CLEARFIELD -- Candidates vying for offices here each have their own ideas and plan for the city, from improving accountability to long-term planning.
Mark Shepherd and Gary Scott Baldwin are battling for the mayoral seat, while Benjamin Larsen, Bruce Young, Randy Goodnight and Keri Benson are fighting for two council seats.
Shepherd, a 47-year-old real estate broker, believes the city needs to maintain and improve infrastructure such as streets, enforce codes to improve the city's image, and focus on economic development.
Specifically, he said he wants to continue development efforts in Legend Hills, downtown Clearfield and the FrontRunner station.
"We have made progress, but we need to continue it. Doing that will change the image of Clearfield. The image of Clearfield is another monster we are dealing with."
Shepherd believes focus needs to be on improving all areas, especially gateways to the city, to make a better impression on those entering it.
And, he thinks, his six years as a councilman and nine years as a planning commissioner have poised him to spearhead effective changes.
His opponent, Baldwin, 58, sees the mayoral office as the chance to improve what is happening.
He said his experience as a business owner and painting contractor will help him in leading the city. He said he believes in fewer laws, not more. He also believes the city needs to address some issues.
"There are a lot of things that are messed up and not right in Clearfield," he said, pointing to the Center Street bridge and its numerous, costly repairs as an example.
"There are things that are not right, and the only way to change things is to run myself."
Fellow candidate Larsen, a 31-year-old attorney, agrees with Shepherd in that he wants to strengthen the city and bolster economic development. Part of doing that involves attracting businesses and higher-income residents to the city.
He said the two go hand in hand, as larger businesses are attracted to areas with higher incomes. He wants to see high-quality residential spaces, which will bring in businesses and thus more tax revenues to improve the city.
"We need to get businesses to the areas that can be developed," he said. "We need to make an effort by reaching out to businesses."
He said the city can do things such as tax incentives to draw people in, but he also wants to work on ordinances to ensure they are easy to understand and implement.
Young, a 36-year-old cost analyst, feels the city is already running well and is financially sound, but the incumbent wants to have another term to help work on such things as long-term planning, safety and ordinances.
"We have already started on the road to improve the image of the city," he said. "It is not just superficial -- we want to also improve the quality of the city."
This means focusing on parks and properties and infrastructure, too.
"It's a long-term process," he said.
Young believes his financial perspective and experience can help improve the city.
Goodnight, 64 and a retired city employee, says the city needs more open communication and to be more responsive to people's needs. This includes not only residents but also business owners and even city staff.
"People matter, and we need to treat them that way," he said. "I do not feel they have been treated with respect."
As an example of a problem, he points to the $35 fee he says business owners are charged when they want helium-filled balloons outside to draw attention.
He said such fees hinder business owners who want to have sales and advertise them. And, on the flip side, he feels the city needs more accountability regarding how funds are spent.
Because he worked in the city for 25 years, he feels he knows a lot about its workings and employees.
Benson, a 42-year-old homemaker, believes her desire to represent and unify people will be a boon for the city. She wants to take the time to know and understand issues, whether it be chickens in the neighborhoods or speeding in residential areas.
"When I'm connected with my community, listening to and understanding their opinions, I can accomplish great things on their behalf."