Growth top issue in Clinton for candidates

Oct 21 2011 - 11:07pm



CLINTON -- Growth is the No. 1 issue on many candidates' minds in preparation for city council elections on Nov. 8.

Brice Mitchell, a 37-year-old home builder, said Clinton is experiencing growth that needs to be planned.

"We need to accept who we are and the growth we have," he said. "We need to be grateful for it. We need to build our city."

Mitchell's plan is to ensure that it is feasible, and even easy, for businesses to come to Clinton. He plans to do this by ensuring that the rules and procedures are reasonable for newcomers.

Vernon Warner, a 54-year-old ATK lab technician, agrees that growth is a major issue. However, he noted that coping with it is the challenge. He wants to ensure that the needed infrastructure is in place before the growth.

"We should not be trying to do it when we already have thousands of people," Warner said, noting that things such as widening roads should be done before the people move in.

"Infrastructure needs to be one step ahead of development. We need to predict the growth."

Likewise, he said, the infrastructure should be paid for using funds from growth, not tax increases.

"You see where cities get bonds to pay for things," Warner said. "People are never relieved of that money. You never hear of cities lowering taxes."

He wants to study growth and prepare for it if elected.

Michael Petersen, 52, thinks that, with issues such as growth, development, tighter budgets and more, one topic that needs to be addressed is erosion of residents' property rights.

"I think we can work as a council to give (residents) more control of their property and less intrusion into their personal lives," he said. "I will be fighting for the (residents) and their rights as property owners."

He added that this will spill over into the other issues that the city might be experiencing.

Meanwhile, incumbent Cheri Reed, a 57-year-old saleswoman for Budget Blinds, said her greatest concern involves quality-of-life issues.

"I want Clinton to continue being a place residents want to live and a safe place to raise their families," she said.

To that end, Reed wants to ensure that the community programs and arts program continue, that the business district remains centrally located and that expansion of commercial development along 1800 North stops. She doesn't want that street to become a Riverdale Road.

"I want my community to stay a great place to live," Reed said, noting she would address these issues through the general planning process currently under way.

Incumbent Anna Stanton, the 38-year-old owner of Wedding Cakes by Anna, said maintaining services, keeping the essentials going and continuing improvements on roads and parks during this tough economy is the biggest challenge the city faces.

She plans on "staying on a steady course" if re- elected. This means doing the best the city can without incurring more debt.

Stanton hopes to work to pay off debt and carefully plan for the future. She wants to set up specific accounts for road and other improvements.

Anthony Thompson, a 52-year-old property manager and planning specialist for Davis County, said the biggest issue for the city is a lack of future direction. With the city growing, there are issues with increasing costs for services, such as street maintenance and repair.

Thompson said the city needs to combat this problem by capitalizing on commercial development and having an updated general plan that guides what residents want as well.

"The thing to keep in mind is, unplanned and wasteful land use is the problem, not growth itself," he said. "We must be able to grasp what future land uses can offer and keep our community values."

Thompson wants to work to maximize revenue sources while operating on a balanced budget and creating a rainy day fund.

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