Facebook Twitter



Controlling growth and minimum size requirements for subdivision lots are hot issues in Clinton this election. Other questions residents are discussing involve the city recreation program and whether improvements like new sidewalks are needed.

Still, none of these topics has generated enough controversy to split the city into opposing political camps. Three City Council members are running unopposed for additional four-year terms. Only one race, for the one-year council term, has opponents squaring off.

2-year term

Jim Cox, 48, an architect at Weber State University, is the incumbent in the one contested race.

"We are currently involved in the City Council with reviewing our master plan, as to how it applies to (housing) density and its impact," Cox said. "We are trying to have a re-look at making sure that we have a good mix in the city of both high-density and low-density housing."

Cox believes Clinton has a good recreation program. "But I think we also need to use our parks for some of the more family-oriented activities, such as boweries for picnics, and children's playgrounds."

A veteran of eight years on the Clinton Planning Commission, Cox has been a member of the City Council since April, when he was appointed to fill the term of a council member who moved out of town.

Merlin Mitchell, 42, a mechanical engineer for TRW at Hill Air Force Base, is vying for Cox's council seat. Mitchell thinks Clinton's biggest issue is growth.

"It's not that we have a problem," he said, "It's just that our growth is just explosive. I believe that it should be managed so that it becomes a benefit to the community in the long term."

Clinton is a rural town, but it has many subdivisions or phases of subdivisions. Children of many new families could find themselves walking to school without a sidewalk, he said.

He would like to encourage more businesses to come to Clinton, "and I stand up for sidewalks for schoolchildren."

Mitchell added, "There are those who would like to overhaul our recreation program, and I'm very opposed to that.

"I'm very in favor of supporting our recreation program and making sure we have economical opportunities for the youth to develop within the city recreation program."

4-year terms (unopposed)

Running without opposition are Richard G. Lee, 47, a computer management analyst at Hill Air Force Base; Arverd Taylor, 40, a civil engineer with the Salt Lake firm of Eckhoff, Watson and Preator Engineering; and Dennis S. Simonsen, 56, a retired electronics supervisor at Hill Air Force Base.

"The big thing that seems to be brewing right now is the development, how fast it's going," said Lee, who also filled the council position when a previous member moved away.

"Some people want the acre to half-acre lot, as opposed to the small lots with small homes . . . I would just as soon not go so fast" with too many new housing units.

Lee favors a minimum lot size of 9,000 square feet, rather than the size of 7,000 square feet that has been discussed.

He would like to see Clinton build a gym for basketball and other recreation, particularly mentioning aerobics and karate classes for youngsters.

Taylor, who has served on the Council for eight terms, said he wants to see that Clinton is "a place where people want to live in a good, safe lifestyle." He also hopes the community can keep up with community needs within the existing funding framework.

"One of the biggest controversies is trying to satisfy the large landowners (and) the existing residents, and trying to do what's best for both," he said.

The way Taylor sees it, developers are buying up land from long-established farmers in the search for the maximum profit.

That push to develop has caused conflict with present residents, he said.

"The farmer has the right to do stuff with his own ground, yet we owe it to the existing residents to look out for their needs too." Council members need to "find that happy medium."

Simonsen agreed that controlling growth and planning for growth are important issues in Clinton. Many people don't like small lots in subdivisions, "especially in the west side of our city," he said.

As he finishes his fourth four-year term on the Council, he recalls that he has been involved in just about every city organization, especially the city's recreation programs. He was Clinton's first Little League Baseball president, about 25 years ago, he said.

Simonsen also served 281/2 years in the Marine Corps Reserve before retiring, and has been on the board of directors of the North Davis Sewer District.

He supports the city recreation program. "We have the best recreation program in the state," he said.