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Candidate rejects ties to ‘vision, values’ group

SHARE Candidate rejects ties to ‘vision, values’ group

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Brian Olsen says he was surprised — and angry — over a recent article in a local newspaper.

Olsen, who is seeking election to the City Council, was identified in print as a member of a newly organized group of residents who want new blood and representatives in Eagle Mountain elected posts who will fight for open space, home values and lower taxes.

Olsen said he has not joined the group that calls itself "Eagle Mountain Citizens for Vision and Values" and said he considers himself an independent council candidate.

"I guess I should be flattered that they included me, but I haven't been asked and I never agreed to be in their group," Olsen said.

Olsen, along with Harry Bakken, James Skinner and current councilmember Brigham Morgan, were named as members in a press release issued Aug. 25 by the group.

Olsen is also listed as an endorsed candidate on the group's Web site — www.visionvalues.org — but without a photograph.

"There's a reason there's no picture,"said Olsen, who said he briefly attended one of the group's meetings at the invitation of Morgan. "I never gave them one."

Former Eagle Mountain City Councilman Bill Chipman, who is spearheading the group's efforts along with former mayor Debbie Hooge, said Olsen spent about an hour at a meeting where it was understood he wanted to be involved.

Chipman said if Olsen prefers to go his own way, that's fine.

"The group is a whole bunch of people who became concerned about the lack of candidates for City Council," Chipman said.

"We want fair, impartial people who are concerned about the town," Chipman said.

Chipman said his organization believes the current council is giving away open space, ignoring a growing budget deficit and rubber-stamping development requests.

Morgan said he originally helped organize the group — but backed away from joining once he decided to run for re-election. He is listed as an endorsed candidate of the group.

"I felt it would be better to run on the merits of my four years of service," Morgan said.

Former Mayor Rob Bateman said he agreed to allow the group to quote him in the release urging people to become involved in city affairs. But he, too, has chosen not to formally join the group.

"Our community faces critical decisions over the next few years," Bateman said. "Eagle Mountain residents need to make an effort to learn about the issues and the candidates."

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