NORTH OGDEN -- While candidates say the controversy over the city's proposed public works complex has been a big issue, it is only a catalyst for deeper problems they intend to fix if elected.
With City Councilwoman Martha Harris withdrawing from the race, there are no incumbents in the field for three open seats on the council.
Candidates are Kent Bailey, 61; Brian Davis, 36; Glenn Donnelson, 73; Justin Fawson, 36; and Cheryl Stoker.
Bailey, a semi-retired software company owner, has no municipal service but is a longtime member of the North Ogden community. Now that he is working less, he has time to give back to his community.
"Obviously public works became the top issue, but that isn't my primary motivation," Bailey said of his decision to run. He believes North Ogden needs a council that is more responsive to wishes of residents.
If elected, he plans to work hard to involve other people in city issues and would also like to change the time of the city council meetings so more people can attend. He would like people to understand their civic duty, and he thinks, by educating them on what that is, there will be more involvement.
He thinks his years of working in the community with his business gives him a leg up on how to communicate with people.
Brian Davis is a managing real estate broker. He said he has served on legislative committees the past few years and sees a multitude of issues in the city right now.
"A lot has been focused on the public works and bond, but we need to change the very nature of the way North Ogden operates," Davis said. "The bond is just one problematic issue."
Davis has several ideas about how to do that. A change in the city council is important, which is already being taken care of with no incumbents in the race.
The second is to look at city staff.
"I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the staff," he said. He noted that a change in attitude may be the key.
He would also like to look at policies and procedures within the city.
There are police officers who only write tickets, he said, so maybe fewer officers are needed.
He feels his experience with legislative committees and in business gives him expertise to be able to make the changes the city needs.
Glenn Donnelson, 73, is a retired Deseret Industries manager and also served in the state legislature from 2000 to 2008.
Donnelson also sees the public works facility as a big issue -- but underlying that problem is residents' lack of trust and confidence in the city council.
If elected to the council, Donnelson would like to see the process the city used for the public works complex change.
"We need a firm price before we go to bond," he said. He thinks the council has too many closed meetings and wants to see fewer of those. "The minutes also need to be readily available at any time," he added. "A transparent government and open-door policy is critical."
He sees his service in the legislature as a huge positive for him in serving on the council. "I know how the money should flow," he said.
Justin Fawson, 36, is the marketing director of Mountain Alarm. Although he doesn't have direct municipal services, he feels his experience sitting on the boards of two community organizations -- Venture Academy charter school and the Ogden Rotary Club -- give him good experience.
He sees fiscal responsibility and business growth as the two most important issues in the election. Fawson acknowledges that the public works issue has been the most public issue, but says the two other issues feed into it.
"We need to examine and evaluate the needs versus the wants," he said.
He would work to make the city more business friendly. "I have been very involved and I believe my actions speak louder than my words," he said in regard to city matters.
He has been talking to businesses in North Ogden about what they would like to see and would put some of that information to good use, if elected.
He feels his experience as treasurer of the two boards he sits on gives him a good feel of how to handle money in the city. "They are both very healthy financially," he said.
Cheryl Stoker is hairstylist in North Ogden and has served two terms on the Board of Adjustments and was recently appointed to the planning commission. She could not be reached for comment for this story.
At a meet-the-candidate night, Stoker said she was happy to represent women in the city and would be only the second woman to ever serve on the council in North Ogden.
In an interview before the primary election, Stoker said public works and money issues are the biggest in North Ogden. She agrees a new public works facility is needed.
"Many of the options presented have been ignored. We need a new public works facility but not at the price tag," Stoker said.
She would like the city be more business friendly and thinks the city could use businesses to raise money for some of its services.
"There are always ways to raise money if the community is involved," Stoker said.
At the meet-the-candidates night she said her experience on the Board of Adjustments and recently on the planning commission gives her a good sense of how the city works and what can be done.