Van Wagoner joins growing District 4 race for Ogden council
OGDEN — The race for the Ogden City Council seat representing District 4 is growing more crowded.
On Friday, Steven Van Wagoner announced his intention to run for the seat set to be vacated by Ben Nadolski, who is running for mayor.
Van Wagoner, who is currently serving as the president of Ogden Soccer, has also served as president of the Historic 25th Street Organization and even ran for mayor once previously in 2011.
He told the Standard-Examiner that he’s in the race for the people of Ogden.
“I’m running to represent the voice and the interests of Ogden at-large as well as District 4,” he said. “I believe that Ogden deserves a safe and healthy community for everyone. I believe that we need a fair and balanced approach to our decision-making that represents the best for our present and our future residents. I’m concerned with some of the growth in Ogden and I believe we need scalable growth for long-term success in Ogden.”
Additionally, Van Wagoner wants to see the members of city government working together.
“We need to build a culture of teamwork within our City Council — a team that works with our mayor, and our staff, and our city and our many interests in the community,” he said. “The teamwork needs to be focused on wins for our citizens.”
He said that making sure the city has access to the right data for decision-making would be a priority if elected.
“We can not make long-term, short-term or any type of decisions unless we have the best data available,” he said. “One of the first things that I’d like to focus on is making sure that the information we’re receiving as a council is true, accurate data and it’s current data.”
He said that he’s seen a glaring example of decision-making based on faulty data in recent years.
“Throughout my time fighting for parks and creating the Ogden Parks Initiative last year and helping create a plan where we got the $3 million budget amendment for parks this year, (as) part of that research I found that we have data that is not current,” he said. “We have data that has been pulled from other systems. We have information that is just not accurate. For example, the amount of park space that we claim on our records in acreage versus the amount of park space that we actually have, that’s incorrect. There are inconsistencies through our community plans from one community plan to another, and those community plans are being relied on to make forever decisions that are impacting our citizens.”
Van Wagoner said that there’s improvements to be made in city government and he would like to be a part of that solution.
“We can do better, you deserve better,” he said. “Let’s keep Ogden Ogden and make sure that we’re providing future generations opportunities to have and be part of the Ogden experience.”
Van Wagoner joins Alexander Castagno, Austin Raymond and Dave Graf among those who have declared their candidacy for the council seat.