The eight candidates vying for three four-year terms on the City Council represent a variety of backgrounds and approaches to city government.
They include a sales manager, bank vice president, transportation director, physical facilities administrator, research assistant, floor-covering contractor and a refrigeration mechanic.The three incumbents hope to hold on to their seats: Kelvin C. Clayton, Lucile Steele and Norm Woodhouse. Five challengers hope to boot one of them out of office: Judy Bell, Wayne Burr, Steven L. Heinz, John Paulson and Paul V. Washburn.
Here's a look at each candidate for the four-year council seats:
- The City Council needs a member with a small-business perspective, says candidate Judy Bell.
Bell is sales manager for Bailey's Moving & Storage. Her ability to set goals, meet budgets and face competition would be put to good use on behalf of Orem, she says.
With the council's current composition, business is not truly represented, she says. And tax dollars and tax cuts are being used as incentives for retail businesses that compete unfairly with existing Orem merchants.
"Government subsidy should not be used against businesses that have paid their dues," Bell said. "RDA funds should be used to encourage unique types of businesses and industries to the area, rather than subsidizing merchants that will come anyway."
Bell thinks Orem needs a full-time mayor. "As the city grows we are going to need someone who is accessible to the people, elected by the people," she said. "When businesses come in they don't want to see the city manager. They want to see the mayor."
Bell is a director of the Provo/Orem Chamber of Commerce and president of the Pacesetters. She is a board member of the Orem Rotary, the Orem Technology Center and UVCC Turning Point. She lives at 1849 N. 400 East.
- Wayne Burr believes too many government rules and regulations "hinder the growth of a free people.
"Any time you want to build a shed or remodel you have to pay a fee and (give details) to the city on how it is to be built and what's going in it," Burr said.What made America great was little government and lots of individual freedom, Burr said.
"Now we have lots of government and little individual freedom," Burr said. "We need to start cutting back government."
Burr opposes the use of tax money to subsidize private companies, as Orem has done with RDAs.
"This is not fair to small businesses that struggle to buy their own land and build with no tax break," he said.
He believes that if the mayor's position is made full-time, the city manager's position should be discontinued. "We don't need two executive heads in the city," Burr said.
Burr is a refrigeration/air conditioning mechanic for US WEST. He lives at 142 S. 400 West.
- Kelvin C. Clayton, a proponent of strict tax accountability, is seeking his second term on the council. He believes "strong and experienced leadership is required to provide the most effective government possible."
Clayton believes economic growth and employment are the most immediate concerns to Orem residents.
"With approximately 53 percent of our residents below the age of 18, it will be our duty as a City Council to use this tremendous resource to attract good jobs to our city," Clayton said. "Orem must create new jobs in order to accommodate an increasing number of individuals seeking employment."
Clayton is committed to keeping taxes to the minimum necessary to conduct legitimate governmental functions. "There is a delicate balance between providing opportunity and preserving our lifestyle," he said.
Clayton thinks Orem ought to adopt a council-mayor form of government and make the mayor's position full-time. If the city's form of government is not changed, Clayton believes the mayor's position should remain part-time.
He is adamantly opposed to redevelopment areas as a development tool.
"I haven't felt comfortable with that exchange of taxpayers' dollars," Clayton said.
Clayton is the director of transportation for the Alpine School District. He lives at 853 E. 880 North.
- Steven L. Heinz believes courage, determination, persistence and foresight will be needed to lead Orem into the 21st century.
"I have the right stuff," he said.
This is Heinz's second bid for office. In 1989 he lost a close race - so close a morning newspaper listed him as the winner.
"I haven't changed my mind about my willingness to serve this great city of ours," Heinz said. "As for trying again, my dad taught me several important lessons (including) if you really believe in something don't ever give up."
Heinz, a financial consultant and business adviser, believes Orem's government needs a tune-up, not an overhaul.
"It seems to me that the current system adopted in 1982 has worked quite well," he said. "I don't believe that Orem needs a full-time mayor and a full-time city manager."
Heinz opposes "giving away huge tax increments and city-sponsored subsidies in order to persuade new businesses to locate in Orem."
"For heaven's sake, we are the No. 1 place to live in the nation," he said. "That alone should be persuasive enough. I just don't think it's fair to the existing businesses if we give new, bigger regional businesses an unfair monetary advantage."
Heinz lives at 230 W. 1600 South.
- John Paulson wants the taxpayers to get a fair shake from their elected representatives.
That's not happening now, he says.
