City council candidates Kyle Barratt, Staci Carroll, Barbara Christiansen, and Jeffrey Shorter will be on the November general election ballot in American Fork. Each voter may choose two, and the two who receive the most votes will win the available seats.
Here candidates answer questions about their education, experience, objectives, and motives for running.
The following candidates were defeated in the primary. Their responses, if any, are still available here, but have moved behind the buttons below.
- Aaron Clegg
- Bill Houlin
- Ernie John
- Doug Richards
Note: The questions in the post were sent to all three candidates by e-mail on Tuesday, July 18. Candidate responses are ordered alphabetically by surname. Responses may be slightly edited for grammar, punctuation, and format.
- Published: 25 July 2017
- Updated: 28 September 2017
Education, Experience, Background
Please tell us how your education, experience, and other background qualify you to serve well in elected office in American Fork. (Note particularly any volunteer or other work related to American Fork City government.)
Born, raised, and educated in American Fork. I have a Bachelors and Masters degree. Masters is in Public Administration with a emphasis in State and Local Policy. Attended or watched 75% of city council meetings over the last 4 years.
Education: I have a Bachelor’s degree from BYU in Family Science with a minor in Business. I obtained a first class education in group dynamics as well as business basics of accounting, finance, economics, and statistics.
Experience: My work experience includes technology startup Onbravo, which offered wireless internet service at its infancy at the turn of the century. I also spent about four years working as a marketing manager for Nu Skin. Last but not least, I have spent the last ten-plus years focused on rearing my children as a full-time mother of three children. My active role as a mother gives me a perspective and voice that differs from the existing council.
Family Background: For 26 years my dad, John Valentine, served as a state legislator for part of Utah County (including American Fork). This is relevant for many reasons, the least of which is my lifelong exposure to policy making and public service. From the age of 12, I sat in committee meetings, sat on the floor of the legislature and constantly discussed ideas with my dad the Senator, with my family, and many, many politically engaged citizens. As a continuation of my upbringing, I have continued to stay involved in state and local issues. I have been a Republican party delegate a number of times and try to watch and participate in city issues. If I can’t attend city council meetings in person, I watch them online.
AF PARC Tax Advisory Board: For the past 2-1/2 years, I have volunteered on this board. The PARC tax sets aside state sales tax funds toward parks, arts, recreation, and culture in American Fork. The advisory board is tasked with recommending funding allocations to the city council. In this capacity, I have participated in budget allocation processes to balance the wants and needs of various parties within the limits of available funds. This service has also allowed me to productively deliberate with the board members and to achieve consensus. Lastly, it has given me the chance to work with city staff and city council and observe how they function.
As a reporter for the American Fork Citizen and Daily Herald, I have covered the community for 29 years. During that time I have attended at least 90 percent of the City Council’s regular sessions and work sessions, and the Planning Commission meetings. I have a broad understanding of how government works, and in particular, how American Fork has come to be what it is. I have been able to see strong points and been made aware of potential pitfalls. I have volunteered on several committees, including the Library Board, Steel Days Committee, Friends of the Library, American Fork Hospital Community Outreach Council, and the city’s 150th birthday celebration. I have used my training as a writer, at no charge to the city, to help create items to help the community. I have received the Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.
(no response yet)
Please briefly identify one, two, or three major things you hope to accomplish during your term, if elected.
- Fixing the Roads
- Minimizing increases in utility costs
- Greater efficiency/effectiveness in government
Roads: I would really like to see progress made on our roads. It has been a drastic need for a while now, with very little headway being made. A new road has 20 years of life; a standard average is 12; the average lifespan for American Fork roads is 7.8 years. Of course, you don’t need to know those numbers to know that your road is in a state of decay. The city has recently adopted a 10-year road plan which will aid in planning and measuring progress. I would like to work creatively with the city council to commit ongoing funding to this critical need. More on this later, in my response to the road funding. question.
Water: I also think that our aging water system needs attention. The water line that conveys the majority of our water from canyon springs to our city is too small and is decaying. Additionally, we have had three water main breaks in the last seven months. These water line failures cost the city extra money for manpower, emergency service, and disaster cleanup. Because we don’t see decaying water lines (like we see and feel road potholes), most of us take them for granted until there is a problem. Similar to the road plan, I will work toward a long-term plan to responsibly take care of our water system.
TOD: I also think that managing growth well is important, particularly in the Transit Oriented Development that is slated for the area around the American Fork FrontRunner station. This area has the potential to become something vibrant and robust, as long as it is kept to the ideas and format that have been envisioned for the area. A well-developed and managed TOD would have good bike and pedestrian access to transportation, well-scaled streets and sidewalks, designated open spaces and parks, and a mix of uses. If it is properly planned and developed, I see the potential for this to become a beautiful asset to city — an asset that could draw commerce and become a major benefit to our city.
Other: There are other things I would like to work on if elected, including improving business environment and quality of life for residents, supporting safety officials and neighborhood to improve safety, and engaging more residents in our efforts to provide services and strengthen our already strong sense of community.
I plan to get the city’s 10-year road reconstruction project firmly in place, with citizen involvement so they have a good understanding and feel good about supporting its funding. I will get volunteer efforts organized, similar to the Neighbors in Action or Neighborhood Preservation efforts in the past, in order to enhance services at the least amount of cost.
(no response yet)
Why Are You Running?
Beyond what you have already said in response to questions above, what motivates you to run for office?
In short: I love American Fork and want to serve the city I love.
I have been involved in public service almost my whole life. So for me it feels natural to volunteer myself to serve in the city council. With my work with the PARC board, I have become more involved and interested in the things happening in the city. I also believe I have a different voice and perspective that will allow me to effectively collaborate with colleagues and engage more citizens. Also, the timing is right; my current family and life commitments allow me to dedicate the time and flexibility the city council requires.
When I was a newspaper reporter, I learned about varying viewpoints and had to remain neutral in presenting them to the residents. It would have been a conflict of interest for me to be involved. Now I have retired from that position, I am excited to use the knowledge and experience I have gained through the years to help my community.
(no response yet)
The next set of questions and answers for these candidates is about taxes, water rates, fees, and roads.
If you’re a candidate whose answers do not yet appear here, it’s not too late to send them. If you support a candidate whose information isn’t here, it’s a great chance to offer that candidate some help.
For candidate contact information, see American Fork City Council Candidates Contact Info. See also the City’s Voter Information Pamphlet for information about most candidates.
A sequence of similar posts involving mayoral candidates begins here.