20060408 County Commissioner debate

Sorry for posting this late. This was the County Commissioner debate that helped us get some insight in to the candidates in person.. (Jessica made a plea for volunteers to help, but after that the debate opens with a question on Growth, then light rail etc.)

1:32:56 PM Information Set up by Jessica Connors. Thanks to the DTC club – Adam etc. ushering and setup. Intro Jessica
1:33:50 PM Information Jessica Connors “Impassioned plea for volunteers :). Citizens Resource is 2 family started 4 years ago. We are trying to assist everyone to know their vote. There is a low voter turnout where we are very concerned about doing the right things and paying back to the country. For those many people who are interested, we still seem to have low turnout. I feel that many vote without knowing what their vote is for. It is hard to get infromation on all the candidates. You need to hear them, see them, and watch them in head-to-head with their opponents. Most of you are elected individuals for your precinct and county.
I ask you to participate with us in creating a really nice forum like this for the Primary election. We should have 6 weeks of warning and can then help everyone be better informed about what they are voting for.
I envision you signing up today as we pass the paper around. Please give us email and names. Or go to citizensresource.org and subscribe so you can get announcements.
Our primary event is going to be June 10, 2006.
Please let 5 people know and commit to come.
Leg. Chairs I ask to follow up with your precinct chairs.
Turn time to Scott Biship – moderator”
1:44:38 PM Information Scott Bishop 2 min. with 30 second yellow warning. Rotating forum
1:45:14 PM Question Scott Bishop Single greatest issue for County government today.
1:45:32 PM Answer Jerry Grover So much to address, but the most important right now is probably roads. I was elected in 1995. Our county has doubled since I was voted in. We need to manage our resources frugally.
1:46:20 PM Answer Shirrel Young I’ve been in this county since 1975. I attended school here in 1922. The question of how much growth we can stand is a problem. We really need transportation in this county. Things got out of kilter last Friday. It took us 2.5 hours to get to Saratoga Springs. Perhaps we can get a causeway across the lake or extension of Redwood Road. Taxes won’t probably have to be raised at all since we have grown so much.
1:48:32 PM Answer Bill Ellis “I would like to thank you for coming and trying to get to know the issues and how we can resolve them. I believe that our current form of government with only 3 commissioners is under representing. The only check and balance is the county convention, so we need more say in our county government. It only takes 2 votes to change the way things are.
This is the biggest concern that I have considering the fact that we are a growing County. If we work together with our cities and states and federal representatives we will be able to deal with the growth.”
1:50:22 PM Answer Steve White We need to manage growth. Transportation is not the only issue, but law enforcement. We are growing our county jail. Police officer in AF arrests and it takes 3 hours to get someone to the jail. We have a plan for growth with the DC delegation. We are moving forward, but law enforcement is the #1 item. We have increased 25% for patrolling, 50% for cases, but 60% case load growth. Managing this without new taxes is the key.
1:52:12 PM Answer Gary Anderson I think the main issue is leadership. Whether road, water or growth, it doesn’t matter. The county commission has been alienated from the mayors. They feel like they are tearing their hair out. The increase in the deputies is really the cities hiring via contracts the city police. They want more patrol teams and have received the promise now that we are in an election year.
1:54:10 PM Answer Howard Stone Thanks for coming and organizing. Growth is the key issue. Transportation and law enforcement and occupancy in our jails. I threw my name in here because I have a background in Project Management. I believe that we need better management skills in the county office. If this were a ball game, the commission is in the dugout and not pitching. We need them to get out and throw the ball and work on the same team with the cities.
1:56:01 PM Question What is the balance between growth, development and recreational needs?
1:56:27 PM Answer Shirrel Young I feel that we need more help with 5 dedicated commissioners. We need more head power to solve these issues and questions. I would listen to any constituent and represent their views. (muttering-hard to hear) We need to get more involvement. I have come out of retirement to help out.
