clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Candidate questionnaire — Gary Riehle

Question 1:Mayor Rocky Anderson has said the city needs to increase it's police force by 90 officers by 2010. In order to do that he will need the City Council to allocate the funding needed for these new officers. Adding that many more officers will be wildly expensive for the city and may require tax increases. As a council member will you support adding so many more officers to the force? Would you support tax increases for more police officers?

Answer: Yes I would support adding officers to the force. By how many I am not sure but I am willing to look at the available information and decide when informed. I would not consider raising taxes to meet the cost of adding officers. This will have to be a consideration when deciding how many more officers to add.

Question 2:Downtown remains a concern for many residents. Do you feel the city is doing the right things to help revitalize downtown? What would you do as a council member to help downtown?

Answer: I think that ideally we would be considering ways that we could be moving the central business district farther away from the LDS Temple square and church office building. Closer to the city building. This would have to be a very long process but I would rather put money towards that than continue spending money to revitalize the downtown we have now.

Of course there are other good options for revitalizing the current area. Closing off the area between south temple and 300 so. and trying to turn it towards a district like so many other cities have where there is fine dining and and a formidable night life.

As you can see I think there are many options available to us and I hope that the city council can work with the mayor to explore these.

Question 3:One big issue that could soon become a issue District 7 has been people tearing down traditional homes and replacing them with monster homes. Some say new, bigger homes are needed to attract families to the city and maintain property values. Others feel these large homes are ugly and aren't compatible with the city's traditional neighborhoods. What's your opinion? How should city government handle this issue?

Answer: I would like to try to keep the current neighborhoods that are in good shape as they are. Perhaps we could find ways to help more people find funding to remodel their homes and yards. I do not like the idea of having some more modern homes placed in a neighborhood of older homes unless it is built in such a way as to maintain a consistent look for the area.

Question 4:There has been much talk about developing the city's Northwest Quadrant, which lies west of the airport. Some see this area as a place where tens of thousands of residents could eventually live in master planned communities. However, there are some concerns. Some want the area preserved as natural open space. Others say it's too costly to put homes way out there. Police and fire services in the city are already stretched thin and putting houses five miles west of downtown would further strap public safety and other services like public utilities. Still, proponents maintain the city needs to add more residents so it remains Utah's largest city and keeps it's political clout in the face of other rapidly growing municipalities. What's your vision for the Northwest Quadrant? If you favor development how will the city pay for it?

Answer: I think that one of the main issues I would like to address when I first come into office would be setting a limit to where we would sprawl out. Portland OR. has set these limits and found ways to continue growing but preserve the natural surroundings that they are so well known for. I want to see us do the same thing. Set limits that consider the relative cost and potential value. We need to preserve the natural surrounding and eco-systems.

Question 5:Some people are saying City Hall is hard to work with because Mayor Anderson and the City Council don't get along. Is the push and pull between the council and mayor a problem? Explain why or why not. Is the rift more the fault of the council or the mayor? As a council person will you seek friendly relations with the mayor or do you think city government works better if there is some tension between the two houses of government?

Answer: I think that some push and pull between the city council and the Mayor can be a healthy part of the process. I also think that being united with a vision can make it easier to get along. The fact that the majority of SLC, does not always reflect the majority in the state, creates a tension. The values of the city citizens should be reflected on city council. I believe that this is a part of the Mayors frustration with city council. I know that I have been frustrated with the council for not representing the people of the city but trying to bring the city to reflect the state majority.