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Rising property taxes are a growing concern. There are a number of people who believe taxes are high because the city provides not only essential city services (police, fire, etc.) but non-essential services (social service contracts, education funding, etc.) If elected, how would you prioritize what is or is not an essential city service?

Bobby Levinski

City Council, District 8

I disagree with the above-listed categorizations; social services contracts and educational programs that are designed to enhance the quality of life of our residents are absolutely essential city services. We need to expand our concepts of “public safety” to go beyond departmental classifications and instead look towards the functions of particular programs. Programs that help address economic security and improve mental health can help mitigate future costs in other parts of the budget. The greatest economic investment we can make as a city is in our residents, and we must prioritize those investments by starting with those with the least resources among us and expanding opportunities where our system has failed. Over my years as a council aide, I helped shift millions of dollars that were earmarked for corporate giveaways to instead address urgent needs (including social services).