This is where you will find answers to the most common questions prospective voters have asked me. Whenever I respond to questions via email I will include them here:
Question 1: Roads. Roads are usually always a topic of interest during election cycles. Do you feel your city has adequate roads, why? Saratoga Springs has a three way partnership when it comes to their roads. They include, UDOT, the County and the City (not to mention the many private roads in the city). It is critical to be able to talk the talk and leverage the relationships with these organizations as we strive to meet the growing transportation needs of the city. What will you do to improve the roads in your city? I have already worked diligently with the county and UDOT to get many road expansions, extensions, and traffic signals on an expedited time table. The widening of Redwood Road for example was not slated to even start until late 2018 early 2019 and the Council and I worked diligently to communicate our needs and the urgency to UDOT and they agreed to move the time table up by 18 months. I have also been a champion of preserving transportation corridors of land for future road needs in the city.
Question 2: Property Rights. What are your views on property rights, and how do you plan on balancing the property rights of current residents with the property rights of prospective developers? This amazing county we get to call ours was based on the principle of property rights. Our right to own our homes and the land it sits on is fundamental to the American Dream. I absolutely will continue to fight for the rights of the individual home owner and will strive to make sure that we are also good neighbors to those around us so we do not infringe on their rights. If a developer has a property right then I will do whatever I can to make sure they develop their land within those rights and not take advantage of the process. I have a proven track record of making sure new developments live up to their obligations and improvements as part of their developments.
Question 3: Founding Fathers. Do you have a favorite founding father? James Madison is my favorite "Founding Father" as he was a great communicator and one of the authors of the Federalist Papers. These documents were instrumental in our nation’s beginnings. If so, who is it, and what is a favorite quote, or ideal that founding father had that you try to emulate? (Notice I did not define founding father, I am leaving that up to your interpretation.)
Question 4: Schools. Do you feel the education system is adequate in your city? If so, what are we doing well, if not, what needs to be changed. The Council does not have an official say in what happens with the education system within the city; however it is important to have dialogue and ongoing communication with the Alpine School Board and administration. I have the full endorsement of Paula Hill our School Board representative and have worked regularly with the school district in making sure our current and future needs are being met. One of those needs was for another middle school and in the next 18 months a new middle school will be built in Saratoga Springs next to the Saratoga Hills neighborhood.
Question 5: Family. Can you give me a brief description of your family, and what it means to you? I have been married to my beautiful and talented with for 16 years and have two kids (13 and 9). My family is everything to me. I do everything for them. My service on the council included.
Question 6: Why Run. Can you tell me why you are running for your position?I want to make sure that Saratoga Springs truly is the best place to raise a family and establish that foundation for future generations to want to stay and raise their families here as well. I was on the committee that came up with our city's tag line, "Life's Just Better Here!" I have worked tirelessly and will continue to work to make that phrase more of a reality every year.
Question 7: Biggest Issue: What do you see as the biggest issue in your city, and what do you plan on doing to help solve the issue? Infrastructure is the biggest issue to the city. We have the necessary water rights for growth; it is making sure that the infrastructure is up to the demand. Saratoga Springs is a long narrow city which brings with it many challenges. Water in particular likes to run in a circle, which is difficult due to our development patterns and topography. I am very familiar with our needs and have approved many secondary water projects to address these issues. I also know what needs to come next and can effectively allocate tax payer dollars appropriately to meet the most pressing issues first. In my time on the council I have never raised taxes and in fact lowered taxes twice when it was appropriate. I believe that we can address our growing pains and not put the burden on the backs of taxpayers. Conservative principles really do work and I am known for being thorough in my review with city staff when they ask for more money for projects.
Question 8: Greatest Good: What do you see as the best thing that your city has going for it, and how do you plan on protecting it for future generations? Our location is strategically unprecedented. We are very close to the "Silicone Slopes" explosion of new business in Northern Utah County which brings high paying jobs for our residents. We have amazing vistas and parks/open space in the city which we have been recognized globally for (Neptune Park was named the best public park in a city of our size in multiple magazines and books over the last few years).
