline that citizens can call with questions and comments. Cain also wants City Council meetings to allocate time dedicated to citizens’ questions. Additionally, Cain tells NBC Montana that she would want to work to lower Missoula’s taxes in general.
Ballots will be sent out October 21, and must be returned by November 5.