Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Campaign Narrative

I am trying to put together a narrative about me to convince the voters to vote for me. I wanted to include how I learned from the women in my family and how they prepared me to run for office.

My Mom set the example of being an informed voter and voting in every primary and general election. However, she did not contribute to any campaign, put out any lawn sign, or participate in any political party. My Mom, like many registered Republicans or unaffiliated, voted Republican but didn’t have time or money to participate in the party. That is why I’m running for Utah County Commissioner. I’m running to represent and serve those who have 2-3 jobs to support their family, who barely have enough to pay for the food in their fridge, who have expensive medical bills, who have a child that needs more love than their other children, and those who have a job that consumes most of their time.

My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Sarah Jane Perkins Rogerson, was first elected to office in 1900, twenty years before she could vote. Someone typed out her journal and emailed it out to the family, so here is an excerpt from my copy about her political career:

In the fall of 1900 I was appointed Deputy County Clerk of San Juan Co. (Miss Kate Perkins was the clerk, she taught school that winter and I did her office work.) At the election that fall, I was elected County Treas. and took over the treasurers business on the first of January 1901.

I served as deputy clerk till June of that year, at which time I was appointed County Clerk. I resigned my office as County Treas. and James Woke(?) was appointed Treas. in my place; and I was appointed Deputy Treasure which position I held for several terms. That same spring I was also appointed deputy assessor, that is, I was to do the assessor's book work. Willard Butt was the assessor. I was also deputy for D.B. Perkins, during his one term of office. I held the office of County Clerk for 14 years, being elected on the Republican ticket and the Democratic ticket, and twice I was on both tickets. I ran once on the Republican ticket against a Democrat and a Progressive ticket.

After I left the Clerk's office I served as Town Clerk for eight years. During my office career, my two sons Ed and Lynn, each filled a mission for the L.D.S. Church.

Sarah Jane married John Edward Rogerson, a survivor of the Martin Handcart Company, in 1879. Sarah Jane and John were asked to settle in Monticello, Utah in 1888 with their three children, their only daughter, Madora Laverna (she was called Vern), is my Great-Grandmother.

A while back my Aunt Sally gave me advice to join the PTA. She told a story about a bad teacher she was able to have transferred to another school because of her influence on the PTA. I took that advice as; if you aren’t involved how can you have any influence. So last year I joined the PTA even though we don’t have kids yet, so I can be involved in the neighborhood. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I'm kinda famous (it depends on how old you are)

Yep, that is me in the yellow dress holding the cup. 

I didn't think people still used this sacrament picture since it is so old. I remember going into the Distribution Center the first time and seeing the new picture. I was so sad I got replaced by a cute Polynesian girl.

If I remember right, it was the beginning of 2nd grade and my Mom picked me up early from school that day. We went to our chapel and we sat in those seats for HOURS! At least that was what it felt like. I felt bad for the deacon because he had to lean over for hours. But after we took a break everyone was worried about my finger, but it was fine. The little boy couldn't sit still, so I was wondering if he would be in the final picture. Remember this was the early '80's before digital cameras.

The lady that picked people for church pictures was in our ward when we lived in Centerville, Utah. I was in another picture with this family for the Ensign, it was about blended families. The church wanted to do a sacrament picture, but they wanted to add another kid to the family, so since I looked more like them than my own family, so I got picked. Plus I had the cute blonde kid thing goin' on back then.

This is my cousin Mary Ann. She was picked for the picture because she was 8 years old and my Uncle Don was a graphic artist for the church. Actually, I think my Uncle Don is the hands on the left. I think it was the old Valiant B Primary manual where me, Mary Ann, and her younger brother Chris were all in the picture section of the lesson book. My Grandma Riding had a copy of it and I remember seeing her copy in her bedroom after she died. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Infrastructure Issues: Water

On Monday KSL did a story about Goshen’s water problem.  

Except that isn’t the whole story. I met with Goshen Mayor Fred Jensen back in June, that’s when I found out about the problem. I’ve been meeting with mayors to find out about the issues each city deals with. He said the spring providing water had E. coli. Then in July I met with another south county mayor that told me Mayor Jensen had applied to for a grant to take care of the water. But I still felt like I didn’t know the issue, so I finally was able to speak to Marie Owens of the Division of Drinking Water. She explained to me that the grant would pay for chlorination equipment to clean the water, but there is no guarantee that the E. coli would be cleaned out of the spring. She also said each city needs to have a minimum of two sources of water and suggested drilling for a new well, using a new spring, or contract with another city to bring in their extra water. Although I thought other cities might be able to use river or lake water depending on their geography. I called back and spoke to the clerk in the Goshen city office and she clarified that the five homes in the KSL story are not in Goshen city limits, they are actually in the county unincorporated area.