1:58:40 PM Answer Bill Ellis Growth and development are happening so we need to make sure that we approach that with a dignified front. We need to set a standard for each development that comes along. What we don’t want is uncontrolled development. Lindon might want different green space than Provo. We don’t want to spread houses all over without any green space. We need to use Utah Lake more. We need to take the approach of the broader representation, so we need more input from the public and the communities.
2:01:05 PM Answer Steve White We should look to the law. Each municipality has sovereignity. We have no jurisdiction. We do have a Metropolitan Planning Organization. I suggested that the south county mayors do something together. We need parkways and expressways built with advance warning, but every city has power. The county has a park system. We are working on a trail to circumnavigate Utah Lake. We have a plan, but the citites must do their part. The population of the county is now down to 10,000 people.
2:02:53 PM Answer Gary Anderson We have wonderful recreation areas where we live. The trick is to keep the balance. We have to work together. The Utah County travel bureau. We have lost county trails because of miscommunication. We need to review our MPO. Tourism is the best dollar we can get. The county should be leading out in that.
2:04:48 PM Answer Howard Stone What I sense with these problems is that there is disconnects with the city and county. There needs to be a better connection. The bedside manner of a doctor is as important as the treatment. We do have a lot of recreational areas.
2:06:46 PM Answer Jerry Grover “I am a licensed Engineer and graduated geologist. The un-incorporated county area is built up on the Brigham Young model. We will not encumber citys. Different city’s behave differently. I have known 72 different mayors while in this office. You can plan in working together with the cities. We need to expand our hazard materials address.
We have cooperated well with cities. The Provo parkway we have worked very well.
Is there need for more? Maybe”
2:09:03 PM Question Scott Bishop “Anderson, Stone and Grover – Seat A
Young, Ellis and White – Seat B
There is no limitation to powers for different seats.
What should be done about light rail? How about gridlock?”
2:10:31 PM Answer Bill Ellis “Utah County is at the top of the list of receiving assistance from the state. The MPO has done some good planning and development on the cooridors. I would continue to work with the MPO on these issues.
We need to look at partnerships of perhaps working with Union Pacific in the early hours and during commute times. We may need to move to an express bus system vs. light rail since it is cheaper and has quicker startup.
Public transit is an ongoing concern that would involve lots of funding and would need consensus.”
2:12:18 PM Answer Steve White “When we are finished in June/July with the 4th lane it will help. AF main street is still just 2 lanes. We would need construction. The MPO has been working on this (names.) We have come up with the list that is theirs. We are working together with mayors and legislators.
I proposed the express buses. I rode the buses and got 3 newspapers to print up the story and we got 15 new buses. I am willing to work hard so that we can get real resolutions.”
2:14:12 PM Answer Gary Anderson “I appreciate that Steve. The things that are happenning out on the freeway are just preliminary. The legislature funds that now. We still have questions about what is going on down here in UT county. We need to be united down here.
70% of people in UT county wants light rail. Our plan does not cover this issue well.”
2:16:26 PM Answer Howard Stone “How many of you commute to SLC? I used to drive to SLC every day. I used to fly around a lot. It’s horrific out there. I think what has led up to this is reprehensible. We have got to establish a complete corridor from Provo to Lehi. The cities would have to approve an increase in tax to cover this.
UTA has already acquired permission to use rail line and they need some help.
I need us to get united.”
2:18:21 PM Answer Jerry Grover “There is an MPO plan, but it is not able to build roads. You need money. The county recently voted to expand moneys to buy Right of Ways from cities. A while back I opened something to vote on for the purchase of these things.
When the gridlock has occurred, it is too late.
UTA and commuter rail is being addressed. Larry Ellertson is on the board. We have pushed to get the rest of the south county on the UTA. The commission can not force the cities to get on with the plans.
We do need more money though in order to execute.”
2:20:49 PM Answer Shirrel Young “I am in favor of railroads. My great grandfather road the first railroad and is buried right here in AF. The north end could be alleviated by a causeway across the lake. We did that 100 years ago. Orange County had the same problem 30 years ago.
