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We are neighbors, not enemies. Our Leaders are usually good people, who I sometimes disagree with. I will seek common ground in the political arena.
Our dominant parties often do not serve to unite us. I pledge to be a balancer and a Uniter.
For example, my opponent on the Council, Aimee Winder Newton, courageously cast the deciding vote regarding a County mask mandate. She stood against her party for the sake of community health. The tragedy was that partisan politics made this a difficult decision for her and she was verbally attacked by many of our neighbors.
The Salt Lake County government provides many services which enrich our lives and strengthen our community. I support all of the services now being provided. The challenge of our county government is to provide those services to the maximum value and to champion the free markets to provide everything else. We need to make sure that our government does not interfere with market interests except to protect our us when the market oversteps or blunders.
Taxes are terrible, but they are also indispensable to provide the services we ask for. I pledge to use my budgeting skills to make sure that your hard-earned taxes are spent wisely. I will be as reluctant to raise taxes as I would be if every dollar were coming from my own pocket. Neither will I vote to lower taxes without first identifying the results of cuts that might be made. I have at times felt that state tax cuts have been made for political gain, sometimes at the expense of the County and its citizens.
The Great Salt Lake is dying and so is my back lawn. We all have a stewardship to care for the soil, water and air that sustain us. I am not 100% sure that global warming is real, but I suspect it may be. We must seek out solutions which enrich our economy rather than damage it. To assume our strong economy must be sacrificed to promote our environment creates a false choice. Our state and local governments have been painfully slow to respond to the stewardship we carry. Our air still sickens me and thousands of others every winter and summer. I am still planting trees and using water to keep them growing, even as much of my lawn is brown. For county policy, I would consider lawn buybacks as a way for our city to do our part in conserving water.
Growth and Jobs
I yearn for enough quality jobs to allow my children and grandchildren the opportunity to stay here in Utah to live and work if they desire. Today our economy is strong enough to do this. I am wholeheartedly against bribing companies with our tax dollars to bring more jobs at the same moment that our water, air, housing and open space are in crisis. I do not support the continuation of the Inland Port for this reason.
Urban Sprawl and Housing
I am committed to protecting every neighborhood in Salt Lake County and I will fight for your property rights. I believe in consistent zoning that serves us all. And I am committed to improving the east-west corridors that block our commerce and our lives. At the same time, we need to encourage walkable neighborhoods, reduced commuting, and multi-use neighborhoods that can enrich us all. When I served on my city's Masterplan Committee, I saw firsthand how our government often restricts the housing market from regulating itself to provide the housing we really need and want. Onerous restrictions on lot size, footprint, etc. have hurt our water supplies, our transportation, and our open lands, all in the foolish battle to out-glamour Sandy and Draper (I love our fellow-citizens in Sandy and Draper). Every community in the county should seek a balance of housing stock to serve all of its citizens. I am interested in every form of housing for every community, and in blending housing with employment and commerce. Wise planning and market forces can help us reduce the urban sprawl which now damage our community.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety
Our neighborhoods thrive only to the degree that we are safe and secure. I wholeheartedly support the role that law enforcement and public safety provide to make our real freedom possible. I worked with many police officers in the Utah Department of Public Safety and I consider many of them friends. They serve us and we must support them. I was a regular volunteer at the State Prison for a number of years, and I admire the role that corrections staff play. I also have great concern for the merging area between corrections and mental health, and between homelessness and public safety.
Mental Health and Public Welfare
Our mental health services are critical to our community and they are a part of our humanity. We must simultaneously use these services in smarter ways while we recognize our financial limitations. This is an area that must be expanded over time, lest tragedies and violence become more commonplace than they already are. The least of our neighbors are still our brothers and sisters.
Managing, Enjoying and Preserving the Canyons
I cannot support a gondola in Little Cottonwood at taxpayer expense. I ride the ski bus and I am eager to see enhanced bus use and snowsheds and other mechanisms to enhance our use of the canyons. The Oquirrhs are an untapped treasure that we must both manage, develop, and respect. These wild areas are our treasures, right in our backyard. The gondolas of the Alps are so romantic, however, until the ski resorts are willing to foot the bill I will cherish our mountains as they are.
Republican VS Democrat Influence on the Council
My goal is to be a balancer rather than a rival. I want to encourage communication and compromise; to bring both sides toward the moderate middle. I know that both sides have felt abused when in the minority. And both sides have been justified in feeling that way.
An Ecology of Community Systems That Needs to Stay in Balance
Our Salt Lake County Government interacts with many other partners, including the State, each City, School Districts, Water Districts, churches, volunteer groups, every single business, etc. We each have a responsibility to each other and we each support and balance each other. I personally support increased emphasis on education. I support water districts which promote conservation thru market means. Occasionally, the County must be a counterbalance to the State. Problems that can be solved closer to home should be dealt with here. I make it a matter of policy to often shop at locally-owned stores. This ecology of local social systems is as fragile as our natural ecosystems.
Our Democratic Republic
I support our election system and will defend it barring clear evidence of fraud unseen in my lifetime The recent erosion of trust in our electoral system is a threat to our democratic republic. Salt Lake County's system has been a blessing to our freedoms. I refuse to argue whether we have a republic or a democracy. We have (and must have) elements of both. Neither a mob nor an entrenched autocrat for me. We need a good blend of legislative support and citizen initiatives, whether at the city, county, or state level. I support the federal and state constitutions with all my heart and desire to see them improved as possible.
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