clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

10 run for Taylorsville Council

All City Council seats are up for grabs here next week when voters in Salt Lake County's newest city troop to the polls to select a mayor and five council members.

All five council incumbents and Mayor LaVelle Prince are seeking re-election, but only four council members want their original seats back. The fifth council member, Janice Auger, is running against Prince in the mayoral race instead.The election traffic jam resulted because all council members ran for two-year terms when the city was incorporated in 1995.

To ensure future terms of office in Taylorsville are staggered in compliance with state law, two council members and the mayor will be elected to four-year terms while three council members will be seated for two-year terms.

That opens the door for six political newcomers, some of who ran for the council two years ago and are taking another shot at municipal office.

(Information on mayoral candidates Janice Auger and LaVelle Prince was published Oct. 19. More will be printed Sunday.)

Here are short profiles of the 10 council candidates and a brief synopsis of some of their campaign issues:

4-YEAR TERMS

(Two elected)

L. Keith Sorenson

Address: 1332 Duehl Circle

Age: 56

Occupation: Architect and business owner

Experience: Incumbent with two years on the City Council. He served 3 1/2 years on the Taylorsville-Bennion Community Council, 3 years on the Kearns Recreation Center Advisory Board, secretary for the South Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement District, and served on both West Valley City's Board of Adjustments and Planning Commission, chairing the commission for a year.

Key issues: "One of my top priorities is the creation of open space. We've been a city for more than a year, and we still haven't nailed down some open space for the city. We need to pursue that diligently. We really need to focus on looking out for our kids . . . and the best way to do that is strong support of families through city programs. Contracting for municipal services is a great idea, and you get the best quality for the price paid."

Challenges: "The most obvious ones are traffic and vehicle circulation. I'm convinced we're really going to need to step up law enforcement and, if people aren't willing to be nice to each other and obey the law, our law enforcement will see they pay a price - and I'm talking about money. We also need to hold the line on quality of life issues like sidewalks, street lights, neighborhood watch groups. We need to promote community involvement."

Best quote: "In the two years, I've attended every city council meeting. I think that's vital when your neighbors want you to represent them. I've tried to represent the greater good for the most people . . . and I've tried to apply common sense to government. I think it's something that's lacking."

Jim Dunnigan

Address: 3070 Eugene Hill Way

Age: 44

Occupation: Self-employed insurance executive

Experience: Incumbent with two years on the City Council. Also served five years on the Taylorsville-Bennion Community Council, and was the last chairman of the council before Taylorsville incorporated. Prior to that, he was the community council's vice chairman for a year.

Key issues: "My main focus is maintaining and enhancing the quality of life we enjoy in Taylorsville. One way to do that is to control the size of our government, and to be frugal and wise with our tax dollars. That will leave the money we need for crime prevention, improving sidewalks and providing street lighting, developing parks and preserving open space."

Challenges: "If we allow our government spending to increase and control us, then we no longer have the option of using our money to improve the quality of life. I'm very concerned that we take a prudent financial approach to the future of our city government. It's too easy to get swept away with grandiose plans and get caught up in the idea of `bigger and better.' "

Best quote: Our residents want simple and efficient government. I'm absolutely opposed to any tax increase, and I don't think they will be necessary if we are wise" in using both fiscal and physical resources. He also said he's enjoyed his first two years on the council "developing the city" and added he has work that he "would like to finish."

Kathleen M. Charon

Address: 1451 W. 6020 South

Age: 32

Occupation: Registered nurse

Experience: This is her first bid for public office.

Key issues: "The main issues are controlling growth, developing more parks and generally making Taylorsville a `Beaver Cleaver place' to live. Also, if I become an elected official, it will be my job to find out what the citizens want and facilitate the community process. And we also need to improve communication" between the city and its residents.

Challenges: "Forty percent of the people in Taylorsville are 26 years of age or younger. I don't think the younger age group is represented on the council, and I think I can provide a link to that group. Also, I would like to see the city have a Web site with minutes and agendas on there. That way, I think people will find it easier to be a part of their government. And if it's necessary, I'm willing to start my own Web site."

Best quote: "One of my main reasons for running is the need to realign 13th West and put a major road through that neighborhood. When I first called the city about this issue, I was told there was nothing I can do. Basically that frustrates me."

Charles C. Waldo

Address: Withheld for security reasons

Age: 44

Occupation: Law enforcement, corrections

Experience: Ran for a City Council post in 1995, and ran for Justice of the Peace in 1986.

Key issues: "I think the council has lost touch with the people. The public relations between council members and residents has not been good because residents feel like they are being ignored. I would use my 25 years of public relations training and experience from my law enforcement work to improve the lines of com-munication."

Challenges: "We need to refurbish our present parks and look for other areas where parks can be established. We don't have that much property in Taylorsville, and land is at a premium. Also, we need to avoid pet projects that are bound to fail and could jeopardize the financial well being of the city. The old Murray dump is a case in point. Obviously, there is methane gas there . . . and we're spending a lot of money to decide whether the city should buy it. I think it's an accident that's waiting to happen."

Best quote: "One of the biggest problems in Taylorsville is that the council doesn't like the present mayor. I don't think Mayor Prince has done that bad of a job. It seems like the biggest thing he has to do is defend himself against the council."

2-YEAR TERMS

(Three elected)

Bruce L. Wasden

Address: 1922 Mt. Vista Drive

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired teacher and education administrator

Experience: Incumbent with two years on the City Council, serving as its chairman since August. He served for eight years on the Taylorsville-Bennion Community Council, including seven years as its chair-man. A member of Valley West Chamber of Commerce, he chairs its economic development committee and was given the Utah Total Citizen Award in 1995 by the statewide association of chambers of commerce.

