Pleasant View candidates debate ways to increase revenue, but stay small

Oct 16 2013 - 2:00pm

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Toby Mileski - Pleasant View
Doug Clifford - Pleasant View
Merril Harris - Pleasant View
Steve Gibson - Pleasant View
Scott Boehme - Pleasant View
Toby Mileski - Pleasant View
Doug Clifford - Pleasant View
Merril Harris - Pleasant View
Steve Gibson - Pleasant View
Scott Boehme - Pleasant View

PLEASANT VIEW -- In a city that has enjoyed its small-town atmosphere, candidates for mayor and city council are debating ways to increase revenue, and do it without breaking their small-town traditions.

Mayor Doug Clifford is running for re-election, citing his past successes as mayor.

"We've weathered our recession and have been able to grow in parks and recreation," Clifford said. "Moving forward, my platform is to improve the economic base of the city."

The mayor announced plans for a joint development project with Farr West on 2700 North near Interstate 15. The project will bring in commercial and industrial growth along with more tax revenue, he said.

Competing against Clifford for the mayor's office is City Councilman Toby Mileski.

Mileski said commercial growth is the way to go, but that will be challenging due to the city's small population. He suggests aggressive marketing in order to attract more business.

"We need to hire someone like a broker or marketing firm," he said. "We need to show that Pleasant View is the place to do your business at. We have too many of our wealthy, affluent residents driving to Riverdale for their shopping."

Mileski also wants to increase communication between the city and the public, suggesting that his own blog gets as many hits as the city's website.

An an incumbent, City Councilman Scott Boehme said his biggest worry is that the need for more revenue and commercial growth will push the development of large apartment complexes in order to increase rooftop count.

"I favor keeping residential growth the way it is," Boehme said. "These big complexes just don't fit with the atmosphere we have here."

Boehme is in favor of pushing commercial development along 2700 North. He said there is a lot of potential for the city to grow in that aspect and doing so will avoid tax increases for residents.

A challenger for city council, Steve Gibson said he can be the voice of common sense for the people.

Gibson is against apartments and other pushes for big residential growth, but in favor of the Farr West project that could bring in more commercial revenue.

On top of the need for growth, improvements to infrastructure are needed, he said.

"Because we don't have a lot of money, we need to be wise in our spending," Gibson said.

Roads and water lines need work, but raising taxes to do it is not preferable, he said.

The other candidate vying for a council seat is middle school teacher Merril Harris. He said growth should be controlled and any push for commercial development should be kept away from the city's residential areas and over on 2700 North.

"We should also spend more time promoting the businesses that are already here," Harris said.

There are some great local businesses that could some more support from the city, he said.

Contact reporter Andreas Rivera at 801-625-4227, arivera@standard.net. Follow on Twitter @SE_Andreas.

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