Meet the American Fork City Council Candidates (Part 2)

Link

Here’s a link to audio of the first candidate segment of last Wednesday evening’s meet-the-candidate event at American Fork Library:

2015_Wednesday_2

Questions in this Segment

  1. Who are you, and why do you want to be on the American Fork City Council? (Order: Frost – Shelton – Barnes – Simpson.)
  2. What service to the City or other experience makes you well qualified to serve on the city council? (Order: Shelton – Barnes – Simpson – Frost.)
  3. Lots of candidates and officials say they’re for lower taxes, but what is the proper level of city taxes for residents? Is it more or less than we’re presently taxed, or about the same? (Order: Barnes – Simpson – Frost – Shelton)

Notes

Each candidate had one minute for each response. Note the response order above with each question, because candidates aren’t named before every response.

Highlights

Brad Frost is a lifelong resident of American Fork, who wants to give back. In his first four years he’s seen how complex an operation the city government is. There are projects he’d like to see through to completion, like the planned Memorial Garden at the cemetery. He wants to see American Fork prosper, and he works hard to monitor and advance the city’s image. He runs a business, is a blue collar guy. He’s a good listener. He listens to people’s problems large and small, then goes to work for them.

Rob Shelton has learned in his first four years how hard it is for one person to change the City, but he ran for office because he thought he could help, especially with his financial expertise. You need a good relationship with other city councilors to be effective. The City has managed to cut costs and reallocate resources (preventing tax increases) in many ways in recent years. He’s always been involved in the community, from coaching soccer to serving on the library board and the Utah Valley Policy Committee.

Kevin Barnes has lived in American Fork since 1979 and raised his children here. He doesn’t have a particular agenda or an ax to grind. He just wants to serve. He’s been very involved in the community, including serving in Scouting and on the American Fork Planning Commission.

Allen Simpson moved to American Fork 20 years ago and says he’s been attending city council meetings every since. He said, “I can’t complain if I don’t come.” His specialty is risk and finance, and he believes his views on these subjects would be a big help to the city. He has been active in his political party, volunteers at the library, and serves on the American Fork Arts Council.

Allen Simpson

American Fork City Council candidate Allen Simpson after October 21, 2013, meet-the-candidates event

Kevin Barnes says the proper level of taxation in the city depends on what the people want. A number of people during the campaign have told him they voted against the road bond issue two years ago and now regret that vote. They’d much rather be paying a little more money and have better roads. Small city government is about taking care of basic needs, fire, police, water, sewer, roads. He thinks our level of taxation is about right for what we get.

Allen Simpson says we have enough money. Says budget has increased $10 million in the past few years; we have enough money. Our roads have actually had a $450 million cut. [Councilman Shelton later corrected him; that’s several times more than the whole city budget, $59 million. Simpson said he meant $450,000.] So where did that new $10 million go, if we didn’t spend it on the roads?

[This is a good time to point out that for the moment I’m just reporting what they said, not evaluating the accuracy of it. — DR ]

Brad Frost looks through this lens: He thinks of people on fixed incomes, but he also thinks of our children and grandchildren. If we put some things off that we should do now, it will cost them a lot more later. A balance is needed.

Rob Shelton says in the past four years the City has made $1.8 million in cuts and reallocated those funds to other needs, such as two new detectives devoted to drug cases. We need to continue to look for ways to be more efficient with the resources we have.

Here’s a link to the next segment.

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