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South Salt Lake candidates all hope to entice businesses

South Salt Lake candidates for mayor and city council think the city's business ought to be businesses.

The candidates favor bringing businesses and their sales-tax revenue to this Salt Lake suburb as a way to fill city bank accounts with money that could then be used to replenish housing stock, improve parks, renovate city buildings, and give raises to key city employees. While each candidate advocates keeping businesses in South Salt Lake, only a few have specific ideas how to do it.

Mayoral candidate Bob Gray proposes a closer liaison with the business community, which often supports schools and civic events. Likewise, Boyd Marshall, who also is running for mayor, wants a close relationship between city hall and businesses as a way of courting those businesses to within city boundaries. Incumbent Wes Losser, who is seeking a second term, suggests that South Salt Lake could collect more sales-tax revenue by lobbying against a possible redistribution that the Utah Legislature is considering.

(Tony Clements, the fourth mayoral candidate, did not respond to a questionnaire distributed by the Deseret Morning News.)

Otherwise, the eight candidates vying for two city council seats are concerned about a smattering of issues: zoning and code enforcement, attrition in emergency services, intelligently promoting South Salt Lake, and caring for the city's senior population.

Voters will select two candidates for each available seat in the Oct. 4 primary election and choose a winner in the Nov. 8 general election. Candidates were given an opportunity to respond to Deseret Morning News questionnaires; the following brief biographies are from those questionnaires.

Mayoral candidates

Clements did not respond.

Gray, 65, has been on the City Council for eight years. As a retired police chief, he is concerned with the city's reputation for high crime. Gray suggests that South Salt Lake can shed that reputation "through a restoration of a community policing philosophy throughout the city government," and that city officials can work with citizens "to rebuild the partnership that it takes to curb crime and restore the quality of life that this community deserves."

Losser, 52, is seeking another term as mayor to fight for South Salt Lake's sales-tax revenue. The Legislature is considering tweaking the sales-tax distribution formula in a way that Losser said "is potentially the most devastating concern facing our city." Losser wants to repair city infrastructure — curbs, sidewalks, gutters, parks and other facilities — and also wants to purchase new vehicles for the fire and police departments. He worked previously as a construction site manager and has worked as a tile setter and in a family business.

Marshall, 49, is an industrial mechanic and a 12-year City Council veteran who now wants the mayor's seat. Marshall wants to improve housing in South Salt Lake as a way of improving the city's image; he also favors cracking down on graffiti to "keep our city clean and safe for all who live here." Marshall supports community policing, which is what he calls a proactive public safety model.

City Council candidates

District Two:

Lonny Casey did not respond.

Rea Goddard, 70, said she wants to better enforce laws and ordinances. "I will help these issues by being an independent voice for the residents," said this retiree. "I will make crime-free neighborhoods our No. 1 priority."

Wendy Losee, 39, said that South Salt Lake's reputation as a business and industrial community belies its "tight community" with a "small-town feeling." Losee, who works as a secretary, said that she wants to show what South Salt Lake has to offer "not only to businesses, but to families as a place to raise their children."

Edna Ruth Soderquist, who declined to give her age, said South Salt Lake's crucial issues included zoning conflicts, school locations, and interacting with surrounding cities. "Resolution of these issues will be done by the voice of the community," Soderquist said. "My job, if elected, would be to spend a major amount of my time researching options for any given issue."

At Large:

Betty Bates, 53, said she wants to create a safe future for children and take care of senior citizens. "A person in the council at-large seat can help all our citizens in the council seats in all areas of South Salt Lake," she said. "To have a city to be proud of is a tough job, and I can help you do just that."

Scott Cameron did not respond.

Casey Fitts, 29, is concerned foremost with the city's police and fire departments, and said he wants to work on adequately staffing the departments so they can respond to complaints. Casey, who works in retail sales, also wants to attract more businesses to South Salt Lake. "This is a step that will help to stabilize the . . . city budget, and also allow the city to provide higher levels of service in the future," he said.

Larry Young did not respond.


E-mail: kswinyard@desnews.com