PLAIN CITY -- Five candidates, including one incumbent, are in the race for three at-large seats on the Plain City Council. They see themselves as gatekeepers of what they refer to as "responsible growth."
"We are at the point that we need to be sure we're balancing development with quality of life," said incumbent Lefray Kelley, 59.
Kelley, a retired teacher and family therapist, has been on the council for years. A big point for her is communication with the residents. She has established two citizens advisory committees, one for arts and the other for parks and recreation, as well as a newsletter.
But to expand beyond inviting new business, Kelley touted her ability to fundraise and find grants to fund city projects instead of using only tax revenue. She said she has raised about $300,000 for projects, including a park, over the past four years doing just that.
Brandon Stokes, 39, has been out of Plain City government for a few years, working as a business manager for Kirk Mobile Repair -- but he plans to change that.
He decided now is the time to jump back into the municipal ring because he remembers that on the commission, he felt "like I was making good moves toward helping the citizenry, but not able to make the end results happen," he said.
Stokes wants to make sure that the city places new, small business that comes into the city -- something he would like to see -- in the appropriate area. He does not want to see a grocery store end up in a primarily residential area and damage the city's rural appeal.
He said he would rather see a smaller business, like a dental office or home-operated business, have the same spot.
Stokes points to his experience with the city on the commission as a good reason to vote for him.
Newcomers to muncipal government believe they have the background to help guide Plain City as well.
Joel Maw, 60, recently retired from his decades long aerospace engineering career and now works part time in real estate. A lifelong resident, Maw does not want to see Plain City lose its rural appeal.
But at the same time, he believes his years of corporate experience would help him attract business.
"I think we need to provide opportunity for businesses to come in," he said. "I'm not talking about a lot of business. A few things that will help increase the tax base."
He added that he's a good listener who can take advice.
Mark Lowther, 45, feels permitting "very light, limited commercial development" is the best way to go.
Lowther, a lieutenant in the Weber County Sheriff's Office, has seen other cities expand quickly and outgrow their resources and infrastructure as a result of it. He approves of very modest commercial growth, but said he would stand against any attempt from a big-box store to find a place in Plain City.
"I like the rural lifestyle out there. I like that it's where my kids are growing up," Lowther said.
Jay Christensen, the fifth candidate, did not respond to requests to be included in this article.
The candidates forsee Plain City developing in the coming years. Voters will choose on Nov. 8 who they want to try to manage that growth.