Meet the American Fork City Council Candidates (Part 1)

This is the first in a rapid series of posts with audio and notes on what the candidates said at two recent meet-the-candidates events in American Fork. The city council candidates, that is: Rob Shelton, Brad Frost, Kevin Barnes, and Allen Simpson.

We have 90 minutes of audio from the first event (after the Pledge of Allegiance and some of the housekeeping chatter is removed). We’ve broken that into eight pieces. For each piece, we’ll tell you what questions were asked (if there were questions in that segment), and in which order the candidates responded.

Councilman Rob Shelton American Fork

Councilman Rob Shelton after the October 21, 2015, meet-the-candidates event at American Fork High School.

The first event was Wednesday, October 21, at 7:00 p.m. at American Fork High School. Sponsors were the American Fork PTA Council, led by Kelly Smith, and the American Fork Youth City Council. The Media Center (a library by another other name . . .) is a great place for such events. The turnout was moderate, about 45 people, not counting candidates and about eight people who staffed the event.

I was one of the question screeners, helping to combine related questions, rewrite illegible questions, condense long questions, and reject irrelevant and wing-nut questions. (My favorite of the latter asked how many of the ten points of the Communist Manifesto each candidate supports. I did graduate work in political theory and studied communism under card-carrying members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, among others, and I can’t list all ten off the top of my head. And the question is usually a setup for wingnuttery. And we had real work to do.)

There were several young children in the audience, which was excellent. Everyone was well behaved, with the lone exception of Councilman Carlton Bowen, who is not known for his decorum in official settings, and who isn’t up for reelection until 2017. He quite deliberately applauded his pet candidate once in the middle of a statement, even though we asked the audience to hold their applause until the end of each half of the event. What the actual children (and everyone else) in the audience managed not to do at all, at least he only did once.

Overall, the audience’s questions were relevant, and they touched on many issues.

The candidates did an uncommonly good job sticking to their time limits.

To get us started, here’s a short MP3 audio clip in which host Kelly Smith welcomes the candidates and audience and explains the format of the evening. Link to Wednesday Audio 1.

Here’s a link to the next segment, which has actual candidates.

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