David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Friday, September 2, 2011
Not Much of a Report

If you weren't at Shelley Elementary Thursday evening to meet this election's crop of American Fork City Council candidates, there are still some things you can do before the primary, which is ten days away.

I Came, I Saw, I Listened

I went to a meet-the-candidates event in American Fork Thursday evening at Shelley Elementary, where eight of nine city council candidates mingled with voters, then answered questions for two hours, then mingled some more. I only knew three of the nine candidates before I went, and I'd heard or read a few bits and pieces about some of the others. After the first few questions, I had narrowed the field to four possible candidates for my three votes. The remainder of the evening solidified that list, but didn't firmly narrow it to three. Sometime before the primary on September 13, I'll have to decide.

State Representative John Dougall moderated the event. He did well, as usual, which is why he keeps being invited back. Not counting the American Fork Youth City Council, who organized the event, and the candidates themselves, attendance was over 50, which isn't bad, historically speaking. Mayor James Hadfield and all four current members of the city council were there, including candidate Rick Storrs.

Questions were submitted in writing by the audience. I submitted four, and all four were asked, along with more than a dozen others.

Such Nice People. Alas . . .

Over and over again, during the mingling before and after the questions, I ran into and had to disappoint some of my local readers, who said they were looking forward to my usual lengthy report and commentary on the event and the candidates. I've had the same conversation with another half dozen people since then. I had to tell them all that I retired from that role after the 2009 election; I've had to turn the time I was spending on American Fork city politics and government to other things. I keep hoping someone else will take up the role and do very well at it, but it hasn't happened yet.

So I took half a page of notes for my own purposes, instead of my usual eight or ten pages to support a detailed blog post. I didn't record the event, as I have done for reference a few times in the past.

Make-Up Work

If you weren't there -- perhaps due to an understandable loyalty to the Utes? -- but you want to vote wisely, there are still at least seven things you can do:

  1. Read Barbara Christiansen's report in the Daily Herald. There's only so much one can cover in a few hundred words, but she will get you started.
  2. (Forgive the self-promotion.) Read about what I look for in local candidates and what turns me off. You probably won't agree with me completely, but it will be food for thought.
  3. Read what you can from the candidates themselves. Here's my list, expanded Thursday evening, of web sites and other contact information for the candidates. I'm afraid you won't find extensive information about all of the candidates on the web, but you'll find some. I'll be updating the list whenever I find something new.
  4. Contact the candidates themselves. They are the leading experts on themselves. With permission, I've put some e-mail addresses in my list, where there isn't obvious contact information for them on the web.
  5. If you know some of American Fork's current elected officials -- or even if you don't -- ask them what they think, off the record, about which of the candidates will be best for the city. They are among the leading experts on the City, and they were all present Thursday evening.
  6. Shoot me an e-mail message. (Use the comment link below; it doesn't automatically post a comment.) I don't have the required eight or ten hours to prepare a proper report on last evening's event, as I did for the three previous city elections, but I have formed some opinions of my own, and I can find a few minutes to share some of them.
  7. (This one's still theoretical.) I'm hoping to see some discussion by or about the candidates elsewhere on the web. If I do, I'll let you know.

Ten Days and Counting . . .

Finally, be sure an put that primary election on your calendar: September 13. The Utah County web site is still showing information for the 2010 election, but, presumably, the polls are open that day from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., as before.

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