We need money.”
2:22:10 PM Question Scott Bishop If elected what will you do so that local offices will be ready to address bird flu?
2:22:36 PM Answer Steve White Currently we have a great health department. We went through training just this week as a matter of fact. We will be modeling all the different options that can happen over this next quarter. Avian flu or SARS etc would eat us alive. We would have to quarantine. They tell us that we really need 7-10 days of supplies in each home to be prepared.
2:23:58 PM Answer Gary Anderson Avian flu is the latest in a string of scares. My 9 year old girl just got chicks for Easter. I am concerned about it. But we need to be ready and must work together. We have 10500 in the un-incorporated areas and have 650,000 in the area. We must work together and have a plan. We need to be a team and can’t be fractured.
2:25:28 PM Answer Howard Stone Any epidemic or disaster in our county would be horrific. The best made plans can be overwhelmed in a short amount of time. Planning and preparation is about establishing lines of communication between everyone. Most disasters go bad fast when people don’t know what’s happening. We need to have backups in place. We need to have our 72 hour kits. If we are members of the pre-dominant religion we are being counseled personally. We need to prepare on our own.
2:27:19 PM Answer Jerry Grover “I agree with Howard on a couple of things. Communication is number one. We need to get a standard together with all communities. We have an 800hz trunking system that I have worked hard to put together.
The MPO does not coordinate emergency planning. There is a local committee in each city that means actively to learn how to address SARS etc. Interesting enough UT county was more successful that SL. I have been trained in this. I did this at Geneva Steel and have been through some of these emergencies. I believe the county is well prepared.”
2:29:24 PM Answer Shirrel Young I have 12 children with 1 son. Rose and I have not had but one slight cold. Our health is good. We encourage our kids to keep their health up. We should each do our part. The future is upon us and if we don’t take accountability, we may rue the day. I encourage you all to take a second look at your own lives.
2:30:44 PM Answer Bill Ellis “I am grateful for Dr. Minor and his crews. If we have a flu pandemic, it could alleviate our transportation problems? ๐Ÿ™‚ We wouldn’t be asking this question if we knew we were ready. We need to have more communication through email lists and bulletin boards and traffic systems. Our employers need to be warned of what they can do to help. We need to learn from each other and others to brainstorm answers.
It is also a personal responsibility.”
2:32:50 PM Closing Scott Bishop We will post the candidate responses to your other questions on the website.
2:33:14 PM Closing Jerry Grover “It has somehow been painted that I am a mean ogre but I am friendly. My approach is not emotional but systematic. In order to solve things you have to think through it and bring answers to the table.
There has been a lot of good team work and some of it is difficult.”
2:34:20 PM Closing Shirrel Young Thank you for listening to me. Experience is my own trump card. I have been active for 70 years as an adult taking care of things. I present my training and experience to serve one last 4 year term.
2:35:32 PM Closing Bill Ellis Thank you. I believe that it is time for more representation to address these questions and the other unanswered questions. Our county commission needs to reflect the variety. We need to inform ourselves and know the needs of our county. You are the only check on this form of government.
2:36:43 PM Closing Steve White I am one of you as a chairman and delegate. We have privatized 2 agencies and reduced the budget needs of our county. We have done things to help the tax payers. If you want someone who will be tough for the budget.
2:37:55 PM Closing Gary Anderson You don’t need to raise taxes to get services. Our county employees have been neglected and annoyed. The sherrifs department has asked me to run. We need leadership and be united. Gary Anderson for county commission.
2:38:42 PM Closing Howard Stone What I am selling today is that I am operations project manager. He is selling engineering I am selling operations and management. I have to find a solution without exceeding taxes on any categories. I am friendly and catch throw the pitch and play catcher. We have to work together.
2:39:53 PM Adjourn

About mohpolitics

Comments are closed.