Elected in May 2013
to Page City Council
The city council of Page, Ariz., has a new member fighting to cut millions of dollars in spending and decrease taxes, thereby promoting new economic growth. Libertarian Levi Tappan, a lifelong resident of the city, received 816 votes (23.3 percent), the highest vote total among six candidates competing for three open seats.
Tappan credits his widespread presence in the community as one of the deciding factors in his election.
“I kept a real low budget and went door to door, talking to people,” Tappan said. This gave him a personal perspective on their concerns and hopes for a better city government.
Tappan had an early taste of his eventual electoral success during the March 12 primary. During that contest, the ex-Marine scored 15.9 percent of the vote. He finished second in a field of 10 candidates, which included prominent local businessmen and members of the community. He lagged behind the winner, well-known local businessman Dennis Warner, by only 1.2 percent.
Tappan, who works as a sonographer at the local hospital, aims to promote economic growth and cut government spending. Like many residents of Page, Tappan is concerned about the constantly rising cost of city government.
“The city budget has grown from about $15 million to $20 million over the last 10 years, and the population has practically remained the same,” he said.
He noted that the city has financed its most recent development projects through heavy borrowing, and ended up $16 million in debt. Just servicing this debt, he pointed out, now costs Page $1.2 million per year.
Tappan said that privatizing some money-losing facilities like the municipal golf course and a city-owned sports complex could be part of the answer. Another obvious way to cut spending, he suggested, would be to rein in routinely excessive police overtime requests.
Tappan believes that his decisive victory on election day represents a mandate from Page voters.
“From my numbers, it sounds like the citizens liked my ideas, so that’s what I’m going to go with,” he said.