Incumbent Carol Page, 57, of Kaysville, and newcomer Michael J. Cragun, 32, of Clearfield - both Republicans - square off June 23 in a primary election for the Davis County Commission Seat B.

This race essentially comes down to a choice between Page's experience versus Cragun's new ideas.The winner will face Democratic challenger Todd Weber of Clearfield in the November election. The winner of that contest will serve with Commissioner Gayle A. Stevenson and the winner of the race between Dannie McConkie and Dell Holbrook.

The Page-Cragun contest results from the Davis County Republican nomination convention held in April. There, Cragun got 55 percent of the delegate votes to Page's 45 percent. A candidate must have 70 percent or more to avoid a primary election.

Page has been a member of the County Commission since October 1993, when she was appointed to fill the vacancy left after Gerald Purdy died of a heart attack. After serving 15 months on the commission, she was elected outright for a first four-year term by receiving 86 percent of the votes to challenger Lynn A. Jenkins' 14 percent.

She is also the first-ever woman to serve on the Davis County Com-mis-sion.

"It gives you another perspective," Page said of being a woman on the commission.

She said other leaders in the county, like Layton Mayor Jerry Stevenson, have also recognized the importance of a woman's voice at the top level of Davis County.

Cragun, an attorney, said he's well aware of Page's ground-breaking achievement.

"That's a challenge for me," he said.

Both candidates want to avoid making this election a man-woman issue. They both agree that simply having good, quality people in government positions is the more important aspect over gender.

Another, similar issue is the age of the two candidates.

Page has been around the block in government. She's served on a city council and a planning commission. Her list of current and past government positions almost fills two sheets.

Cragun said his age is an asset.

"I'd add a fresh perspective," he said, explaining he's not a member of the veteran generation, but as an older young adult, he is relatively young enough to have a balance in age.

Some critics question whether Cragun has enough community and civic experience to be a capable county commission member. However, he believes his legal background, administrative experience and public service qualify him for office.



Candidate profiles

A profile of Carol Page was published June 8.

A profile of Michael Cragun was published June 9.


Davis County Commission seat B

Why vote for you?


I'll do a good job. I give everything to all the jobs I've ever had. I have a youthful, fresh perspective.


I have served with honesty and integrity. I seek re-election because I have a strong record and because I see the need to keep Davis County a place where people will want to live, work and play.

What should the alignment of the Legacy/West Davis Highway be?


I support the alignment that has been endorsed by the cities. We do need a West Davis highway.


Transportation issues are a concern to Davis County. I will respect the decisions and the alignments that the mayors, governing bodies and the public determines works best for their particular city. It is my understanding that each city has now made the determination.

Is the current three-member County Commission adequate, or should a seven-member council system be considered?


From a Davis County perspective, I'm not sure we need a seven-member council. Only about 7 percent of Davis County is still unincorporated county land and that figure is shrinking. It's not as big an issue as it is in Salt Lake County.


The three-member commission works well for Davis County. There are two counties in the state that do have county councils. It has been my understanding that both of those counties would like to go back to a three-member commission. Salt Lake County's issues may be different, but each county should be allowed to make that decision independent from one another by determining what works best for them. It's not my goal to expand the role of the county commission. A seven-member council would also be an unnecessary expense to the taxpayers.

Is there a need for County Commission meetings to be held in the evenings, instead of the daytime like they're held now?


I had to take vacation time to attend a commission meeting. I don't want to create a conflict with local city council meetings, but I want to know how people feel about evening commission meetings. Maybe one of the two commission meetings a week could be on a Wednesday night. People might come out. One way is to make meetings more accessible.


I have no objections to night commission meetings if that is the desire of the public. All commissioners are currently involved in early morning and night meetings on a weekly basis. We are continuously holding night meetings and public hearings. For 16 years, all the public meetings I attended were night meetings. I have not noticed a difference between the two. The determination should be based on the issues at hand.

What's the biggest issue facing Davis County and how should it be addressed?


Our booming growth is the biggest challenge. The county can play a key role in regional development. Most other problems are related to growth. Crime and pollution tie into growth.


Growth and its associated problems - increased crime, violence and drug use. One reason people move to Davis County is to enjoy the lifestyle provided here. It is important that we work together as communities to preserve these qualities.

Should the Davis County Health Department be independent of the County Commission?


Based on the county's experience with the Mental Health Department last year, I think it's wise to be cautious. We shouldn't make any hasty moves.


The commission has an excellent relationship with the Health Department and it is my desire that those services continue with the same quality of care. Health departments were created by county commissions under a state statute. Davis County taxpayers pay $1.7 million annually to the Health Department budget. As long as tax dollars are being spent there, there should be accountability and oversight by the local governing bodies.