Key issues: "One of the primary issues in this election is creating a cooperative relationship between the council, the mayor and the residents of the city. This can best be done by responding to residents requests for service and increasing the communication between the administrative branch of government and the legislative branch."

Challenges: "We need to to maintain our policy of contracting for municipal services, and expand that contracting wherever possible. I don't believe government should do things that private enterprise can do. Private contractors have proven that they can do it at less expense to the taxpayer." He also said the fledgling city needs to continue the same conservative fiscal policies that have have kept staff size at a minimum and led to substantial surpluses during the city's first two years of operation.

Best quote: "Taylorsville needs to develop more programs that will promote stronger family relationships," helping reduce crime and encouraging good citizenship. "We should offer a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities that families can be involved in as a whole."

Ken Cook

Address: 4797 Quailbrook Drive

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired business executive

Experience: Appointed to the council this past year to serve out the unexpired term of Kent Winder. He also ran for a council seat in Taylorsville's last election.

Key issues: "We've gotten off to a good start and we have a budget surplus to deal with rather than budget shortfall. We also have the opportunity to choose between several good options for our city including beautification, city parks and improvements in public safety. I'm concerned that we follow through and provide our citizens what they wanted when they incorporated."

Challenges: "To do this, it will require that the council makes the right decisions on fiscal policy and pursue contracting our major services as we have in the past two years rather than spending our tax dollars to build another city bureaucracy."

Best quote: "There don't seem to be a lot of dragons to slay out here. I think the most important thing is not to stumble, and continue improving on what already has been done. I think people here like our storefront City Hall and our 14-person staff, and we in no way want to imitate our neighbors. We have more than enough tax base in Taylorsville to provide services for an excellent community, provided we use our resources wisely."

D. L. "Bud" Catlin

Address: 4210 S. 1355 West

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired from the Utah Highway Patrol

Experience: Served a year on the Taylorsville-Bennion Community Council prior to incorporation, and has served the past two years on the Taylorsville Board of Equalization. He also chaired the city's first parade and is a past president of the Utah Highway Patrol Association.

Key issues: "As a fiscal conservative, I think our tax dollars should go for services rather than bureaucracy, and I'm a strong proponent of continuing to contract for our municipal services." He also said he advocates more coordination with the county and surrounding communities "to improve services without raising taxes."

Challenges: "Taylorsville has limited open space, and we need to focus on growth that enhances the community. I think we need a good master plan, make improvements to existing parks and acquire some new park areas. Also, I'm very concerned about the number of pedestrian accidents we've been having lately. I think we need to focus on that with the Utah Department of Transportation and do something about it."

Best quote: "Crime rates have dropped nationally over the past several years but, unfortunately, they seem to be going up in our community. I have expertise in law enforcement that I think will benefit the community greatly. I know what works and what doesn't work."

Lana Sue Gray

Address: 5777 S. Jordan Canal Road

Age: 47

Occupation: Concession supervisor for Salt Lake Community College

Experience: Co-chairs the city's parks and recreation committee, sits on the county Zoo Arts and Park Committee, co-chaired the committee that worked to get the county's "Zoo Arts and Parks" tax passed, and serves on the Kearns Recreation Advisory Board.

Key issues: "My main focus always has been youth, and we need to realize that a large portion of our people in Taylorsville are 18 and under. I deal with this population every day. The crime rate is going up among our youth and we need to get a grip, to make sure that we have parks and open space as well as a variety of activities for our young people."

Challenges: "We need to find to make youth feel like they are a part of the community, and teach them so that they will want to give back. There is also a need for better street lights in our subdivisions. That will help us curb crime in Tay-lorsville."

Best quote: "One thing that sets me apart from other candidates is that I deal with hundreds of people in our community weekly. As a result, I feel that I'm more in tune with our local needs and have a well-balanced knowledge of all areas of the community."

Brooks Terry

Address: 4852 Rockhill Lane

Age: 59

Occupation: Chief financial officer for a medical equipment leasing company.

Experience: Chairs the city's ordinance review committee, served on the State Office of Rehabilitation Advisory Council and chaired the committee for two years, currently on board of trustees for the Disability Law Center in Salt Lake City.

Key issues: "There are two different management personas between the mayor and the chal-lenger. I really think the administrative issue is a concern and will have a big impact on the growth and development of the community. I believe we will get to where we need to be . . . but I would like to make that as smooth a road as possible." He also said he has a "wealth of experience" in fiscal management and business administration that would benefit the city.

Challenges: "I really wanted to run because I'm excited about the concept of Taylorsville being kept small with an efficient `lean and clean' kind of government. There is a tendency of people to want to encroach on that." He also said he would like to "reactivate" community interest in government that he believes has dwindled since the incorporation drive.

Best quote: "I'm a student of his-tory," and he says he's concerned about the present "political malfeasance" that has created apathy among the city's roughly 60,000 residents.

Bob Olsen

Address: 6413 Carl Drive

Age: 62

Occupation: Condominium maintenance man

Experience: He worked on the West Jordan Stampede Committee for four years and chaired its parking subcommittee.

Key issues: "After the city was organized, they did a public survey that found the three main things people wanted were control of gangs, good police protection and street lighting. One of the things we're getting is a swimming pool - which is number 12. I think the council ought to do what the people want, not the last things on the list."

Challenges: "What I would like to see over the next four years is the city buying some property for more parks, installing traffic lights, putting in sidewalks, improving our recreation programs and getting our youth more involved in city politics."

Best quote: "Maybe we could have a high school mayor and a high school city council for a week . . . then we could let them vote on some of the issues and get some experience with city government."