NORTH SALT LAKE CITY -- Finding a solution for a hazardous hospital waste incinerator, enhancing parks, controlling the mosquito population and improving shopping alternatives are just a few of the items on the minds of those running for mayor and city council.
"The city's biggest issues right now seem to be Deer Hollow Park improvements, air quality and employment with Stericycle, needing a grocery store in Foxboro and way too many mosquitoes on the west side," said Ryan A. Macfarlane. "I know our incumbent knows these issues now and hopefully he deals with them properly before his term expires. If not, I'm sure these will be our biggest concerns."
Macfarlane, 41, is a newcomer to city politics. A small business owner and developer of BluGoo, an anti-fog, anti-static lens cleaner, said if he is elected mayor he will dive into many of the issues he feels are important to the community. Macfarlane is also a resident of the Foxboro community, which is situated close to Stericycle.
Mayor Len Arave, 58, said in the short term, it's going to be important to find a solution to the Stericycle problem. The hospital waste incinerator was cited by the Utah Division of Air Quality on several violations earlier this year. Residents in the area have been protesting to shut the facility down.
Arave said not only does he want to find a solution to these problems, he also would like to work toward improving commercial opportunities, including shopping alternatives west of I-15, I-215 and the Legacy Parkway.
"We have worked with the state to get the 2600 South interchange scheduled for next year and working toward solutions with our other interchanges," he said.
Arave has served one term as mayor, six years on the planning commission and four years on the South Davis Fire Agency Board, South Davis Recreations District Board, Wasatch Front Regional Council and Wasatch Integrated Waste Management Board. He works as chief financial officer of Woodside.
Running for city council are incumbent Matt Jensen, Ryan Mumford and James Emery Hill.
The most important issue in the city right now is dealing with Stericycle's violations, Jensen said.
"We have already changed the zoning for Stericycle from light industrial to a long-term use that is more compatible with the residents nearby, but as an existing business, Stericycle was given a conditional use overlay to continue operation," he said.
Jensen, 38, said while on the city council he has focused on creating a long-term vision for the city which includes creating a sense of community through live events, creating economic growth opportunities along Highway 89 and Redwood Road and promoting citizen involvement through increased city communication and social media outreach.
Mumford, 28, said during the past seven years residents have been moving in but there is still no commercial center or grocery store where they can shop.
"Warehouses and other industrial buildings cover the west side. Stericycle is also hampering development in the area," he said. "I chose to buy a home and raise my family here. I want to help North Salt Lake continue to be the amazing city I have loved my entire life."
Hill, 40, said after speaking to citizens, the most important issue to them is transparency.
"And most importantly, transparency about where, how and on what or on whom their public money is being spent," he said. "If nothing else, I feel that public spending and other issues can and should be vetted publicly, either through the city message boards, the city website, or if failing that, I will do myself via email or social media."
Hill said people are rapidly losing confidence in the political process and only by providing clear, accurate and relevant information, can rumors and speculated be curbed.