SYRACUSE -- There will be changes to city government coming to this community.
Mayor Jamie Nagle and Councilman Larry Shingleton have opted not to seek re-election, which means there will be a new mayor come January of 2014 and at least one new member of the council, perhaps two.
Voters won't have to look far -- when election day hits on Nov. 5 -- to find differences in the field of candidates.
The contest between Councilman Doug Peterson and businessman Terry Palmer for mayor comes down a moderate versus a conservative. They both offer different approaches to potentially raising fees or addressing whether the city should look at installing meters to monitor secondary water use.
The council race also offers a wide array of options, including one incumbent, a former council member and a resident who is formally waging a write-in campaign. The race includes Councilman Brian Duncan, former councilman Mike Gailey, Planning Commissioner Gary Pratt, Allen Lowry and write-in candidate Randy Miller.
In the mayoral race, Peterson said the biggest difference between he and Palmer comes down to experience. He has served six years on the council and says he has a track record of providing services without raising taxes and working with staff. He describes himself as a team builder.
He said he believes in holding the line on property taxes but favors looking at fees, such as lights, water and garbage, to make sure those enterprise funds are self-sustaining. He also said he would like to at least explore the option of meters for secondary water, so people can pay for what they use.
Palmer paints a different picture. An outspoken advocate of constitutional government, the businessman said he pushed a plan to potentially lower property taxes this year, when city officials debated whether to raise enterprise fees. He said he does not support metering secondary water use.
Palmer said local government is going the wrong direction and he would bring civility back to the city.
Duncan heads the field of council candidates, after being appointed to office in January of 2012. He describes himself as a proven conservative. He said he will continue to push to keep spending down, taxes low and avoid the tendency to over regulate the citizenry and business.
"The council has also resisted excessive regulations and efforts to change the city by way of unwanted development. I would not change a lot," he said.
Lowry also brings conservative credentials to the race. A former fiscal analyst, Lowry said the political turmoil between Nagle and the city council has created a disconnect. He promises to promote a better environment in local government.
Lowry also vows to keep a close eye on spending and taxes. He said government needs to learn to do more with less.
Pratt brings a long resume in working with the business community to the race. He said he is the only candidate with extensive land use planning experience and he will help Syracuse become a pro business city. He vows to keep a tight handle on finances and to expand recreational opportunities for families in the community.
Gailey is not a newcomer to the political scene in the city, or to civic affairs. He served on the council from 1988-1991. He stresses the need for better dialogue among city leaders.
Going forward, Gailey said city leaders need to build an economic plan that includes some light manufacturing to be sustainable. "Helping others grasp this vision; the development of a diversified economic base supporting Syracuse values, is a worthy challenge," he said.
Miller lost in the primary, but has filed as a write-in candidate. He said city leaders need to address land development and urban planning in a more ideal fashion. He is critical of the environment created by the state of politics in the city.
He points out he has a history of being bipartisan as the founder and president of the Utah League of Independent Voters, which he describes as a grassroots advocacy organization.