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DEVELOPER’S FUNDS DON’T WIN VOTES

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The city's mayor and its three newest council members received significant campaign contributions from a developer who is building a controversial 127-acre shopping center, but they say they will vote against the project.

"Who am I not to take it - but I wish now I hadn't because I have to vote against him," said Stan Price, who received $250 - 6 percent of his campaign donations - from Ron Raddon, owner of Raddon Brothers Construction and developer of the proposed Hidden Valley Shopping Center, which is being built in Draper on the Sandy city line."Just because somebody gives you money doesn't mean you vote their way," said Councilman Ken Prince. "That's the chance you take." In his election campaign last fall, Prince received $500 from the developer, about 11 percent of his total campaign contributions.

The shopping center, which would cover more acreage than any project of its kind in Utah, has pitted city against city.

Draper wants the services and tax revenue the project would bear, but many Sandy residents say it will harm their quality of life. The shopping center would rely heavily on traffic routed through a quiet Sandy residential district populated mostly by families with small children.

Judy Bell, who, like Prince and Price, was elected to the Sandy council in November, received $250 of her $4,833 in campaign contributions from Raddon, but said she, too, is against the development as it is proposed.

"There are still safety issues that have to be addressed, and until they are, yes, I go along with the Planning Commission's recommendation to turn it down."

The Sandy Planning Commission voted 4-1 last week to disapprove the project. Among their chief objections were that not enough of a buffer would separate the shopping center from homes and that the developer's insistence on accommodating the complex by putting an S-curve in a main thoroughfare would be dangerous.

The seven-member City Council, however, will ultimately decide whether it will cooperate with the proj-ect builder and city officials in Draper, who are staunchly behind it. It seems unlikely Sandy can block the project, which is already in progress, but supporters say the development would go more smoothly if Sandy cooperated.

Sandy Mayor Larry Smith has frequently stated his opposition to the project, though he received $500 of his $22,231 in 1989 campaign contributions from Raddon. Smith did not return a Wednesday telephone call from the Deseret News.

"As the city of Sandy, we don't have any right to tell another city what to do," said Prince. "But they're not doing it with safety in mind. . . . We would require any developer in our borders to do the same thing we're asking here, and out of courtesy and good planning I expect them to do it."

Neither Prince, Price nor Bell indicated any qualms about accepting money from development interests that might later be affected by their votes on the council. Each noted that the Raddon contributions are disclosed in reports filed with City Hall.

"It doesn't mean they're buying anything, it's to help the election process," said Bell in comments similar to those made by Price and Prince. "I don't believe it's a conflict of interest."

Each of the three council members said they want a compromise on the shopping-center spat.

Raddon has not returned telephone calls regarding Hidden Valley.