On the surface, election issues raised by each Taylorsville mayoral candidate have a lot in common.
Both incumbent LaVelle Prince and challenger Janice Auger, a city councilwoman, say they are fiscal conservatives.They both advocate being tough on crime, providing good programs and facilities for youths, developing community pride, and involving local residents in the political process.
Both are committed family people, have long records of community service and advocate "responsive" government.
But the similarities pretty much end there, and Taylorsville residents should have a clear choice in the municipal election Nov. 4 about who they want to lead Salt Lake County's newest city into the 21st century.
Prince sees himself as a "straightforward," businesslike and take-charge kind of a leader with a proven track record of fiscal austerity coupled with a strong political influence that extends far beyond city boundaries.
Auger, on the other hand, sees herself as a hybrid of "people person" and veteran fiscal controller who can work effectively with groups and individuals while improving the city's already-solid financial position.
Those people skills, she said, would prove useful in helping relieve the ongoing tension that has been apparent between the city's administrative and legislative arms during the past two years.
But Prince believes most of the tension has resulted from months of confusion over how Taylorsville should be governed. And he maintains the tension will dissipate if the council will give him a fair chance to implement the council-mayor form of government put in place in August.
The public's perception of which leadership style is best and how responsive the candidates are to residents may prove more important in this year's election than usual.
In the primaries this month, voters throughout Utah dumped several mayors and council members who were perceived as being confrontational, arrogant or power-hungry.
Taylorsville's mayoral opponents also are asking voters to consider the managerial skills they can bring to the city's top administrative job.
Prince points to his two-year record as Taylorsville's chief executive officer, a 16-year career as a real-estate appraiser and years of service on the boards of community organizations.
Auger cites 25 years of experience as corporate controller for four national firms, five years as a public accountant and her membership on the boards of four multimillion-dollar companies.
Looking toward the future, Prince said he will work to make Taylorsville "a model of cost efficiency" by continuing to contract for most its services, preserving its cultural and historical uniqueness, and striving to improve quality of life through projects such as Jordan River Parkway development.
Auger said her long-term goals include "an overall plan for capital improvement. It's going to take a number of years to acquire land and develop city parks, the parkway, a recreation center and a senior citizen center and whatever," she said. "But we need to begin tying up that ground."