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Candidates seek to boost Clearfield

CLEARFIELD — Most residents would agree: This north Davis County city has an image problem.

Over the past eight years, city officials say they have worked to change that image. Tangible results of that work include a new aquatic center, city hall and amenities like parks and ball fields.

Recent efforts include a plan to shift the location of the city's commuter rail station.

City officials say progress has been good, but at least five others say they can do better for Clearfield. On Tuesday, these residents will face off against three incumbents in a primary election.

Two of the five are seeking to unseat Clearfield's incumbent mayor. Three are seeking to unseat two incumbent councilmen. Only four council candidates and two mayoral candidates can advance from the primaries to the general election, Nov. 8.

A brief biography of each candidate is listed below. The three mayoral candidates are listed first.

Dan W. Phelps, 41, has lived in Clearfield the past 10 years. He has been a state and county delegate but has never run for elected office. Phelps is a seminary teacher at Central Davis Junior High.

Growth and spending are two important issues facing Clearfield. Tax dollars should be spent appropriately, said Phelps. Citizens should be more involved. Future planning and zoning is critical.

"I'm concerned about the future of the city as far as how taxes are spent," he said. "I think we can do some things to make sure the residents aren't burdened with all the taxes. We can bring in new businesses."

Mark R. Shepherd, 39, has lived in Clearfield the past seven years. He is a real estate agent and has worked in credit and financing. Shepherd has served on the Clearfield Planning Commission the past six years.

Important issues include planning for growth and utilization of tax dollars. Shepherd is concerned that city spending has been excessive and misdirected. It doesn't make sense to move the city's commuter rail station, he said.

"Clearfield has the opportunity to be a great city," he said. "It needs to be cleaned up to draw people here."

Thomas Waggoner, 60, has served the past eight years as Clearfield mayor. He has lived in the city for almost 50 years and works as an IT supervisor/specialist at Hill Air Force Base.

Waggoner says he has the needed experience and time to commit to being mayor for a third term. He says he has already implemented a plan to improve Clearfield — and he needs four more years to "see that plan through."

"Clearfield city is at a significant crossroads in its history," he said. "While I don't believe in making a career out of politics, I firmly believe that there is no substitute for experience."

Ivan D. Anderson, 61, has served a total of 16 years on the Clearfield City Council. He works part time at the Crestwood Care Center in Ogden and is an engineering consultant.

Anderson wants to move the city's commuter rail station to help revitalize downtown. "I think we have a real great opportunity to bring people into the city," he said. He says he will not seek office again after this year.

James W. Barlow, 55, has lived in Clearfield most of his life. He has served on the city council the past eight years and owns an investment and financial planning firm.

Barlow says that Clearfield needs to attract retail business. Moving the city's commuter rail station could attract that business, he said. "There's some unfinished business," he said.

Kathryn Murray, 61, has lived in Clearfield the past 32 years. She received an education degree from Brigham Young University and has served as a state and county delegate.

Murray says city officials have overstepped their bounds. Things in the city are taking a downward turn, she said. "If there is something that we should not be getting into as a city," she said, "I'll be the first to vote against it."

Don Ormsby, 54, has served on the Clearfield City Council, the city planning commission and board of adjustments. He works at Hill Air Force Base as an operational logistics specialist.

Ormsby says the city needs to exercise more financial restraint. Basic needs like police and fire have not been met. "I believe I can exercise restraint in spending," he said.

Vern Phipps, 47, has lived in Clearfield the past 18 years. He has been active in his political party and works as a defense contractor at Hill Air Force Base.

Phipps says Clearfield lacks a sense of community. City officials should emphasize commercial growth that is "applicable" to a family-oriented community. "I believe I have the vision and drive to make it happen," he said.


E-mail: nwarburton@desnews.com