EDITOR'S NOTE: The Standard-Examiner will run a series of municipal election previews prior to the Nov. 5 election date.
WASHINGTON TERRACE -- Voters here don't have a lot of new faces to sort through as incumbents have drawn little opposition in the 2013 election campaign.
The mayor is facing off against a former city council member, while the two council members on the ballot are challenged only by a hopeful half their age.
The five names come election day, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, to choose from: Mark Allen, incumbent mayor, versus council veteran Warren Vaughn; and three men grappling for two council seats, challenger Andrew Gibby and incumbents Robert Jensen and Val Shupe.
The candidates are scheduled for a "meet and greet" night organized by local residents planned for Oct. 10, from 6-8 p.m. at the Weber County Library branch located in Washington Terrace.
Among the council candidates, incumbent Val Shupe has a history of multi-tasking. Seeking his second 4-year term, Shupe, 65, in the years 2009 and 2010 stepped in for two 6-month stints as interim city manager while also a member of the city council and still working full time as South Ogden police chief. He finally resigned from the force in July of 2012 after 40 years there, 18 as chief.
Shupe and fellow incumbent Jensen, 64, also seeking a second term, are neighbors and have similar stated goals. They want to bolster commerce in what is basically the bedroom community of Washington Terrace.
The city needs places "where our people can spend their own money in our own community," said Jensen, a retired banker now operating a family home-based business.
Among other things, both cite the importance of continuing improvements to Adams Avenue at the city's south end.
Jensen calls his "keystone accomplishment" the continuing reductions in the law enforcement contract the city has with the County Sheriff's Office, the city at one point charged disproportionately to what other cities were paying for law enforcement coverage.
Gibby, 34, a records management supervisor for Fresenius Medical, wants some things changed, specifically, the way the city bills for water.
For a city with "perfect starter homes" for young families, he said -- like his own, with three young children and a fourth on the way -- the city's water rates are crucial.
Some of the rates triple that of the next highest in the county, Gibby said.
"The Terrace is a great place for starter homes" he said. "They're old military homes, so they're larger ... and it's perfect for the proximity to Weber State University."
But the structure of the city's water rates puts too much of the load on young families, he said. "I've talked to a lot of people during the campaign, knocking on doors, and it's their number one issue. Local government has quite a bit of say in what comes out of our pockets."
Mayor Allen, 57, soon to retire after 34 years with UPS, is seeking his sixth term as mayor after 14 years on the job. He served three 2-year terms before a change in the city style of government went to four-year terms.
He finds the lack of candidates seeking to unseat incumbents a sign citizens are satisfied with how the city is run.
"It's pretty quiet," Allen said. "Things are going very well. If you can keep off the front page with negative stories, that helps. We've had good press with what's going on in the city. A balanced budget, no lawsuits, I'm real happy with the way things are going."
He agreed with Shupe and Jensen's assessment of priorities, with economic development "floating to the top among our goals." Filing the vacant grocery story and completing the Adams Avenue improvement are at the forefront of the city's economic development, he said. "It's sustainable growth and that's a top revenue source and I look forward to finding new revenue sources for the city."
Vaughn, 47, a Union Pacific engineer, veteran of three terms on the city council, seeks to unseat Mayor Allen.
During his 12 years on the city council through 2009, he served as mayor pro tem, council chair and on the board of directors for the Utah League of Cities and Towns. Vaughn, then, has a clear record he can point to.
"During my tenure," he noted, "I voted to (reduce law enforcement costs), I voted for recycling garbage, which reduced our tonnage payment to the dump by a third. I voted for building a new Senior Center/Fire Station and City Hall without raising taxes. This was done through grants, land donation and existing funds."
He also cited his votes for park and recreation program improvements, and the 20-year plan for road and infrastructure upgrades. "I have consistently voted against tax increases, choosing rather to look for other way to meet our goals, like the solar grant money we received for the fire station. The solar energy reduces costs of running the building."
Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister