NAME: John Thompson
POSITION: Compliance Agent for Utah Office of Recovery Services
1) What is your opinion of the 12-year tenure of Mayor Godfrey?
Overall, all things considered, beneficial, good, positive. First, he was elected 3 times. Second, he did not get done everything he wanted to do. Third, he has a much different style and understanding of what a mayor can do or should do from myself but a least he tried. And fourth, I did not and still don't agree with all he wanted to do however I've always wished him success, for my benefit and for the whole of Ogden, in all his undertakings. He handled some major initiates in ways that, in my opinion, did not help him make his case.
2) Do you think an Ogden streetcar system is economically feasible?
Guess this depends upon what's meant by economically feasible? First, aware of this issue but never followed it that closely. Second, I never thought there was a need for this system or a system from downtown to WSU and McKay-Dee. If you want a system that at least pays for itself, I don't believe it would work now nor in the near future.
3) List three initiatives, or main themes, of your administration if you are elected.
Initiative A: Having, or putting, the Council back in charge. They are the "idea" people that decide what Ogden, through its residents, want, where we want to be headed, what benefits, functions, products, and services Ogden wants and at what cost. Ogden is unique with its Council as it's the only legislative body that each voter gets a vote for a majority on the Council.
Initiative B: Reset the precedence that the mayor works for the Council. We all worked, are working, or will work for someone and city government in our form is no different. That's the way it was set up and intended to function. The mayor is the "action" part of city government to ensure those four previous decisions are provided at the right, if not the least, cost to taxpayers (residents and nonresidents). Priority of initiatives by the mayor should center on making the efficient and proper operation of city government the most efficient and effective as possible which means his focus should be on ordinances already on the books.
Initiative C: My main, initial enforcement of city ordinances would concentrate on improving and enhancing the neighborhoods of Ogden. Community and economic "development" is important but I'm not convinced that the dollars expended in these areas, for the results achieved, were worth the cost. I believe that in making a first choice to reside in Ogden would increase property values and have more residents spending money here, attracting more businesses and retail to locate here. I believe in a more stable, permanent resident population. Ideally, I want most residents to live, and work, in Ogden.
4) Do you agree with the Ogden Ethics Project that candidates should not accept campaign contributions from businesses and unions and other business-related groups?
I agree with this proposal for myself. I won't criticize a candidate that accepts any legal contributions. I, at this time, won't accept any contributions, from any source. If I make it through the primary, I might allow what I've believed for decades in regard to campaign financing. This belief being that only two groups should be allowed to contribute (as much of their own money as they wish) to candidate's campaigns - the candidates and those eligible (preferably registered voters ) to vote for those candidates. We the People vote, not corporations, Pacs, etc.
5) Why should people vote for you instead of the other candidates?
I'm a tugboat, not a showboat. If elected and few people knew my name at the end of my only term, I would feel successful if most residents knew their council members name (at least their four). This means they are involved in the process and understand our form of government and how the political system works for them. I will bring back city government to the way intended by the founders. The Council passes laws based upon the will of the people; the mayor executes those laws in the most effective and efficient way operationally possible. I won't be the 8th member of the Council. Debate, disagreement, and compromise should occur within Council deliberations, not between them and the mayor. I will avoid or eliminate conflict with the Council. My initiates will be towards updating current ordinances, and canceling those no longer required or that are outdated. I'm an outstanding administrator. I have great administrative, organizational, and leadership skills. I'm mission oriented.
6) What do you think about security measures in Ogden, including the crime center and upcoming police blimp?
I think overall security (meaning police functions) measures in Ogden are adequate on the surface. I would like to compare them to see if equal or better than cities with a similar population and demographics. As to the center and blimp I would say if these became activated due to being passed by the Council what I think is irrelevant. I would review both operations to see if the cost to operate them was effective and if they achieved the desired results in making Ogden a safer city. I will also state that there is always room for improvement and the goal should always be to reach perfect, 100 percent, and become better than the day before.