This means technically these five homes would be in the jurisdiction of the County Commissioners. I have learned that the county government does not provide for infrastructure like an incorporated city would. The home owner needs to have their own well and septic tanks. I plan on meeting with all the people that live in the unincorporated areas since those are the people I will serve as a County Commissioner when the people elect me.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Infrastructure Issues: Roads

I went to a neighborhood (someone’s backyard) “Meet the Candidate” event in American Fork. The host was knowledgeable about the issues and explained anything he thought people might not know about. He explained the difference about infrastructure and quality of life issues. Infrastructure is the basic structures and facilities (airports, internet, waste, irrigation, transportation, housing, schools, water, roads, power, etc) needed for the operation of a city.  

Pleasant Grove city has a road problem, there is a proposition on the General Election ballot for Pleasant Grove citizens to vote for. "Proposition # 3 Shall Pleasant Grove City enact an ordinance requiring the transfer every year of TWO MILLION SIX HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($2,625,000.00) from the General Fund to fund road repair and maintenance as the primary budget priority? Road repair and maintenance would be funded before other general fund services which include: library, parks, swimming pool, cultural arts, and senior citizen services. FY 2017 General Fund Budget is $12,581,333.00, the required transfer represents a 20.86% budget reduction for general fund services without additional funding. The ordinance states services other than roads could be funded by pursuing tax increases or other means."

From the Daily Herald, "According to a recent engineering study, the city would need to spend $3.8 million per year on roads over a period of 20 years for the roads to be in good condition. Currently, $1.5 million is being spent annually on roads...City leaders released a fiscal impact statement, in response to the initiative, detailing which city services are in danger of being eliminated if the additional $2.3 million, about 18 percent of the general fund budget, is spent on roads. Services in danger of being eliminated include the library, swimming pool, parks and outdoor recreation programs, senior center, cultural arts and city celebrations."

When I went to the Pleasant Grove meet the candidates event, all the candidates I was able to talk to were against Prop 3 and they talked about adding a fee to the utility bill to fix the roads. Highland recently added an $18.50 per month transportation fee to their utility bill, after the failure of a citizen’s referendum to gather enough signatures to be put on the ballot. The Highland road fee has an ending deadline of June 30, 2028. 

However, cities have been criticized for adding fees to utility bills instead of increasing property taxes. If property taxes are raised, then truth-in-taxation hearings will need to be held. Increasing utility fees are easier and ensures that tax-exempt organizations (for example, churches and hospitals, which Utah County has a high number of) pay their share of the cost of government. Rep. Jefferson Moss of Saratoga Springs and Sen. Howard Stephenson of Draper co-sponsored H.B. 164 Municipal Enterprise Fund Amendments in the 2017 legislative session, which requires a municipality that intends to transfer money from an enterprise fund to another fund to provide public notice of the intended transfer, clearly identify the intended transfer in the tentative budget or budget amendment, and hold a separate and independent public hearing.

Roads are something we all need, but those pesky pot holes after snow storms can be frustrating. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Type of Candidate

I’ve been going to “Meet the Candidate” events in different cities in Utah County lately to prepare for my campaign next year. Last night it occurred to me that there is a pattern in the type of mayoral and city council candidates I am meeting.
Candidate 1: applied just to apply
Candidate 2: against another candidate or focusing on one issue
Candidate 3: they think they know what the issues are, but are not in touch with the people
Candidate 4: someone who knows the issues & has solutions to problems, and has a vision for how the city could be

I went to the Spring 2017 Provology class. Provo has a class every Wednesday (you have to sign up on the city’s website) where you learn about all the things it takes to run a city. During the class where Mayor John Curtis and City Manager Wayne Parker sat and answered attendees’ questions, someone asked Wayne what is the thing new mayors are surprised about? He answered that candidates come in with ideas on how to fix things, but after they are elected and face the reality of what an elected official can actually do in office can surprise them.

Because of this answer I decided I better learn everything about Utah County and what a Commissioner does so that there is no learning curve on day one. I’ve been meeting with county officials and employees and mayors and superintendentsMy list keeps getting longer, but I plan to meet with the Silicone Slopes tech business leaders, all the citizens of the unincorporated areas, etc, and then meeting again with Nathan Ivie and Bill Lee, current commissioners. Hopefully this will be accomplished before December because I plan on having a campaign kickoff fundraiser over Christmas break.