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CANDIDATES FOR CACHE COUNCIL FOCUS ON GROWTH, COOPERATION

SHARE CANDIDATES FOR CACHE COUNCIL FOCUS ON GROWTH, COOPERATION

Two key words keep cropping up as candidates for Cache County Council explain their views on local issues: "growth" and "cooperation."

Six candidates, including two incumbents, are running for four four-year positions on the council. Their repeated concern is that Cache Valley is growing and the county must plan to meet that growth. They also believe that local governments should work together on such plans.In Cache County Council Logan District No. 1, Republican Jerry L. Allen, manager of KUSU-FM, and Democrat Mike Arnold, Logan branch manager of a national investment firm, are vying for the seat vacated by Republican Randall Weston, who decided not to seek re-election.

Allen, 59, 469 N. 400 East, Logan, believes the biggest issue of the election is long-range planning for growth. Goals - especially in making small decisions - are necessary to spend money more efficiently, the Utah State University broadcasting professor said, "Or else we're continually putting out fires and wondering where our money went."

Allen, who has lived in Cache Valley all his life and never run for political office, said he supports Cache 2010, a planning project that looks at Cache Valley's growth by 2010 and contains recommendations for how to accommodate that growth in areas like roads, economics, education and the environment. "But," Allen said, "to me that's just midrange planning. That's 18 years. It takes almost that long to get things done these days." Another planning project that looks 20 to 30 years ahead should be established as 2010 is completed, he said.

As part of that long-range planning, Allen said, it's a must that county and local city governments work together. "We've got a great valley here, and the only way it can be kept that way is through cooperation and great planning." As manager of a radio station, Allen says, he's had a lot of experience working with tight budgets and making tough decisions.

Democratic candidate Mike Arnold, 34, 1145 E. 50 South, Logan, is the branch manager of the Logan office of Edward D. Jones. He has been the state chairman for the Securities Industry Task Force since 1985 and has been both the president of the United Way of Cache Valley and a member of the Logan Transit Board for the past three years.

Arnold's first concern is economic development and implementing plans to take care of growth in housing and transportation. He says implementation of the Cache 2010 project "is critical."

"If they don't follow through, it's all for naught," he said.

He suggests the county, Logan City and the other local governments throughout the valley meet to study growth options, identify common goals, and work together, he said. Another "submatter" of growth he is concerned about is the new $3 million county jail. Arnold wants the state to pay for housing prisoners there. "We've got to really find a way of billing the state - we get prisoners dumped on us and we don't get recompense."

Arnold also wants "to hold the line" on taxes. "I've worked with finances and money all my career. I bring that to the table plus a real concern for individuals through working with United Way and the Logan Transit District."

In Cache County Council South District, Republican Guy Ray Pulsipher, a retired Cache County School District administrator, and Democrat Chuck W. Gay, administrator at USU's College of Natural Resources, are running for the seat currently held by Republican Bette Kotter, who is not seeking re-election.

Pulsipher, 62, 11271 S. 800 East, Avon, is a dairyman and retired lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. Formerly a chairman of the Cache County Planning Commission for six years and a commissioner for two years, Pulsipher is concerned about the effect growth will have on roads in the valley.

"We need to prepare the roads to take care of the traffic. The influx of traffic in all areas of the county needs to be addressed," he said. He specifically wants to see the 13-mile stretch of highway that heads south through Avon from Cache County to Weber County, which is impassable in the winter, improved. Road improvement should be a joint effort between local governments and the county, Pulsipher said.

The key point in his campaign is people. "I think the biggest thing is to be able to interchange with people. I want to represent the people of Cache County, especially the south district," Pulsipher said. "If you can discuss things with people and then make a decision (based on experience), that's what I want to do. I want to make myself accessible to people." Pulsipher said he also wants to protect Cache Valley's water rights.

Pulsipher's opponent, Democrat Chuck Gay, 52, 2420 Cobble Terrace, Mendon, has 30 years' experience in helping people in the United States and other countries manage natural resources. He has been Democratic Party chairman since 1990 and has served as chair of the joint committee for the Mendon Ward Boy Scouts of America, and also has a background in family business.

"What I'm concerned about is we have to have growth, because we have to provide jobs for our children," Gay said. "We need to make our decisions based on the impact those decisions are going to have 15-20 years down the road, so the decisions we're making now don't diminish the quality of their life in the future." Gay applauds Cache 2010. The project is a "good first step which creates a model to reach out in further jumps," he said.

Small towns are at great risk in the future because they haven't had any long-range planning to consider growth issues like higher demand for utility services, planning for easements, and putting safety into development planning - like guarding against a 100-year flood. Gay said roads, pollution, and the county landfill which will soon reach capacity, are the "hard questions that are going to have to be answered." Although he has his own ideas for solutions, Gay said he wants to hear what the people he represents have to say, and then work out a compromise if their opinions differ. "I think I have some expertise so I want to offer that to the people of this county," he said.

Incumbents Republican Darrel Lee Gibbons and Republican Sara Ann Skanchy are seeking re-election unopposed in Cache County Council North District, and Cache County Council Logan District No. 2, respectively.

Gibbons, 48, 840 S. 1600 West, Lewiston, was born and raised in Cache Valley and is employed as a dairy farmer. He says growth is putting an increasing demand on the budget (the tax base is not expanding), so he is encouraging development of industry. Among other things, Gibbons is concerned about water. Gov. Norm Bangerter has said he's looking at Cache County water for the Wasatch Front, Gibbons said. Although that water belongs to all the citizens of the state, "Yet I think we need to be a player in that so our needs are recognized and acknowledged and we have input in that."

Skanchy, 64, has served eight years on the Logan Municipal Council and six years on the Cache County Council and is currently council chairman. She too is concerned about growth and cooperation among local governments but says paying off the 10-year $1.2 million bond for the jail is "top priority." She is also concerned about solid waste management planning.