As Pleasant Grove struggles to deal with rapid growth and the changes that come as a little city emerges into the big-city arena, City Council members hear from a number of corners.
Challengers for the council seats want to know why people feel ignored and why decisions appear to be made in a hurried fashion.Incumbents say they listen more than ever and spend enormous amounts of time studying issues and situations, such the three proposed and approved redevelopment projects that can keep Pleasant Grove financially solvent but might change the way of life that many see as the city's reason to exist.
Four council seats are open this election, two four-year terms and two two-year positions.
Glen Haynie's four-year seat, which is in dispute in the courts due to a city error in providing adequate legal notice before his appointment, is one, running on the Citizen party ticket.
Ted Milner is also running for a four-year seat, representing the Citizen's party, too.
Freeman Andersen and Betty Memmott are Action party candidates for the four-year posts.
Pat Ellington, appointed earlier this year to replace Richard Paulsen, who left to direct the city's redevelopment efforts, did not run for election. Don Wadley, who has served as a replacement for councilman Kevin Walker who resigned earlier, also did not run.
Three parties have put up candidates after a sparse turnout provided only a single candidate, Richard L. Hansen, from the People's Party for the two-year terms opposing Kevin Heiner and Boyd Draper from the Citizen's Party. The new Pleasant Grove Action Party has selected Lewis Church and Carol Harmer to run for that seat.
(Information on mayoral candidates Lloyd Ash, Grant Loader and Ed Sanderson was published Friday. More will be printed Sunday.)
Council candidates are:
Address: 111 S. 200 East
Occupation: Physicist employed at Brig-ham Young University.
Experience: Has worked with the Neighborhood Advisory Board, vice president of the Old Fort Neighborhood Committee.
What can you bring to city government? I'm kind of an organized guy. I like to follow rules. I listen and pay attention.
Dealing with growth? The most important thing to do is to follow the general plan.
Other priority issues? Growth is No. 1 and controlled development is No. 2, along with protecting our lifestyle.
Unique challenges? Pleasant Grove's tax base is not large. The lack of a freeway interchange hurts us.
Intentions once elected? I would strengthen the 11 neighborhood organizations and assist in getting effective neighborhood chairmen. I think the City Council should be assigned to two or three particular neighborhoods and meet with them on a regular basis.
I would see the municipal code, the general plan and the City Council agendas and minutes are all posted on the Internet for all citizens to read. We should also mail a periodic newsletter to the citizens with the utility bills.
Soapbox issue? I just don't feel that people have been listened to. They're feeling intruded upon. The voice of the people has been, in many instances, blatantly ignored.
Address: 499 E. 820 South
Occupation: Marketing director for CU Leasing and Sales.
Experience: Appointed as city councilman in January 1996 after Robert Hicks died.
What can you bring to city government? I lived for four years in Peru, Chile, and Mexico. I think that gives me a whole new and broader perspective to have seen other cultures where people go without or make do. That type of experience literally changes your thinking. Plus, I care a lot about this town and because I didn't run last time, I don't have a personal agenda.
Dealing with growth? Because of the natural growth, we need a tax base, that's true but the real challenge is to try and decide how to improve and still maintain the heritage.
Other priority issues? The RDA thing is really important to me. I hate to walk away from what has been fairly controversial. I'm the one who's been in support of the apartments because I believe they will make the rest come together for the downtown.
Unique challenges? We're extremely fortunate in Pleasant Grove with the water. Throughout the years, people here have protected the water. That's going to be really important in the future.
Intentions once elected? I just want to serve. I actually a hard thing to do but I think I have experience now that will help me. I want to put us on a web site.
Soapbox issues? I helped instigate the neighborhood committees. Neighborhood committees rule. I support the neighborhood involvement.
Address: 3232 N. 1450 West
Occupation: Dental assistant
Experience: Vice chairman of the Manila neighborhood committee.
What can you bring to city government? I'm a real honest person and we've had a few problems (in city government) with listening and with obeying the law. I would be for recognizing and resolving those kind of situations.
I've always admired women who serve on a city council and I think they need a women's viewpoint.