"They're being railroaded, not being listened to," he said. Paulson wants to make city government more responsive to residents.
He favors less government, fewer taxes, a pay-as-you-go attitude and more individual responsibility. His administrative abilities would be a boon to the city, he says.
"We have to start being responsible for our own government and not blame it on someone else," Paulson said. "If we can get back to basics here, I think we'll be in good shape."
Paulson is opposed to using redevelopment areas to lure new, out-of-town businesses through special tax breaks and long-term tax reductions.
"I support local businesses who are working hard to pay their share of our taxes and who deserve the profits and business they generate," he said.
He does not believe Orem needs a full-time mayor as well as a full-time city manager.
"I'm in favor of electing a full-time mayor who is thereby answerable to the taxpayers," Paulson said. "A tax-conscious City Council with a responsible mayor can run the city government very well."
Paulson is an administrative supervisor in the physical plant at Brigham Young University. He lives at 1425 S. 100 West.
- When Lucile Steele ran for office four years ago she campaigned on the theme that "children are Orem's greatest resource." She still believes that, and wants a second term in office to do what she can to make Orem a great place for future generations.
"We need to emphasize business growth and economic development in order to provide opportunities for competent local jobs for our present citizens as well as today's children, who will be the work force of the future," Steele said.
At the same time Orem promotes economic development, it needs to provide adequate recreational and park facilities for residents, said Steele. Recreation programs, combined with esteem-building programs such as DARE, will help give Orem children a suitable direction in their lives.
Steele is also concerned about the lack of affordable, decent and safe housing in Orem, particularly for young couples and the elderly.
She is undecided on the issue of a full-time mayor. She wants to hear what the review committee appointed by the council comes up with before making up her mind on the matter, although she thinks residents should have the opportunity to vote on the issue. She believes Orem's form of government does not need to be changed.
Steele believes the city does not need additional redevelopment areas. "The last two RDAs brought to the council have not been accepted," she said. "We need to develop what we have before we go into any more of them.
Steele is a research assistant/office manager at Utah Valley Community College. She lives at 875 S. 800 West.
- Paul V. Washburn was elected to the council in 1985. He resigned from his position in 1989, when his employer transferred him to Montana.
Washburn moved back to Orem a year ago and wants to go to work again on behalf of the city. Two attributes make him worthy of voters' consideration, Washburn said.
"I do my homework better than anybody." And, "I'm willing to take a stand and make a commitment (on issues)."
In fact, Washburn is running partly because he's frustrated by what he perceives as indecisiveness on the part of current council members.
"I'm tired of the council not being able to make any decisions," he said. "The City Council needs to lead the community, not be a sounding board that listens and then says `OK.' "
Washburn believes controlling growth is a major issue facing the council. He is also concerned about the lack of rental units and low-cost housing in Orem. He believes the city could ease the situation by legalizing basement apartments, creating multiple housing zones and perhaps using redevelopment dollars to aid development of low cost housing.
Washburn favors RDAs but believes that, with the except of the Timpanogos Research Park where WordPerfect is located, Orem has made "abysmal use" of them. He'd like to see Orem use the development tool to create jobs via companies like WordPerfect or Geneva Steel, companies that bring money into the valley and provide living wages.
He favors a full-time mayor. "There physically isn't enough time for a mayor to accomplish what he or she needs to on a part-time basis," Washburn said. The mayor should be at the forefront of economic development efforts in the city, he said.
Washburn currently serves on the Planning Commission. He is a floor-covering contractor and lives at 880 E. 400 South.
- Norman K. "Woody" Woodhouse has served on the council since 1988. He has enjoyed his civic experience and says several issues face Orem that he'd like to help resolve during the next four years.
Among those issues: seeing that Orem's economic vitality spurs the city to grow in a planned fashion that provides quality employment opportunities and a solid tax base.
He is committed to promoting a safe, quality environment where families and individuals can enrich their quality of life. Two ways of ensuring that: expanding the library and providing additional recreational resources, such as the Lakeside Park.
Woodhouse believes Orem needs a full-time mayor but does not believe the city's form of government needs to be changed. He also believes the city needs to keep a full-time city manager.
"I think we need both in our form of government," he said. "They do different jobs."
He favors the use of redevelopment areas as a development catalyst.
"It's a necessary situation as long as it's handled correctly," Woodhouse said. "RDAs need to be used with prudence and good judgment.
Woodhouse is a vice president with First Security Bank. He lives at 746 E. 30 North.