NORTH SALT LAKE -- The current economy and the impact it is having on North Salt Lake is the No. 1 issue for the four candidates seeking a seat on the city council.
The four will battle for three seats at the general election Nov. 8.
Lynn L. Ballard, 61, works for the Transportation Security Administration and is seeking his fourth term. He served three terms, but didn't run again in 2007 for a fourth.
"The biggest thing the city is facing is keeping our taxes down," Ballard said. "We had a pretty good surplus when I left four years ago, but there is no money left after the city building was finished."
Ballard said residents pay enough in taxes, and the easiest way to deal with the problem is, "you don't spend more than you have."
He also suggests the city use volunteers for projects, such as planting trees, instead of paying for the service.
"People really buy into the city when they volunteer," Ballard said.
Many Eagle Scout projects were organized when he previously served on the council, he said.
Incumbent Brian Horrocks, 55, an asset manager in commercial real estate, is seeking his second term. He said transportation corridors in the city need to be changed.
City officials have done a lot of work to improve the corridors into the city, but a lot more can be done to make North Salt Lake more attractive to those coming into the city, Horrocks said.
"We're working right now to update our planning and zoning map," he said.
Horrocks said he would like to see the zoning changed from industrial to commercial in a few areas to attract retail businesses.
But it will take more than just a wish, he said.
"Just because government wants something doesn't mean it will happen."
For example, for several years, the city wanted a grocery store to be established on the west side of the city, "but it hasn't happened," Horrocks said.
Stretching North Salt Lake's limited resources to meet the needs of residents is the No. 1 issue for incumbent Conrad Jacobson, 67.
A retired federal investigator, Jacobson is seeking his second elected term as a council member.
"We're hoping for increased sales tax revenue, but we need to manage the government's income so our outgo is not exceeded," he said.
In order to save money, Jacobson said, city officials have not rehired as staff have either retired or left city positions and city positions have been consolidated.
The city will continue to consolidate positions as long as it can, he said.
"The city is dependent on taxes and fees for revenues, and we haven't had to raise taxes in the past. I don't think the city will raise taxes in the future," Jacobson said.
Cutbacks in tax revenue are also a concern of incumbent Stan Porter, 55, a computer professional.
He said educating North Salt Lake residents on "the real values of local government" will help residents understand what their property tax dollars are paying for.
Porter said the solution isn't raising taxes. If funds aren't available, the city may have to make difficult decisions, such as not repairing roads or decreasing services.
"I personally believe the city does a pretty good job," he said. If residents understand where their tax dollars go, "then they will understand the value they are getting," Porter said.
John Herndon, whose name is listed on the ballot, said he has chosen to withdraw "because those running are very well-qualified."