FRUIT HEIGHTS -- The candidates voted in from the Sagebrush and Pinecone parties, which is unique to this city's electoral system, during its caucus meeting in October are moving into the general election with hopes keeping their city out of debt while providing sufficient services for residents.
The candidates for the Nov. 8 election are: Kris Christensen, Diane Anderson, James Biorge, Eileen Moss, and Craig Hill.
Anderson wants to follow in the footsteps of her son, Mike, who is finishing up his term on the city council and not seeking re-election.
Anderson, 57, from the Sagebrush Party, wants to make sure the city continues to stay fiscally prosperous. "I would strive to mirror and model the wise decision-making of the past decades," said Anderson.
Having been a homemaker and caregiver for years, she hopes she can use her experience to help the city foster a spirit of unity, camaraderie, and service.
"My experience with our citizens in building a community playground and in participating in our Founder's Days celebrations makes me hungry for more opportunities to cooperate for the good of the city," said Anderson.
Biorge, 57, with the Sagebrush Party, also feels Fruit Heights is doing well, but could improve its transparency and make city council decisions and issues more readily available to residents.
"Technology allows us to share what is transpiring and as a representative voting according to responses from the public," said Biorge, "my commitment is to share meeting minutes, agendas, budgets, financial statements, and actions within 24 hours so people can be kept abreast."
That way, Biorge said he could make better decisions based on how his constituents responded. Additionally, Biorge feels that Fruit Heights needs to find other ways to produce revenue. He suggests looking into some untapped resources available in this city.
"We have resources here that are being under-utilized," said Biorge. "I hope to create a business-friendly environment and help individuals come together."
Christensen, 59, an incumbent from the Pinecone Party and Director of Beehive Clothing, is hoping to continue his momentum from his last four years serving on the city council. He feels it is important for their city to continue providing services for their residents while keeping within the budget.
"In terms of spending, there are five people who vote on all these budget issues, so it's imperative that we conservatively estimate and plan our expenses for 5 percent less," said Christensen.
He would also like to continue his work on the possibility of a city cemetery.
"As our neighbors' cemeteries are filling up, we are exploring options within our budget," Christensen said. "Many cities would say that cemeteries are a negative cash flow, but I think we're exploring some out-of-the-box options that would not allow that to be the case."
Another incumbent, Hill, 58, with the Sagebrush Party, said the continual challenge is the city's economic base and saving funds for future needs.
"It's a wonderful thing that we're a city that doesn't have any debt, but all of us have to be vigilant that we don't incur debt through bonding," said Hill.
Hill wants to make sure the city remains fiscally responsible for the future. With his background in budgeting as the Director of Finance for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Department, Hill would like to help the city keep expenses low and keep a reserve pool of money on hand.
With the Pinecone Party, Moss, 53, feels the city is in a good position with no debt. But she realizes costs continue to go up, but that shouldn't necessarily mean raising property taxes. Moss feels that with her experience of serving on the city council in previous years and being on the planning commission, she knows more of the right questions to ask when it comes to budget issues.
"I have a unique perspective and have been in city government longer than some of the other staff," Moss said.
Also a substitute teacher and volunteer with the IRS's volunteer income tax program, Moss would like to help the residents plan better for emergencies.
Michelle Cox, originally nominated at the caucus meeting for the Pinecone Party, has since withdrawn.