Nampa, along with almost every other community in America, is experiencing one of the toughest economic downturns in our history. Businesses close on a regular basis, and many of our friends and neighbors have lost their jobs, their homes or both.

With that as a backdrop, we have seen Nampa's property tax levy rate increased by 43 percent between 2008 and 2010. We have witnessed tax dollars being spent on projects that certainly, in these tough times, are not necessary.

We saw the council shirk their responsibility to be good stewards of tax dollars. For example, when Mr. Bujak approached the City Council with a request to have his contract modified so he received funds directly instead of through Canyon County, the City Council wholeheartedly agreed, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars and several lawsuits.

When the City Council approved the formation of a new urban renewal district, it was touted as the only way we could get a new library. Shortly after its formation, a decision was made to change the original priorities and build a public safety building instead of a library. The library is now, at a minimum, five years from being built.

Nampa has one of the highest property tax rates in the Treasure Valley; the levy rates are over 100 percent higher than Meridian, Kuna and Eagle and almost 50 percent higher than Boise. When trying to attract new businesses to Nampa, it's a very tough sell when you look at our tax rate and impact fees that are still being charged for new construction.

We must get our levy rate reduced and impact fees either eliminated or modified in order to attract new businesses. Right now, Nampa just isn't competitive in the marketplace, and that has to change.

I was on the Nampa School Board for 12 years. During that time, our district dealt with many difficult issues. Working collaboratively with other members of the board, administration, faculty and parents, we were able to reverse the negative perception of the district and transform it into a school district that continues to be a positive asset for our community.

I will bring the same energy I displayed on the school board to the City Council. I would appreciate your vote for me, Bob Henry, on Nov. 8.

• Bob Henry is a candidate for Nampa City Council Seat 4.

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