Dealing with growth? I hate the growth. I've lived here forever - for 53 years - and I'm now seeing subdivisions on both sides of my property. I live east and north of the (Mount Timpanagos LDS) temple. It's so sad. People move out here to get away from that kind of growth. I really think we should put a tight grip on building and be really careful with the size of lots we allow.
Other priority issues? It's great to be getting the commercial and the theaters. We need restaurants though.
The RDA known as Block 4 is a disaster. I think the council made a few mistakes. I think they messed around until they lost a really good builder.
Unique challenges? We really need to listen to the people more. Too many people feel alienated.
Intentions once elected? Grassroots citizen input for the future growth and development of our city is so important. We have in place the neighborhood committees. This is a new concept for our town and we must strengthen them and listen to them.
Soapbox issues? If we listen, we can help our city grow and at the same time be a place where we all want to live.
Address: 271 W. 1650 North
Occupation: Vice president of sales and estimating for Fondell Woodwork.
Experience: Chairman of the North Field neighborhood committee, worked on the design committee for the paleontology section of the Discovery Park. Served on boards and committees for Salt Lake's west side community.
What can you bring to city government? I have seen how neighborhoods can take an active role in shaping the decisions of city government. With my background in architecture and studies in urban planning, I feel I can be an immediate asset in making the necessary decisions that will enhance the future quality of life.
Dealing with growth? I am deeply committed to preserving our quality of life. We have a critical need of maintaining open green spaces and to carefully plan the future growth of the city.
Other priority issues? We have a critical need of maintaining open green spaces and to carefully plan the future.
Unique challenges? I feel as if I have stepped back in time with the opportunity to voice concern and give suggestions to avoid the problems that come with a larger community.
Intentions once elected? I will use my abilities to ensure that Pleasant Grove remains a safe, beautiful and economically viable community. I am a fiscal conservative. I believe in careful money management. I pledge to continue the responsible way in which our city has managed its resources.
We can continue to build a better community without adding more burden to the taxpayers.
Soapbox issues? I love the people of Pleasant Grove. Like many others, I have adopted the great heritage of this community. The real strength of any community can be measured by the involvement of its people in working together and serving one another.
Address: 1240 W. 700 South.
Occupation: Seminary teacher for the LDS Church.
Experience: Delegate to the Republican convention in Utah County, long-time involvement in grassroots politics.
What can you bring to city government? I have a feel for people. I really like people and am interested in what they have to say. We have a wide range of talents and education in Pleasant Grove we could be using.
Dealing with growth? The city has not had a functioning general plan. It's been segmented and out of date.
Pleasant Grove has had explosive growth in the Strawberry Park area, for instance, with no provision for open space and parks.
Other priority issues? We need better arterial collector roads. Our roads are clogged and it'll be worse if we get a freeway interchange. We need a satellite fire station in Manila. As the city grows, we're paving over open land and creating a storm water problem.
Unique challenges? We're on the horns of a dilemma. We're been agrarian so there's a feeling there should still be large lots with animal rights. We're changing from a bedroom community so we need to deal with growth while we preserve the antique quality.
Intentions once elected? I just think we need to listen better, be smarter about observing the law. The neighborhood organization is working better in some areas than in others. We need to step up the process.
Soapbox issue? I believe too many people believe government holds all the solutions to their problems.
Government can do only what the citizens wish.
Address: 1545 N. 1520 West
Occupation: Director of engineering for Savage Industries Inc.
Experience: Worked with cities all over the country in planning, development, surveying and engineering.
What can you bring to city government? The vast experience from years of involvement with various communities.
Dealing with growth? Managing the growth while blending the different needs can be a challenge. The top priority right now is the growth in Pleasant Grove. We've gone from 10,000 to 20,000 and can expect to be around 35,000 within the next 10 years.
Other priority issues? The freeway interchange could change the community's commercial growth by 200 percent.
That's a priority.
Unique challenges? Pleasant Grove is situated in a place where natural resources exist and need to be protected. We have the watershed, the hillside, rivers and streams and yet we have four-wheelers tearing the hillside to pieces.
Water is the issue of the '90s, so I think protecting that is a priority.
