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. Continue reading
Here’s a link to audio of a few questions and candidate responses at last Wednesday evening’s meet-the-candidate event at American Fork Library: These questions were submitted by residents attending the event.
How can American Fork protect its interests in American Fork Canyon? (Order: Simpson – Barnes – Shelton – Frost.)
What do you think about Proposition 1? (Order: Barnes – Shelton – Frost – Simpson.)
Why are water rates so high? Is there something the City can do to reduce them? (Order: Shelton – Frost – Simpson – Barnes)
Each candidate had one minute for each response. Note the response order above with each question, because candidates aren’t named before every response.
Councilman Rob Shelton after the October 21, 2015, meet-the-candidates event at American Fork High School.
Allen Simpson said, about the canyon, talk to the county commissioners, then talk to Councilman Frost. He talked about UTA’s large debt load and bad fiscal management. He thinks the whole point of Prop 1 is to get money for UTA. He likes the way UDOT handles the roads, though. He will vote no on Prop 1. He claimed that water rates are outdated, that there’s a million-dollar surplus, and the City chosen to make the rates keep rising “when they don’t need to.” (This got applause from Councilman Carlton Bowen in the audience, which was out of order.)
[Again, this seems like a good time to point out that I’m reporting and summarizing what they said here, not asserting that it is true.]
Kevin Barnes said that when the canyon discussions started, we didn’t have a seat at the table, even though the canyon bears our name. Now we’re involved, and “the whole city needs to thank Brad for that.” Roads are the good part of Prop 1; it bothers him that UTA gets 40% of the revenues from the proposed sales tax increment. The more he learns, the more he leans against Prop 1. He would like the legislature to rewrite the law so UTA gets less. The water system should have been done a long time ago, but wasn’t, so we have to do it now. We still have to manage funds carefully, but “it’s not always as easy as some people make it seem.”
Rob Shelton praised Councilman Frost for shouldering the burden of the canyon. We cooperated with other cities. As to Prop 1, a lot of legislators in Salt Lake County wanted to make sure Utah County was committed to UTA. He would like two separate bills, one for roads and one for UTA. Sometimes we don’t get much back from these statewide sales tax initiatives; he’s like a more local solution. In part, water rates are so high because the impact fees it was hoped would pay for the pressurized irrigation system dries up when the economy declined. He talked about some very old culinary water pipes being replaced recently; “we got our money’s worth from that pipe.”
Brad Frost said we’ve put a lot of time into the canyon development questions. The county has jurisdiction over development. “We used a small hammer . . . Finally we had to use a sledgehammer” to prevent land trades negotiated by Salt Lake County. The city council voted down a resolution the county wanted, supporting Prop 1. He’s not satisfied that UTA will do anything with the money to help American Fork. He’s voting no on Prop 1. As to water rates, he talked about some unexpected (but necessary) investments in infrastructure and the cost of pressurized irrigation.
In my one-on-one interviews I asked members of the American Fork City Council what concerns they hear from residents. Interviews take different directions, but I also asked most of them, “If your term ended tomorrow, what have you done or accomplished of which you’re proudest?” In some cases, they disclaimed any personal credit and described […]
David, thank you for another stellar round of posts. I really appreciate and enjoy your reporting and insights. Looking forward…
I like Mike! A good man, doing good things and if it ain’t boke, don’t change the Sheriff. He has…
You're welcome! Glad it helped.
Thank you for posting the audio in easy, well-organized formats for me to catch up on and educate myself about…
You're welcome! Thanks for your kind words and for adding your own view.