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: Criminals are trying to destroy our society. They endanger not only the lives of our citizens but the men and women police officers that try to protect us. Instead of just adding a specific number of police officers to the force, I would first be inclined to help the existing officers not only with financial compensation but by using the high technology that is available, such as in dealing with the international terrorist in London, England or the sophisticated technology that is used in Las Vegas casinos to fight crime. By using those technologies fewer officers are able to be more successful in fighting crime. It's time for Marshall Dillon and Wyatt Erp to use the CSI technology that exists!
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: Too much attention and emphasis is given to attract the "Big Box Stores." They do pay their taxes but the majority of the profits of these companies are not spent in our city. The smaller family businesses reinvest their profits back into our economy. We need to do a better job in welcoming visitors into our city. The more revenue that comes form travel and tourism, means fewer taxes that will be imposed on our citizens.
Question 3: One big issue that could soon become an issue in 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: Our city, and especially our district is a very diverse multi-lingual and multi-ethnic center. With background in nine languages I feel particularly better qualified to represent the entire district. In San Francisco or other large cities, there are districts for Koreans, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Polynesian around Chinatown. I would prefer to use the formula that was used by the early pioneers when they came in the valley; communicate and mainstream every culture into our unique city. Using the talents and expertise of a veterans ombudsman could be a great help to each culture.
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 strongly support master planning the Northwest Quadrant with multiple use of residential and business. Distance is relative. Many commute from Park City, Logan and Provo. Sometimes the people in California drive more than two hours to get to work. The revenue that would come from the development of homes and businesses would more than adequately pay for the public service substations that would need to be built. Rome, Italy built a beautiful section out of the central city called EUR. If the Romans can do it, so can we!
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: Theoretically, the S.L. Council and the mayor should both be working for the betterment of the citizens of S.L. Our current system of government parallels the executive and legislative branches of government. Checks and balances are needed when consensus cooperation can not be reached. We need to act professionally but I feel strongly that we as citizens are being overtaxed and under consulted. I support using more responsible negotiations to address problems instead of just raising taxes. We are taxed more than enough. I personally would not raise our taxes to pay for some of the mayor's wish list.