If you’ve been waiting patiently, watching for American Fork election results to appear here, I apologize. Election Day was very nearly two weeks ago, and the results in American Fork weren’t close enough to worry that they might change as the last mail-in and provisional votes trickle in, until the official canvass. I was away on business that whole week, and very busy indeed, but I was home last week. I shouldn’t have needed all week to dig out, right?
Maybe it’s an age thing. Maybe it’s that the concept of Election Day, with its expected results, has become a fuzzy concept for me, with the advent of mail-in ballots and slower counts. In any case, here we are, with some results which are still unofficial, but final enough in our own races.
Tuesday, November 5, is Election Day. Of more practical importance, for American Fork, today (Monday, November 4) is the last day to mail your mail-in ballot. (Otherwise you’ll have to deliver it tomorrow, following instructions which came with your ballot.)
This post comes a little late, to be sure, but if you haven’t voted yet or made up your mind how to vote, perhaps my thoughts will help you to solidify your thoughts — whether you agree with me or not.
One of the items on American Fork voters’ ballots right now is the question of approving a general bond issue in an amount up to $8.5 million, to purchase land for a new fire station in the northeast quadrant of the city, to build that station, and to purchase land for a third fire station on the south side while land prices are still only very high, so we don’t have to buy land later, when we’re ready to build and the prices are truly ridiculous.
I’ve had my eye on this issue since before it was publicly announced, but I’ve spent my limited blogging and politics time on other things, including the city council race and a proposal that isn’t on the election ballot, to fund and build a citywide fiber optic utility.
The fiber proposal is understandably controversial, and it’s complex enough, with enough different interests and considerations needing to be balanced, that I’ve said publicly more than once that it’s “not a no-brainer.”
By contrast, the fire station bond is very nearly a no-brainer. I’ll summarize my thoughts about it here, point you to some other sources which are doing a nice job publicizing the matter, and finally, at the end, geek out a little on the ballot language for this proposal, which may be the most-read material on the subject but is hardly transparent.
The American Fork City Council continues to weigh the proposal to create a new utility to extend fiber optic connectivity to every residence and business in American Fork. I’ve spoken with members of the city council and others about it in the last couple of week, some briefly and some at greater length. Without presuming to speak in detail for any of them, I thought I might offer a more general update.
On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the American Fork Chamber of Commerce hosted a meet-the-candidates event for the American Fork City Council race. As usual, of late, it was in a meeting room at American Fork Hospital. This post presents audio recordings from that event — one question at a time, to be easily digestable — and adds some notes from another event a week later, on October 9, at the American Fork Library.
It is time again in our two-year cycle for city council elections. This time we have 5 candidates, 3 of which are incumbents, running for 3 seats. There are some important issues including fiber, roads, and PARC tax oversight.
UTOPIA Comes Calling
In the early weeks of 2019 the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) approached American Fork City officials with an invitation for American Fork to join UTOPIA. The City weighed the offer and declined — but that set some other things in motion.
City leaders began to assemble legal, financial, and technical experts with experience in similar projects around the United States and beyond. Essentially their question was, Is there something better we could do to position American Fork for the future?
I’ve been so busy with work that I almost forgot about last night’s hearing before the regular American Fork City Council meeting, about the possibility of bonding to build a citywide fiber optic utility. (LightHub Fiber is the name to remember.) Someone mentioned it the night before, or I’d have missed it.
I thought I should put in my two minutes’ worth, since that’s how much time each person is allotted. I was one of eight who spoke. Five were in favor of the proposed utility. Three were opposed, including a controversial Kaysville city councilman, Dave Adams, the only one who had to be reminded of the time limit.
I expected that other proponents would speak about the benefits, but I’ve said quite a bit about those already, so I decided to go in another direction. Perhaps it was an unusual direction. Kinda felt that way.
There are six American Fork City Council candidates in the 2019 election, running for three seats. Terms are four years.
Since there’s no need for a primary election to narrow the field to two candidates per available seat, we’ll have only the general election on Tuesday, November 5. So even though the filing period closed four weeks ago, we haven’t seen much election activity. Things will probably heat up around Labor Day, unless a certain new issue gets more traction with candidates before then.