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SPANISH FORK CAMPAIGN STIRS FEW RIPPLES

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Voters will have to weigh the merits of either relative youth or experience when they choose among City Council candidates in the municipal election Nov. 5.

The current city administration includes three-term Councilmen T. Page Harrison and Rex Woodhouse, two-term council members Jerald Chapple and Thora Shaw and first-term Councilman Sheldon Gordon, in addition to first-term Mayor Marie Huff.Harrison's, Chapple's and Shaw's four-year terms expire in January, and all three originally met the Aug. 27 filing deadline. However, Harrison later withdrew, citing undisclosed health reasons. Hoping to replace Harrison and possibly unseat either Shaw or Chapple are Kim Peterson and Clyde Swenson.

One thing the four do agree on, though, is the lack of controversy and issues revolving around the election. In fact, because only five candidates filed for the posts, no primary was necessary.

"It's been a very quiet election so far," Chapple said. "I just hope that's because residents are happy with the way things are going rather than a sense of apathy."

Jerald Chapple, 42, works for the U.S. Postal Service. Chapple has served as a councilman since 1984.

He said that though the city is currently in a state of prosperity, officials must prepare for further growth. "So far, we're getting very steady but slow growth, but sooner or later Provo and Orem are going to run out of room. It's pretty likely that we'll be next for expansion."

He said the city must have adequate utilities, such as water and electricity, as well as services like police and fire protection to accommodate that potential growth.

The current council has been taking steps toward those preparations, such as the recent purchase of land for its water rights and the initial planning stages of a new public safety building to house the city's fire, police and ambulance service departments, Chapple said. "I'd like to be in office when a lot of these projects are completed."

Kim H. Peterson is a certified public accountant at Spanish Fork's Peterson, Ogden & Associates firm. Included in the work Peterson has done for the firm are audits of some of the city's budgets.

"I've been consulted with on compliance matters, such as the laws pertaining to bonding and the work required for federal grants," Peterson said. "So I have a lot of experience for the financial dealings of municipalities."

Peterson, 36, has also served in the Spanish Fork Area Chamber of Commerce, was the chairman of the Spanish Fork Beautification Committee and the city's Fiesta Days Celebration Committee.

He said his experience on the chamber of commerce and as a downtown businessman could also be helpful. "I know how a lot of these merchants feel, and I can voice their concerns when the council has to make a decision."

Thora Shaw has also served on the City Council since 1984. Shaw, 56, is an insurance broker.

Like Chapple, she said that since she has been involved so closely with several ongoing projects, "I'd like to be here when they come about. It would be very hard for a new council member to come into office with some of these projects, and both Jerald and I know about all the work that has gone into them."

One particular project Shaw said she is concerned about is the Bow Valley development. The city recently purchased 8,600 acres for water rights. "This development could help the city have water resources for the next 40 years and to handle further expansion and growth. It's very exciting."

Also, with the formation of the city's redevelopment agency, she said that citywide growth could be orderly and that Spanish Fork industrial park could be booming in the near future.

Clyde A. Swenson retired earlier this year as the city's financial director and city recorder. Swenson, 65, served as a city councilman from 1955-68, was a Nebo School Board member and was the chairman of the Council of Governments from 1977-78.

With Harrison's departure from office, Swenson said the city needs experience on the council. "I think I understand what government is supposed to do and how it works. The city has got to keep progressing to accommodate this growth, it can't just stay status quo."

As the city recorder, Swenson said he was involved in the city's budgeting process and with its accounting procedures, and has been involved in education, industry and business.

He said he has time available to devote himself fully to the office and has been closely involved in city dealings for a long time. "I've got a listening ear to contribute, so maybe people can tell me what the city can do to keep moving forward."