Playing on a campaign slogan about cleaning house at the Salt Lake County Commission, commission candidate Randy Horiuchi stood among trash, dump trucks and a tractor Wednesday to illustrate the need for a cleanup program in unincorporated county areas.
David Marshall, administrative assistant for incumbent County Commissioner M. Tom Shimizu, countered later in the day by referring to a Public Works Department survey that indicates that while 71 percent of unincorporated county residents would like a bulky-waste cleanup at their homes, only 46 percent wanted a regularly scheduled event that would be billed to all property owners on the county's garbage collection system."It's difficult for unincorporated residents to see their neighbors in many incorporated cities have a program of cleanup," Horiuchi said, standing in front of a South Salt Lake residence where Mayor Jim Davis had arranged for two city dump trucks, a tractor and a half-dozen other workers to be on hand as a backdrop for the press conference.
Horiuchi, a Democrat, said he chose South Salt Lake as the site for his press conference because the mayor is a Democrat, not because the city has a cleanup program.
"It comes down to commission priorities whether there is a cleanup or not," Horiuchi continued. "Commissioners feel there is a priority to fund incredible compensation packages for upper-level managers."
He went on to attack the all-Republican commission's "large administrative staff" and $56 million county government center, which replaces the old county hospital on 2100 South and a number of other leased spaces county employees worked from before the consolidated complex was built.
Public Works Director Terry Holzworth later in the afternoon acknowledged he's likely one of the upper-level managers Horiuchi is referring to. He agreed his compensation package is "incredible," only with a different meaning.
"It's incredible. If we went somewhere else we could make some money," he said.
Following the press conference, some of the flavor of the race between Horiuchi and Tom Shimizu began to show.
Horiuchi said he has a goal of making his the most visible contest in the state, next to the 2nd Congressional District race involving Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah.
Horiuchi launched his campaign by playing on the candidates' Japanese names in a new car/used car theme that pits Shimizu as the used car. "Why settle for a used Shimizu? When you can have a new Horiuchi?" the layout reads.
With a full-size billboard now promoting his campaign along I-15, Horiuchi said his outdoor advertising will continue on the name recognition theme throughout the campaign while he dives into the meat of the county's government needs in an aggressive schedule of press conferences and debate attempts - attempts because he believes Shimizu plans to duck the debates.