Friday, October 14, 2005
Questions I'd Like to Hear Tonight
In the larger scheme of things, tonight's PTA-sponsored meet-the-candidates event (7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at AFJH, be there!) pales in significance to Iraq's big vote tomorrow, in which Iraqis will either accept or reject their proposed constitution. (Bush-haters are hoping for rejection, even though that will be a serious setback for free Iraq; after all, what's the welfare of tens of millions of Arabs when weighed against the possibility of damaging a hated US President?) Tonight's local event also competes with a key AFHS football game at Lone Peak, but life will go on. (It's nearly impossible to find a night for such election-related events which does not pose major conflicts.)
Here are some questions to which I would like to hear the answers tonight. I pose them here as if they are for the mayoral candidates, Heber Thompson and Shirl LeBaron, but I'd like to hear city council candidates' views on the same questions. (Simply substitute "a member of the City Council" for "mayor" as necessary.)
- Do you think that a vibrant downtown is good for the city as a whole? If so, why? If not, why not? And what, if anything, will you do as mayor to improve downtown without spending a lot of taxpayers' money?
- Would you favor making violations of City nuisance ordinances resemble traffic violations, to the extent that reasonable fines would be imposed, and no court action by the City would be required to impose fines?
- The City apparently is trying to have the funding for our pressurized irrigation system nailed down before the term ends in early January. What will you do as mayor, once that is done, to insure that the system is implemented in an efficient, cost-effective manner, without imposing unnecessary costs on residents?
- What will you do as mayor to increase the quantity and accuracy of information the public receives about things American Fork City is doing, to insure that residents are adequately informed about issues well before decisions are made (when there is still time for discussion and consideration), and to create a climate in which public comment is actually encouraged, rather than evaded, ignored, or resented, as it often has been?
- How important are decent sidewalks to your vision of American Fork's future? What will you do as mayor to address the growing problem of crumbling or missing sidewalks in the older areas of the city?
- To what extent can the mayor himself affect American Fork's image as a good place to live and do business? How do your skills and experience prepare you to play a leading role in building that image?
- Money magazine recently rated American Fork and Highland together as the 54th best place to live in the United States. What are the most significant things our city government can to insure that American Fork will still rank highly in the future, even if it is considered separately from Highland?
- Describe your position on the following statement: "If we have a law, it should be enforced reasonably and fairly. If we want to enforce it, but cannot do so reasonably and fairly, we should amend it. If we are unwilling to enforce a law, we should repeal it, so that law-abiding residents have at least equal privileges with scofflaws."
- Does 2006 require a different sort of leader in American Fork than 1996 or 1986? If so, what are the differences?
- To what extent can a determined and well-led city council influence City policy over the opposition or indifference of the mayor?
That's probably enough for now, but be advised that I may add to this list later today, if the mood strikes.
Copyright 2005 by David Rodeback.
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