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S. Jordan hopefuls look to past, future

Candidates for South Jordan City Council could double as stretch toys with one hand reaching to the future - the other firmly grasped to the city's rural past.

For decades, South Jordan survived as a bedroom community.A handful of folks farmed the lands, while most of the remaining residents traveled outside South Jordan for work or owned businesses designed to support the local economy.

Now the city of 27,000 has been discovered. Acres of sugar-beet farms and alfalfa have evolved into full-service subdivisions.

Services are needed to sustain new residents, and city leaders have the task of developing a tax base while preserving the small-town atmosphere demanded by residents.

Two new council members will play pivotal roles in ushering South Jordan into the next century.

Incumbents Doug Carlile and Kent Money won't seek re-election on the Nov. 4 vote.

Gary Chandler, Donald W. "Skip" Criner, Bradley G. Marlor and Yvonne Arnett Penning are vying for their seats.

(Information on mayoral candidates Dix McMullin and Roy Harward was published Oct. 23. More will be printed Sunday.)

Here's a brief look at the council candidates:


Gary Chandler

Address: 2542 W. Singletree Lane

Age: 48

Occupation: Private business consultant, certified public accountant.

Experience: No government experience but more than 20 years in the business community.

What can you bring to city government? I bring a lot of management experience. We need that experience to bring in economic development to make the city work better.

Dealing with growth: Growth itself is not the issue people are concerned about. We need to balance growth with economic development to increase the tax base. We need to work harder to bring in business.

What the city needs: More money in retail sales. We can't remain a bedroom community; we need to do a better job at attracting businesses along Redwood Road. The majority of people here want a rural/family atmosphere. We should maintain current residential zoning ordinances of one-third acre lots with open spaces and parks.

Donald W. "Skip" Criner

Address: 10022 S. 2700 West

Age: 50

Occupation: Housing inspector for Salt Lake City.

Experience: Building official and inspector for Midvale.

What can you bring to city government? I think my experience as a staff person for a municipality gives me an understanding of how things work. I know city government, and I have the insight to be an asset in working with South Jordan's city staff.

Dealing with growth: We're in a unique situation: One-third of our city is developed, but two-thirds is not. It's not a question of whether we will grow, but whether we will have planned growth. We need to stick to the master plan, That should never change unless it's really needed.

What the city needs: We need to court retail businesses to gain a tax base. We've got to do a better job of attracting business. They're are only option to residential taxes. I'd like to see half of the city's income coming from retail taxes.

Bradley G. Marlor

Address: 2360 W. Burley Circle

Age: 39

Occupation: Owner, Utah Business Consultants.

Experience: South Jordan Planning Commission member, South Jordan economic development committee member and charter board member of South Jordan's Chamber of Commerce.

What can you bring to city government? I bring two years of very concentrated (municipal) experience and an understanding of what our city needs. Also, I've been to every city planning commission meeting, I'm there where I'm needed. I plan to be just as dedicated in other civic responsibilities.

Dealing with growth: You can't stop some parts of growth; some is inevitable, but there needs to be an equilibrium. What you can do is structure growth. We've had a huge amount of residential growth but not the same amount of business growth, so we don't have an economic base to keep up with growth. We need economic development so our property taxes don't skyrocket.

What the city needs: Economic development to offset property taxes. We're going to see a softening of residential growth. I'm afraid we've been living off impact fees from residential development, and now that seems to be shrinking. We'll have no money to handle (improvement) projects unless we find other sources of income outside of South Jordan residents.

Yvonne Arnett Penning

Address: 11273 S. Trent Drive

Age: 59

Occupation: Retail sales

Experience: Years of volunteer work, including a stint on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Foundation.

What can you bring to city government? I can work with the community to preserve our cultural heritage. I'd love to work with a volunteer group to help preserve areas that have to be protected. If not, those areas could be lost.

Dealing with growth: We need to work closely with our zoning commission so we don't become like other cities in the south part of the valley. South Jordan needs to stay a nice, pleasant place to live, so growth needs to be limited. Commercial growth needs to be closely controlled. We need to preserve our historical buildings.

What the city needs: A group working closely with the city that is open to ideas. We need to have some sort of historical square to place historical buildings that need to be torn down. We can use that historical square for Christmas feasts and other festivals. It would be a shame if we lost a part of South Jordan's history.