Thursday, October 18, 2007

NSL Meet The Candidates Night Thoughts

After attending the meet the candidates night tonight, I thought I'd be prepared to give my endorsements.

Frankly, I'm not entirely clear on everyone who will get my vote.

In the Mayoral election, I'll be voting for Schaefermeyer. That, despite the fact that she could not attend tonight. I've paid attention to what she's done as Mayor, as well as her opponent since his unsuccessful run for the county commission. The fact is that the current Mayor is a firebrand and has proven to be a great advocate for this city. She's been in the minority of mayors in this county to oppose excessive taxes and measures that don't benefit North Salt Lake specifically.

I have no doubt that I'll be voting for Ron Gordon. I think his leadership experience, and grasp of logic will be an asset to the city. I don't view him as much of an ideologue-rather, he's someone that holds judgment until he has enough data to act. (Full disclosure: I've had one individual close to Gordon guest blogging for me here on Davis County watch, although they were specifically chosen because they often hold a contrary positions as myself. Guess who?)

I'm also leaning towards Stan Porter. I think we should pick his brain, win or lose, regarding the layout of the city website. For my reasons for this check out his campaign website. If you like parks and trails to be done right, he's your man. He's chairman of the Parks, Trails, and Recreation board. I think he'd be responsible about how city money is spent in this regard. I think it's important to keep the city beautiful, but not to break the bank in the process.

My third choice is the most difficult. I'm shying away from the two retired police officers, Kelly Davis and John Herndon. My impression, I hope is coincidental. (I don't think I have anything against law enforcement.) My initial thought is clouded by the way a question was answered that by each candidate tonight. It was, 'what should the city council do regarding home owners who won't maintain their own property'? The two candidates mirrored each others response stressing, I thought, a bit too much that local ordinances should be enforced, and perhaps enhanced. The other candidates seemed to have a different tact that respect more the property owners prerogative to keep their own place. I think this is an area in which the government should have as light of a touch as possible with respect to individual rights.

More importantly, I don't think Davis or Herndon have enough leadership experience to be effective in their term. Davis described his career in West Valley as being that of a 'worker bee'. I have respect for the work that he's done, and he was quite charismatic when I spoke to him, but I still have doubts. The pamphlet that Davis distributed tonight had a photo of him in his police uniform. It rubbed me the wrong way because I recall Sheriff Cox getting chastised once for campaigning for Sheriff in uniform. I've heard from two individuals that Davis has also been caught inappropriately placing campaign signs prior to 30 days from the election.

That's a violation of city ordinance, by the way.

The youngest candidate was Scott Briggs, weighing in at age 28. I'm quite impressed with his enthusiasm, and charisma, but I wonder if he is going to leave enough of an impression on the electorate to win. He shares the name of a recent, effective, and popular mayor. That could put him in by default, except that I don't think he has put his own name out there enough. He has self-funded his campaign, accepting no donations. If he ever pulls this stunt running for a larger office, then he'll be toast. Donations are one way of demonstrating a candidate has support, although it might give the impression of a candidate encumbered by special interest. That is the cost of running, however. I think politicians can counter that by being virtuous in their personal lives.

You might have guessed that it was Briggs that had lauded Ron Paul, and had led me to worry that Briggs actually thought Paul could win. I really don't think that Briggs is deluded about Paul's chances for the Presidency, but his idealism does give me pause.

Lastly, my first impression of Brian Horrocks was that of a deer in the headlights. The only reason that I suspected that he was a candidate was that he was wearing a suit. When I approached him and introduced myself, I wondered if he was going to slink away after my introduction. He did, however, thoughtfully answer my questions. I think he is plain spoken, I hear he is very conservative, and I sense he is very stable. Predictability is a plus in my book. Some of his activities on the Planning commission are available via google.


Jeremy said...

I almost wish I could vote in NSL since I now know lots more about the candidates there than I do in my city! (also because I could cast a vote against your ignorant demagogue of a mayor)

Great post.

Tyler Farrer said...

Municipal elections are one area where I, and this blog, are going to fall short, because I just can't cover all of it.

Ignorant demagogue? How so?

Jeremy said...

Sorry about the name calling in that previous comment. It was out of line.

Tyler Farrer said...

No problem for me.

JaNeal said...

PLEASE reconsider your choice for mayor. Shanna Shaefermeyer is NOT an advocate for the city, nor has she been an effective leader; her only strong points being leftover from the elected mayor. Having had personal experience with her, it is clear that she out for herself, and cares little for others. Her opinions seem to have been made strictly in anticipation for this election as she was never elected into the position she currently holds. I believe if elected, she will continue to bring down the city and the problems with the increasingly corrupt city government (Mayor and City Manager) will never be addressed as Lynn Ballard has promised to do. Think about it. :)

Allie said...

My experience with Mayor Shaefermeyer has been great. I'm interested in why you think she is not an effective leader, or an advocate for the city, Janeal.

carolyn said...

Janeal, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Mayor Shaefermeyer. I have a different take on her because I have observed her for several years. I have only
respect for her leadership. She is a creative problem solver who sees the big picture and understands how all the small pieces fit together to form the whole project.

For example, she created the Distance Education department at SLCC (where I worked), worked with
administrators and state leaders to cause it to happen. I see this ability in her work as
mayor. She has great vision and the guts to see it through, especially when the city
council backs her up.

With our “weak mayor” type of city government, the mayor does not have a vote in city policy. The real power brokers are the city manager and the city council. That means that the mayor is more influential by hiring a strong city manager and serving as an advocate for the city on the many county committees. A
knowledge and understanding of political and business organizations is also key. I'm
very secure with Shanna as mayor.