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In his 20 years working for Murray, city recorder Ludell Pierson has never observed such a quiet election year.

Ask the candidates why voters should cast their votes for them instead of their opponents, and you get a cordial answer, "I'm not running against my opponent. I'm running on my own record."It's been a polite campaign. There are no burning issues. Everyone agrees that taxes shouldn't be increased. Annexation should only be considered if it benefits Murray as a whole. Development of the city's few remaining open spaces should shun high-density housing, balancing commercial with residential.

Differences lie in personalities, leadership style and experience.


Mayor Lavar C. McMillan concedes his opponent, Lynn Pett, has a lot of charisma.

"Personality-wise, Pett's probably got me beat. He's very personable. But I'm concerned he will not be able to say `no' to some of the requests he will be asked. You have to be tough sometimes."

McMillan, 68, 6366 Westridge, credits his firm style of leadership for saving the city thousands of dollars - dollars that have been used to improve roads, build sidewalks and beautify the community with flower planters. He had the courage to reduce the number of city administrators and employees, he said.

In fact, it's because McMillan reduced his own staff that he doesn't have the time to campaign door-to-door like Pett, he says.

Recently retired Pett, 48, 209 E. Lindon Way, who served as the director of parks and recreation beginning at age 24, says he has had to tell many employees "no" over the years.

"The mayor is a fine man and gentleman. But he really doesn't communicate with his department heads. I will keep the employees and department heads more informed," Pett said.

On experience, the mayor believes the past four years have proven he can lead the city effectively, improving services without raising taxes. He'd like to keep his post to complete significant development projects.

Pett believes his long, productive record will carry the day. "As an employee, I saved the city more than $3 million by receiving grants to develop parks and the golf course," he said.

"I've put more improvements together for the city than any employee."

City Council, District 4

Describing himself as "without any allegiance to any special interests," incumbent council member Norman E. Nielsen, 60, 5870 Utahna Drive, says he has worked hard to improve the quality of life in Murray.

The council has improved services while keeping taxes the lowest in the county, he said.

Nielsen supported the purchase of a power transmission line from Craig, Colo., to Mona, Utah, to maintain low power rates. As a full-time employee for Salt Lake City School District, Nielsen said he has the experience as a maintenance contractor to understand city business. And his four years on the council have provided invaluable experience.

"You can't substitute volunteer experience with actual experience on the council," he said.

Challenger Arline Gillen, 58, 5665 S. 625 East, has received many honors for her volunteer service to her hometown of Murray. A past recipient of the Murray Chamber of Commerce's Community Service Award, Gillen says she offers a "strong voice in government" gained from wide experience.

"I'm running because I'm service-oriented. My experience has been in organizing and problem-solving. I have strong negotiation skills and the ability to communicate well."

Gillen is a staff instructor at the Utah Police Academy and has conducted seminars through the country, receiving multiple awards. Her efforts earned international attention for Murray when she organized a worldwide organization for police chief spouses.

Additionally, she has supported cultural development and currently serves on the Murray School District Foundation.

"I'm running on my own skills. I have the leadership ability to unite the City Council and lead Murray in the exciting 1990s," she said.

City Council, District 2

Retired police official Lynn H. Turner, 51, 555 W. 64th South, is running against attorney Justin F. Barney.

"Barney is a fine, young, aggressive man. But I have more experience to offer the city," says Turner. "I know the problems of the people. Barney is a transplant. I've dedicated my life to making Murray a better place to live."

Barney, 33, 6062 Mohican Circle, believes his three years experience on the Planning Commission qualify him to plan ahead for Murray's future.

"My top priority is to protect residential areas from commercial encroachment while preserving our strong tax base. I'm also recommending the City Council fund a master transportation plan. It's never been done."

Turner agrees with Barney. Planning for increased traffic needs to be done. But Turner feels he understands the transportation problems better than Barney because of his years with the police force.

Fighting drugs in schools and improving the safety of neighborhoods are other priorities for Turner.

As an attorney, Barney said he has learned the art of compromise - a critical skill for a council member.

"It's easy for me to see there are two sides to an issue. I'll be able to work with other council members to effectively work out problems."


(Additional information)

Municipal races

On Nov. 7, voters in more than 200 Utah cities and towns will choose leaders who will make decisions about sidewalks, street repaving, downtown improvements, curbs and gutters, police and fire protection and zoning.

In the two weeks preceding the election, the Deseret News is publishing stories on the candidates voters will see on the ballots and the issues they are facing.

In coming days you'll see the following stories:

Sunday: West Valley City.

Monday: Kaysville, Draper, Centerville(Davis edition), Spanish Fork (Utah Edition), Ogden (Utah Edition)