Question 9: Open Space: Do you feel we have enough open space, to much open space, or to little open space in your city? What policies n 9:will you try to implement to support that view? Open space once gone can really never be replaced. We need to make sure that the ordinances and policies in place address these needs and maintain an equal playing field for all land owners within the city. I believe that in recent years we have done much better to define what is truly considered open space and have set parameters to preserve it. I will continue to fight for this within the city.
Question 10: Development: What are your goals for the City in regards to Development? It was very exciting over the last years to welcome Walmart, Wendy’s, Kneader’s, Taco Bell, Denny’s, Sean’s BBQ, Maurice’s, tons of banks, Del Taco, and most recently our Smith’s Marketplace complex “The Crossing”. We need to continue to attract additional commercial businesses, especially entertainment opportunities. We are just weeks away from announcing an amazing new entertainment development in Saratoga Springs. Residents have been asking for this over the years and it is finally coming to fruition. I have worked tirelessly with prospective businesses and have built relationships with them over the years. I will continue to work with the contacts I have made to see even more commercial businesses make Saratoga Springs their home. We also need class A office building space so we can give residents the opportunity to not only live and play in Saratoga Springs, but to work here as well.
Question 11: Parks and Recreation: I was very excited to approve the sports park "Patriot Park" which will have 8 baseball fields and 8 pickle ball courts. As our city grows these are the types of amenities that should and are coming to the city. I hope that in the next few years we will be able to build a recreation center for the residents to enjoy sports year round. I also would like to see the performance park in Fox Hollow get developed. That park has an outdoor amphitheater which would be another great amenity for the city.
Question 12: Master Plan: What changes do you feel should be made to your cities master/general plan? We actually just went through an extensive process of updating our various plans for the city. As part of that process we reached out to the residents on multiple occasions to solicit their thoughts and ideas. We had open house meetings, conducted surveys, conducted community education events, and had booths at Splash Days and the Fall Festival. That feedback was included and instrumental as we developed the City's Strategic Vision and Plan and updated the transportation, general and land use plans, and so much more.
Question 13: Programs: What is the best program, that you know of in your city? How does that program make your city better, and how do you plan on making the program stronger? I think the thing that makes our city so great is our volunteers. We have the best library, because it is mostly run by volunteers, we have the best civic events team because it is supported by so many volunteers, our Citizens assisting police program is an amazing volunteer program that keeps our police department connected to the residents. I can go on. These volunteers bring their passion for the city and make us so much better and they save us thousands of dollars every year as well! I want to thank all the volunteers for getting up and giving back to the community they love.
Question 14: Literature: Name one work of literature that has had an impact on you and why you think it is important for a guide during this election cycle? I love to read and enjoy the escape that reading a great novel provides. I also enjoy self-improvement books and the one that I recommend regularly right now is the Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister and Charles H. Green. In this book they talk about the importance of building and maintaining trust with others. I believe that I have built relationships of trust with key groups developing in the city. One in particular is the Smith's Marketplace development. One of the key project managers said at the grand opening, "that I was one of the main reasons we were standing there that day." He also said, "That he is excited for what else is coming!" It takes time to build credibility and reliability and establish relationships with others; I plan to continue to do develop these relationships for the betterment of the City of Saratoga Springs.
Question 15: Down Time: What do you do with your down time, what leisure activities do you like to participate in? I enjoy reading a good book, watching Fox News, and supporting my kids in their ballroom and sports activities. Both my kids are on the BYU Ballroom Youth dance teams and my son also loves playing city soccer, basketball and doing karate. So yes, they keep me busy and I love it!!!
Question 16: Why Your City: Why have you chosen your city as your place of residence? I work from home and can live really anywhere in this great country. When my wife and I were looking for a place to build our dream home and our future 10 years ago, we drove out to the west side of Utah Lake on back roads (Pioneer Crossing did not exist yet) and fell in love with Saratoga Springs at first site. We are in our second and forever home here in the city and look forward to being a part of the growth of the city as a resident and hopefully as a City Council Member for the next four years.
Additional questions will be answered in the days to come.