I’m combining mayoral and city council candidates’ responses to this set of questions, because so far only one of the former and two of the latter have responded with answers. I’ll publish more if and when I receive them.
Perhaps I ask too much of candidates, sending them all these questions and asking them to respond. Life is busy enough, and campaigning makes it more so, for those who actually do it.
However, I keep thinking that it’s a decent test — not a perfect one — of candidates’ inclination and ability to communicate, even when they’re busy — which seems to be an important characteristic of their service, if we elect them.
But onward. In this set of questions, I asked the candidates to respond quickly — in seven words or less — to a list of issues. My exact instructions were (with examples omitted): Respond to the following issues in seven words or less. . . . Leave some of them blank, if you wish.
Those who responded caught the spirit of it. Please note that I don’t expect informed profundity on every issue; you probably shouldn’t either. But it’s good to see how they think.
All responses are in the same order, to minimize confusion and to help me resist the temptation to highlight the ones I like. The responses are lightly edited if at all, and I let a few extra words slip in once or twice. (At least they were mostly monosyllabic.)
Brad Frost is one of three candidates running for mayor. Barbara Christiansen and Staci Carroll are among seven candidates running for city council.
Seven Words, Give or Take
Lobbying for better representation in the Timpanogos Special Service District, to increase the City’s influence over sewer rates.
- Brad Frost: “Strongly feel we need more representation.”
- Staci Carroll: “Adequate city/user representation seems prudent.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “I don’t think this will work.”
Working with UTA to bring better transit service to American Fork.
- Brad Frost: “In best interest of all on Wasatch Front.”
- Staci Carroll: “Better transparency, accountability, reliability, and cost efficiency.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “A good idea for the future.”
Finishing/improving Art Dye Park.
- Brad Frost: “Vital to present and future growth.”
- Staci Carroll: “Use existing PARC tax.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “Let’s build something great for the future.”
Keeping police salaries competitive with other jurisdictions, in order to retain the best-trained, experienced officers.
- Brad Frost: “Strongly agree. We want the best.”
- Staci Carroll: “Important, but salary isn’t the only factor.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “Very important. A good use of funds.”
Lobbying the state legislature to index certified tax rates to inflation.
- Brad Frost: “Worth exploring pros and cons.”
- Staci Carroll: “I’ll have to look into the implications.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “I’ve been advocating this for years.”
Protecting American Fork Canyon from excessive development.
- Brad Frost: “Led this challenge and will continue.”
- Staci Carroll: “Yes. No-brainer.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “Keep it nice for future generations.”
Enforcing City nuisance ordinances.
- Brad Frost: “Why have an ordinance if no enforcement?”
- Staci Carroll: “I’d like to see some data. (Or, can’t we all just get along?)”
- Barbara Christiansen: “We need to enforce all our ordinances.”
Ensuring a reasonable balance between City support of recreation programs and City support of the arts.
- Brad Frost: “Yes, so long as funds are used efficiently.”
- Staci Carroll: “A diverse PARC board helps.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “The key is ‘reasonable.’ Study participation/benefits.”
“Better, earlier publicity of issues that are before the City Council — in time for interested residents to be informed, involved, and heard before decisions are made.”
- Brad Frost: “Love to learn new ideas in transparency.”
- Staci Carroll: “A week seems sufficient. Need transparency + efficiency.”
- Barbara Christiansen: “Absolutely. I am a strong communications advocate.”
Still Short, and They Picked the Issue
Next, I asked them to elaborate on one of their very short responses in 50 words or less — which still isn’t a lot.
Brad Frost on American Fork Canyon: “Development in American Fork Canyon is of great concern because it is the head of our watershed. Too many unknowns need to be answered before anyone considers making it a construction zone of any size. To this end, I will continue to be vigilant of canyon protection. Water is life!”
Staci Carroll on Nuisance Ordinances: “I’ve heard complaints about nuisance concerns not being addressed. There are two sides to every story. The best course of action would be to see data on when complaints come in, what action was taken, dates of action, etc. Data would help us understand the problem and define a solution.”
Barbara Christiansen on Indexing Certified Tax Rates to Inflation: “Inflation takes a bite of city revenue every year. In order to just keep up, communities must increase the tax rate, which is not well-received. I would work with other cities throughout the state, the League of Cities and Towns, and other alliances to lobby the legislature to remedy this.”
A Final Word
If you tried to pin me down, and some will, I’d just say that I liked different candidates responses to different issues here, and I refuse to be specific — except that Barbara Christiansen warmed my political heart by nailing the certified tax rate issue in a way that most candidates I’ve asked about this over the years . . . haven’t.
Thanks to the candidates who responded. For the rest of you, it’s not too late. You know where to find me.
And there’s more to come.