Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Heber City Election Information

With the Heber City Municipal Election fast approaching, voters need to become educated on the candidates.   Here is a podcast of a discussion/debate among the Four candidates, seeking to represent Heber voters on the City Council:

Brief notes, thanks to an informed, thankful listener activist: (listen to the recording, with the notes - it is sometimes difficult to realize who is speaking) 

Impact debate with Heber City Council Candidates.10-22-2013

Opening remarks.
  • Goode. – small business owner, children, and what is done going forward isimportant. Diverse community with empty nesters, young families. Concerned about HL&P
  • Hopkins – opportunity. We are growing, Need positive leadership. Managed growth. Business growth. Better communications within the council.
  • Potter- Reagan… has 5 children. Sees growth. Feels its important to plan for and manage growth. Wants people participation in government.
  • Franco.– loves the valley. Moved here 20 years ago. Wants to give back. Wants to preserve rural atmosphere, the agricultural base. Needs private market incentives to preserve the valley. Most balanced property rights. Concerned about water and air quality.

Q1. Enlargement of airport. Citizens oppose. Plans are being made. Will have to use eminent domain. Do you support enlargement of airport.
  • Hopkins. Must be environmental study. Can’t use eminent domain on another city. Timeline is 8-10 years out.
  • Goode. Must consider how it will help the city. Who uses. It’s use is largely outside Heber City. Therefore, we shouldn’t be the Park City Airport. Sees no reason to now.
  • Franco. – must consult constitution. She is adjunct at U. Property rights. FAA can condemn property in Daniels. Heber needs to be a good neighbor. Don’t need to be bossing Daniel around. Right now not in favor because of property rights. Will come up for a vote on whether or not to accept federal money. Valley should not be a transportation hub. Preserve quality of life. No no no.
  • Potter– Have not seen enough information. Concern about benefits. Must wait on environmental study. Can’t make a decision. Must clearly see benefits.
  • 2013-2014 budget has improvements to the Airport. Has a right to get as much federal money as possible. Supports maintenance.
  • Franco.…Landing fees stay in the airport fund. No money for general fund.
  • Goode.. Money stays in Airport. Taxpayers will end up paying without getting a benefit. Taxpayers bear a burden but Airport solely benefits.
  • Potter – need to study benefits. Needs impact study.

Q2. Should Heber try to get as much money as possible
  • Franco. teaches it. Federal budget under pressure. It’s discretionary spending can’t be sustained. When interest rates rise, interest of debt is a problem. SS, Medicare aren’t paying for themselves. Heber needs to be as self-sufficient as possible.
  • Potter We don’t have the option of opting out of the taxes so we shouldn’t opt out of the money.
  • Goode. You’ve got to be careful with the attached strings. Too much top down. Too many entanglements. Get back as much as possible but be careful of the strings.
  • Hopkins. Looks like agreement. Good for moving forward. FAA strings is a maintenance upgrade which only defines engineering standards. Wants to maximize. Has talked to over 650 and people have concerns about the airport. They want people to be accountable, who will make sound judgments etc.

Q3. Taxpayers should vote on bonds because it is citizens who are responsible. Would you support taking to the public? City just bonded for 1M.
  • Hopkins. Vote taken by council. Much unanimity that you have public comment period. Expect council to be unified. Paul had to repeat the question about citizens vote. Would be in favor of setting a limit where above a certain level.
  • Goode. Supports a limit. Wouldn’t vote on every bond, might suggest $1M or more.
  • Hopkins. City wants to know there is a consensus.
Bob had to repeat the question. Do you favor an ordinance.
  • Potter Low turnout. Water bond. Study for a year. Most citizens aren’t interested. People want to elect people. Would support a limit. Can’t throw out a dollar figure
  • Potter. Every vote counts. There is a level of interest that is needed. Some issues may be too complex.
  • Franco. Need to bring the city government to the people. More information on websites. Citizens should vote. It’s their money. It’s their full faith and credit.

Q4. Development and finances. What are your thoughts about fiscal impact of costs and what do you think of annexing to expand.
  • Potter Cities and counties are different. Cities have higher density. More roads and infrastructure. Likes to see the open fields. How can we accommodate but contain the development. We don’t want sprawl.
  • Goode. Single family homes may broaden tax base, apartments do not. High density isn’t always good. Why expand the boundaries? Who benefits. Must be tax efficient…small government…keep taxes as low as possible….must be business friendly. Empty nesters want families to come back and have a good job.
  • Franco. Heber shouldn’t be looking to annex into north fields or south fields, or the east side where the water district is. Like transfer of development rights. Farmers can kept he land and sell the density to a developer but keep their land. Can then buy other land and use the density. Wants to reserve. Never been enforced. Need City and county to work together. Developers have been granted high density through zoning rulings. City allowing higher density than county. Must slow down the high density.
  • Hopkins. Boyer development was very large. Need to look at it. Heber city finally got back to where they were in 2007 with sales tax revenue. Was a boon. Annexation and density, not sure where he stands. It should be studied.

Q5. Sales tax from Boyer, there was a debate on where to put it. Should tax be shared between county and city?
  • Hopkins. Revenue should stay in city.
  • Goode. If there was a legal and binding agreement, otherwise, no sharing. City took the impact.
  • Potter… agrees with Goode.
  • Franco. Likes the idea of cooperation.
  • Goode.. Likes competition. Midway has Ridley’s which is a WalMart type of store. Has no problem with another location. We should work together.
  • Franco. Doesn’t want cities giving away the farm to get the next store.
  • Potter. Who pays the impact.

