Council candidates in West Valley City are of one mind: things are great in the city and the focus over the next four years should be on keeping the momentum.The lack of major controversy is reflected by the fact that there was no need for a primary election in the city. One incumbent - Barbara Thomas - is unopposed, and just one challenger filed in each of the other two races. Incumbent Duane Moss faces Marjorie B. Oswald, and incumbent Janice Fisher is opposed by Tricia Stewart.
That's not to say the city doesn't have problems to address. The candidates agree the city needs to be vigilant in curbing gang violence, ideally by providing kids with more constructive activities.
To a person, the candidates talk about enhancing residents' sense of personal security, providing amenities that add to quality of life in the city and stimulating the tax base to pay for such services.
(Information on mayoral candidates F. Kenneth Olafson and Gearld Wright was published Oct. 25. More will be printed Sunday.)
Address: 5351 Woodledge Ave.
Occupation: American Express customer service representative.
Experience: Four years on City Council; eight years on Planning Commission.
Her agenda: West Valley City needs to continue encouraging development of larger lots and homes in the city and to ensure commercial development that feeds the tax base.
Address: 3444 W. 4700 South
Occupation: Retired Kennecott purchasing agent.
Experience: Has served three terms on the City Council.
His agenda: To continue doing what we've been doing, as evidenced by improvements of roads, the E Center, which is bringing in more tax revenue to the city, and dedication of more parks. We're doing great and I'd like to help continue that trend: reduce crime, provide better roads, more sidewalks, parks and improve our tax base. One of the big things I've focused on for a long time is bigger lots. Crime and transportation also will need more attention in the coming four years.
On a light-rail spur: I'm not for light rail, period. I would like to see something off the ground, like a monorail, that doesn't interfere with traffic.
Rec center funding: I favor general obligation bonding, which provides money upfront, gives us time to pay it off and requires people's approval.
West Valley City's center: I think we've pretty much done that with the E Center, all the hotels and restaurants and the Hale Center Theater.
Marjorie B. Oswald
Address: 3802 W. 3200 South
Occupation: Small business loan specialist at Guardian State Bank.
Experience: Served on Blue Ribbon Committee that studied forms of government; Beautification Committee and a government grant committee.
Her agenda: I'm interested in the community and what's going on in West Valley City and have the time and opportunity to be more involved. I think I could provide a new point of view, new ideas and enthusiasm on the council. My financial background, working with small-business people, would be useful, too. Safety is a big concern for everyone. One of the most important issues is finding alternatives to gangs for youths.
On a light-rail spur: If it runs often, is efficient and cost effective, then it would maybe work. I think time is a big issue.
Rec center funding: Usually it takes a combination of several things to get a project going, but I'm not sure I know enough about this to comment on what I think at this point.
West Valley City's center: We seem to have a missing downtown, don't we? They're putting motels there now; further planning may be needed to determine what we need downtown, office buildings or what. If we expand the commercial area and tie it together with the mall and the E Center, then it would probably give us a downtown type area.
Address: 6411 W. 3785 South
Occupation: Former manager Cyprus Ice Skating Rink for the Granite School District.
Experience: Has served three terms on the City Council; board member of anti-gang group MAGIC; Salt Lake County Boundary Commission; founder "West Valley Trees."
Her agenda: I think we should probably stay the course and continue to do the good things that we've been doing. I think we need to be aggressive with drugs, gang and crime issues. The safety of children is important and requires sidewalks and safe recreation facilities. To accomplish these goals we've got to continue to be aggressive in economic development to broaden the tax base to pay for these services.
On a light-rail spur: I am not totally for light rail, but if it's coming, then we definitely need to have a spur coming west. It should be a priority over a spur to the airport.
Rec center funding: My job, at this point, is to be neutral on that. I'd like to hear from residents in a spring vote about how they would like to see it funded. I would like to have the people involved with pledges, family memberships and business pledges. That has worked well in a lot of communities.
West Valley City's center: With the opening of the E Center, the groundbreaking on the Hale Center and the different projects coming to West Valley City, people have a sense of being a real city and a sense of pride in their community. We've arrived.
Address: 2983 S. Audrey St.
Occupation: Co-owner of a Volkswagen parts store.
Experience: Active in the Valley West Chamber of Commerce.
Her agenda: It all started with sidewalks, specifically the lack of sidewalks in West Valley City. That's a big issue with me. A friend's child died after being hit by a car while walking along 3500 West, which doesn't have a sidewalk. I also want to encourage more community involvement and activities for families and children.
On a light-rail spur: Light rail is a good example of why people don't participate in elections any more. The people voted against the system and they're doing it any way. I don't mind light rail, but when people say no, they want no.
Rec center funding: I think the city needs to slow down on stuff like that, and worry about paying back projects it's already started. Maybe they could use some money from the E Center to pay it off.
West Valley City's center: Everybody seems to be so worried about improving the city's image in the eyes of others. I think we need to improve the image with everybody who already lives here.