Intentions once elected? We have just adopted a general plan that I think will help. Absolutely, planning is an overall priority. It's similar to putting a puzzle together. You don't want a lot of pieces thrown out in the middle before you know where they're going to need to fit. Usually, if it'll work on paper, it'll work. I'd like to see rental units that are currently all clustered in one area planned out to be in more than one area.
Soapbox issue? Some of the planning that's gone on has been absolutely crazy. It's important to get some things in place before you have the development. For instance, we've had a school go in without the infrastructure. There's no curbing, the streets are too narrow. It looks spotty.
Richard L. Hansen
Address: 840 N. 200 West
Occupation: Network technician for US WEST.
Experience: Republican Party delegate to county and state conventions and voter district chairman. Past chairman of Pleasant Grove's Historic Preservation Committee. Also a veteran of the Vietnam War.
What can you bring to city government? I'm not of the prevailing party, so I think I can bring a different voice and a balance. I have no hidden agenda. I'm doing this totally to be a good citizen.
Dealing with growth? I think growth should be handled in a prudent and judicial way. We should grow only as we have the services available.
Other priority issues? I feel we should provide for a quality of life that people have come to expect from living in Pleasant Grove.
The Manila township should be annexed to Pleasant Grove city if Manila residents want it.
Unique challenges? I think we do need to increase our commercial tax base. We need an increased budget and overseeing ability for the recreation department. We're seeing an explosion in the numbers that use those programs.
I think neighboring communities, like Cedar Hills, need to pay their fair share and maybe provide some diamonds.
Intentions once elected? I feel I can help preserve some of Pleasant Grove's heritage similar to moving the Hatch granary cabin to the DUP Park. I would encourage the use and voluntary maintenance of our city's parks.
Soapbox issue? I want to keep Pleasant Grove living up to its name. We therefore, need to pay attention to the preservation of green space.
Age: 755 E. 100 South
Occupation: Retired dentist's assistant and officer manager.
Experience: Chairman of the land-use committee for the redevelopment agency, past chairman of Citizen's party.
What can you bring to city government? I've been involved in getting good people to run for office for many years.
I've spent years watching how government works as my husband, Jay Harmer, served as the mayor.
Dealing with growth? I think the growth could just be managed better. We need to follow the general plan and do it in an orderly fashion. When people come in and want to do something that does not conform, we'll have to say no.
I see following the general plan as the single best solution to dealing with our city's growth in a systematic, ordered way.
Other priority issues? People don't feel they're being listened to, that's a big thing. Particularly with the Block 4 RDA. I personally have a problem with Block 4. It has changed so much from the way it was first presented when Lincoln Properties was going to develop it. It's not what we were told it was going to be.
Unique challenges? The challenge in the past was always not enough of a tax base. I think that's going to change with Smith's, the Jamestown development, the Bank of American Fork here.
Intentions once elected? The main thing I would like to do is listen to the people. If they care enough to come out, they should be given respect. Right now, little issues are going unheard. People are concerned.
Soapbox issue? This deal with Coral Hicks was stupid. The council should have urged Glen Haynie to resign.
Address: 2325 N. 1300 West
Occupation: Self-employed, regional distributor for Autophone Wholesale.
Experience: Neighborhood chairman for the North Field neighborhood.
What can you bring to city government? I think I have a gift for common sense. I've watch good intentioned men waste a lot of time on simple questions. I think I'm very informed and I'm no longer timid. I attend all of the planning commission meetings, the public works and City Council meetings so I am pretty familiar with the issues.
Dealing with growth? I think we need to follow the General Plan. That's gospel.
We can't stop growth but I think controlling growth effectively so we maintain the rural quality of life is critical. We shouldn't go into areas that have been traditionally residential.
Other priority issues? I think fiscal responsibility is a big issue along with implementing the General Plan. We have some very successful RDAs in place. I support the RDA concept although I think some steps with the redevelopment were taken out of order.
I think listening to the citizens and responding is important. I've very sensitive to citizen's feelings.
Unique challenges? We have a good commercial area but I think it needs to be kept there. Our city is only a little smaller than American Fork yet we work on a fraction of the budget because they have the commercial base and we don't.
Intentions once elected? I'm helping to work on a Web site for the elections and the neighborhood committees.
Soapbox issues? I'm very concerned about growth. I support conserving open space. I say we use reason.