Q6. What is view of tax breaks for business?
  • Potter Times when it is appropriate. Look at on a case by case basis.
  • Hopkins. Favors subsidies to draw businesses to economic zone.
  • Franco.. Doesn’t agree. Too many abuses where cities give away the farm and the rest of the taxpayers foot the bill. Thinks businesses should want to come here without the tax breaks.
  • Goode. He has a small business in valley. Does want to see businesses relocate to the valley to create good jobs. Must be looked at on a case by case business.

Q7. How long should subsidies last
  • Goode. 5 years but must look at type of jobs.
  • Hopkins. Would have to study but would prefer a longer study for a large economic boost
  • Potter…Agrees with Hopkins.
  • Franco. Disagrees. Too much abuse.

Q8. Impact fees paid by city.
  • Man bought lot, developer went bankrupt and didn’t completely finish the hookups. Man spent money trying to get his property rights. Impact fees originally paid must be reasonable and cover the impact. Bond fee paid by bankrupt developer.
  • Potter NC
  • Hopkins. Agrees with Franco. Land owner claimed that city employees had not been forthcoming in a change to the plat. He thought city bore some responsibility.
  • Goode. Citizen told a compelling story but that the city may have opened itself up to additional lawsuits. What are the facts? The city refunded his impact fee and maybe should not have. Doesn’t know the facts.

Q9. If city was partially responsible…what measures?
  • City lawyer should handle. Not convinced city made a mistake.
  • Franco. City did the right thing. She studies bureaucracies. They can be approved. Zoning code in city is loose. In the case, doesn’t like the idea of city favoring one individual. Developer paid the bond to the city. It wasn’t the property owners fault. The bond had been paid to the city. That should have covered it.
  • Potter Process is a red flag
  • Goode.…Not the job of the council. Job of the attorney.
  • Franco. It’s more than attorney. It includes the planning function. Must be careful and close loopholes so that it is fair.

Q10. City owns 75% of HL&P and board took money they didn’t deserve. Do you support in depth audit? The mess may be a tip of the iceberg.
  • Franco. Yes. Should be a performance audit perhaps by the state auditor. No retroactive pay increases. No pay increases until intervening election.
  • Potter Agrees. Audit needed to restore confidence.
  • Hopkins. Year end audit. There will be a new board. Wipe the slate clean.
  • Goode. Absolutely.

Q11. Cooperation between city and county is low. What would you do?
  • Potter Police is an example of cooperation. What are other counties doing? Need to find common purposes and build relationships.
  • Hopkins. Has worked for the county as a contractor. Has spoken to county council members. It takes will and leadership. Need the bypass
  • Goode. Must work together, develop common goals, improve communications etc. Must also communicate with primary.
  • Franco. Agrees. Need much more collaboration.

Q12 Treatment of public
  • Potter You are being hired by the people. Need to reach out to them. Town hall meetings. Use social media. Bring government to people.
  • Goode. When someone comes to council, they need to be treated with utmost respect. Need better communications. Would produce newsletters.
  • Hopkins. Agrees.. Better communications, likes open comment period. From talking to people, would propose Heber City Listen…and electronic panel that could be polled by the city.
  • Franco.. Need to bring government to people. Set up volunteer neighborhood groups that mayor and council could meet with.

Q13. What about payment on boards versus more citizen involvement in boards
  • Franco. Constitutional principles. People must protect their own rights. Elected officials are like coaches. Most concentrate on the basics, the protection of rights.

Q14 Why vote for?
  • Goode. Has MBA. Wants to improve valley.
  • Hopkins. It’s about leadership. Coming up with positive solutions. Is a consensus builder. Moderate.
  • Potter Has lived in lots of places. Valley has amazing people. Must bring people together. Will work with people.
  • Franco. Wants to give back. Has PhD in polysci. Believer in good government.   

Here's a recent interview with Candidate for Heber Mayor, Alan McDonald.

Heber City Mayoral Candidate Websites.

Alan McDonald       “My mission is to provide local government leadership that improves the quality of life of Heber City residents by reducing the financial and regulatory burden imposed by the city, promoting economic growth and the success of local businesses, and preserving the character and heritage of the city."

Mike Bardole       "Accountability and Transparency"

Heber City Council 

Danny Goode      "If elected I will launch a new era of full transparency and accountability at City Hall. After every City Council meeting I will post to this website the agenda, minutes, and tell you my thoughts and explain my votes regarding city issues. You may not always agree with me, but you will always know where I stand."
Kelleen Potter     " I believe in good government.  Like a good recipe, good government requires some specific ingredients.    The beauty of local government is that it requires a certain level of consensus to accomplish anything."
Rod Hopkins     "I believe Heber City is a well-managed corporation due in large part to sound fiscal practices and a city staff that are very dedicated.  As a new member of the City Council, I would be in favor of continuing this conservative fiscal approach to the management of our city."
Heidi Franco     "I will protect the rural quality of Heber. I'm also a Zoning Judge.  I know how to protect what we love about Heber.  I will protect your property rights & stretch our tax dollars.   Let's grow & revitalize Local Business."

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