American Fork Candidates Q&A: Part 3 – Quick Responses on Nine Issues

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.)

Carlton Bowen and Brad Frost are running for mayor. Kyle BarrattBarbara Christiansen, Staci Carroll, and Jeffrey Shorter are running for two available city council seats.

Note: None of the candidates who were defeated in the primary responded to this set of questions, so this post, unlike previous similar posts, has no responses to hide behind buttons.

  • Published: 25 July 2017
  • Updated: 31 October 2017

Seven Words, Give or Take

Lobbying for better representation in the Timpanogos Special Service District, to increase the City’s influence over sewer rates.

  • Carlton Bowen (for mayor): (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost (for mayor): “Strongly feel we need more representation.”
  • Kyle Barratt (for council): “Doing a good job already; could improve on eliminating waste at TSSD.”
  • Staci Carroll (for council): “Adequate city/user representation seems prudent.”
  • Barbara Christiansen (for council): “I don’t think this will work.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter (for council): (no response yet)
Brad Frost

Brad Frost

Working with UTA to bring better transit service to American Fork.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “In best interest of all on Wasatch Front.”
  • Kyle Barratt: “Public transit is key to the future.”
  • Staci Carroll: “Better transparency, accountability, reliability, and cost efficiency.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “A good idea for the future.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)

Finishing/improving Art Dye Park.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Vital to present and future growth.”
  • Kyle Barratt: “Certainly a high priority but not as high as most city services. (Roads/Water/Sewer/Public Safety)”
  • Staci Carroll: “Use existing PARC tax.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “Let’s build something great for the future.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)
Staci Carroll

Staci Carroll

Keeping police salaries competitive with other jurisdictions, in order to retain the best-trained, experienced officers.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Strongly agree. We want the best.”
  • Kyle Barratt: “Very high priority.”
  • Staci Carroll: “Important, but salary isn’t the only factor.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “Very important. A good use of funds.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)

Lobbying the state legislature to index certified tax rates to inflation.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Worth exploring pros and cons.”
  • Kyle Barratt: (no response yet)
  • Staci Carroll: “I’ll have to look into the implications.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “I’ve been advocating this for years.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)
Barbara Christiansen

Barbara Christiansen

Protecting American Fork Canyon from excessive development.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Led this challenge and will continue.”
  • Kyle Barratt: “Very high priority, specifically the watershed.”
  • Staci Carroll: “Yes. No-brainer.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “Keep it nice for future generations.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)

Enforcing City nuisance ordinances.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Why have an ordinance if no enforcement?”
  • Kyle Barratt: “I’ll have to look into it.”
  • 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.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)
Kyle Barratt

Kyle Barratt

Ensuring a reasonable balance between City support of recreation programs and City support of the arts.

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Yes, so long as funds are used efficiently.”
  • Kyle Barratt: “I’ll have to look into it.”
  • Staci Carroll: “A diverse PARC board helps.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “The key is ‘reasonable.’ Study participation/benefits.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)

“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.”

  • Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)
  • Brad Frost: “Love to learn new ideas in transparency.”
  • Kyle Barratt: “A high priority.”
  • Staci Carroll: “A week seems sufficient. Need transparency + efficiency.”
  • Barbara Christiansen: “Absolutely. I am a strong communications advocate.”
  • Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)

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.

[Carlton Bowen: (no response yet)]

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!”

Kyle Barratt on Roads and Infrastructure: “Make roads and infrastructure our #1 priority, specifically the top 10-20 percent of roads/infrastructure.”

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.”

[Jeffrey Shorter: (no response yet)]

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 and some office holders 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.

Readers, you will find answers to other questions in several posts here, including this one about the mayoral candidates and this one about the city council candidates.

And there’s more to come.

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