This is a city in between - between I-15 and a possible West Davis Highway, between a rural past and developed future, between a cramped, run-down city hall and a gleaming new combined city hall and civic center (which so far is still a gleam in the eye of city officials).
Eight candidates are campaigning for three open City Council seats, with only one incumbent, Ruth Steele, running for re-election. Six candidates will advance to the final November ballot after the primary election Oct. 3.Jill Breinholt is a 42-year-old homemaker and Weber State University psychology student who has held leadership positions in the LDS Church and the local PTA. She has lived in West Bountiful 20 years.
"Traffic projections say our traffic here will quadruple over the next 15 years, so we need to control it," Breinholt said. Having had experience on the city transportation committee, she speaks of directing this traffic into arteries such as 800 or 1100 West and 500 South and the importance of improving and maintaining the city's roads generally.
Breinholt wants to become involved in such issues as city beautification and the new city hall.
Helen Duggar, 47, is a property tax appraiser with the Utah State Tax Commission. She has no experience in city government but says she has had ample opportunity to observe city officials in the course of her work with county assessors. She has been president of the International Association of Assessing Officers and is a board member of the Utah Association of Appraisers.
"I don't really have an agenda," she said. "I haven't been really involved with the city."
Nevertheless, Duggar points to zoning of different areas as a "critical thing" in controlling development, and wants to keep home lots relatively large.
"I don't want to keep the city small, but as you watch it grow you still want to control it," she said. "We need to monitor how it will affect our way of living."
Wade George, 35, has worked for the past 20 years as an excavation contractor. He is on the city Planning and Zoning Commission and spent several years on the golf board. He has also been involved in other municipal projects.
George says he has the expertise to manage the growth coming to West Bountiful. In addition, he says the recent Gateway shopping center development has provided the city with a financial window of opportunity that he wants to take advantage of with road and drain overhauls (West Bountiful has an inordinately high water table) and other infrastructure improvements.
George says the current plans for the new city hall may be a little too much.
"They have the right idea, but I don't know that we need anything quite that elaborate," he said. "I like the showpiece idea, but I'm a little bit concerned with the money they're throwing at it."
Don Larson, 42, is community development specialist for Utah State University Extension Services. He was local district chairman for the Democratic Party and has been involved in organizing West Bountiful's Independence Day celebration.
"I don't have a particular issue that I'm running on, but there are issues I'm concerned about," he said. "I don't have an ax to grind."
Some of the issues Larson is concerned about are increased traffic and crime from growth and a possible West Davis Highway. He is not against the highway, but wants to be "proactive" in meeting the challenges it presents. With regard to the increased crime he says it would bring, for example, he wants to increase street lighting and neighborhood watches and provide more wholesome youth activities such as sports and Scouting.
Donald Lilyquist, 44, is a legal assistant with VanCott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy, a large Salt Lake law firm. He is principally concerned with the West Davis Highway and commercial and residential development.
Lilyquist says he isn't for or against the West Davis Highway, but if it is built he does not want any off-ramps in the West Bountiful area in order to maintain the city's rural atmosphere and keep traffic down.
"I know we need to do something about I-15, but (the West Davis Highway) concerns me," he said.
Regarding development, Lilyquist wants to restrict residential lots to 1/4-acre and keep larger horse properties within the city. He favors commercial development in the area east of I-15, where the Gateway shopping complex is located, as long as the new businesses remain separate from residential areas. He opposes any more heavy industry moving into the city.
Val Petersen, 40, is a financial controller and accountant with the Crossroads Plaza. He has no government experience but emphasizes his financial expertise. With sales taxes and general growth rising rapidly, Petersen maintains that the City Council needs someone who can understand what's going on in the city financially.
"I want to make sure future projections are not overstated," he said. "I don't think our revenue will maintain its present growth rate. I don't want us to go too far in debt with bonding."
Petersen agrees with current city officials that a new city hall is needed but doesn't want something as elaborate as, for example, the new Sandy city offices.
"There's a Taj Mahal-type appearance out there," he said.
Ruth Steele, 47, is a homemaker and part-time bookkeeper with Great Basin Electric in North Salt Lake. She is seeking re-election because she feels West Bountiful is still in the middle of a number of projects she wants to see completed.
Steele said she approves of the way the new city hall is progressing. The council is being deliberate, she maintains, and plans are for about the right-size building. Any smaller and the new building would be inadequate to accommodate anticipated growth.
A member of the master plan committee, Steele is concerned about West Bountiful streets becoming habitual alternative commuter routes to Salt Lake. Never-theless, she is hesitant about a possible West Davis Highway.
"I'm really torn," she said. "A lot more investigation needs to be done. We're so close to the lake here it would cut very close to our city."
Lee Winegar, 45, is a director of Winegar's Shopping Centers, a custodian for the LDS Church and has numerous other occupational irons in the fire. When asked how many hours a week he works he replied, "too many."
Winegar is concerned about economic development and the West Davis Highway. He doesn't necessarily oppose the highway, he said, but wants to explore alternatives or at least ways of minimizing the highway's impact on West Bountiful.
"With that (highway) we won't be a city, really, just (something) there between two freeways," he said.
Winegar wants more animal-control ordinances to smooth the interaction of horse property with modern residential subdivisions, such as horse lanes along the main roads in West Bountiful, and advocates getting more citizens on the Weber Basin secondary water system.