SOUTH OGDEN -- Incumbent mayor James F. Minster will be challenged by two-term city council member Wayne M. Smith in the municipal election scheduled for Nov. 5.
Minster said he is pleased with the city's recent success, including attracting the Young Subaru Car Dealership and Northern Utah Rehabilitation Hospital, and building a new South Ogden Animal Shelter. Minster said he plans to continue the city's current trajectory if re-elected.
"During the past four years, we as the city council and staff have seen new business growth, new citizens moving into our community and a struggling economy that's showing signs of improvement," Minster said. "I am looking forward to serving (South Ogden) for another four years of growth and continued progress."
Smith, a Weber County Sheriff Enforcement Officer and currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem, sees room for improvement. Smith said he would like to increase communication between the council, staff members, and residents, and has concerns about the city's infrastructure.
"I want to assess South Ogden city's aging infrastructure systems and create a plan to address the upgrading, fixing, and maintaining of these systems," Smith said. "It is important to me to protect our quality way of life by investing in public safety, enforcing strict housing standards to protect property values, and seeking new business to keep our economy vibrant."
Two city council seats are also up for grabs, with one concerned citizen challenging two incumbent council members.
Lynn E. Mulhall, with experience in retail management and recycling, said he has been attending city council meetings and, while he is impressed with the teamwork of the current council members, there are some areas of concern he would like to see addressed.
"First, water conservation," Mulhall said. "We live in the second driest state in the union and we need to address this important issue. Second, I would like to send a message to our community to buy local and support our small businesses that reside in South Ogden city. Third, I would like to see all city ordinances better managed by streamlining those that are currently not being enforced."
Fiscal responsibility is the primary concern for Russell Porter and Bryan Benard as they vie to retain their city council seats.
Porter, a Social Studies and Health teacher at Bonneville High School, has served one term on the city council and wants to keep the city's budget in the black while finding money for infrastructure improvements.
"I plan to continue my work with the rest of the council to make sure our budget continues to be in the black. Fiscal responsibility is vital to me," Porter said. "I will work to find the money to improve our roads and prepare for the widening of 40th street. I will continue to encourage prompt ordinance enforcement to improve the look and maintain the safety of our city."
Benard, who holds a seat on the management committee of his law firm, Holland & Hart, and is a board member of the Weber School District Foundation, said he is proud of the city council's accomplishments during the past four years and wants to stay the course to economic recovery.
"I am proud of our many accomplishments over the past four years and want to continue on this good path -- significantly improving the city's financial position during a recession, ending deficit spending, working to bring important new businesses, restructuring city departments to make the city a lean machine without compromising services, completing and beginning road projects, improving, preserving and developing our parks, and leading the push to re-brand the city," Benard said.