Herriman city council candidate answers: City operations
I would like to sincerely thank the four candidates for taking the time to address my questions. I have included links to their respective websites and/or Facebook pages below.
Here is my original question for the candidates on the topic of the city operations:
People have told me I should run for a city office. My standard response is simple: I haven't attended more than a couple of city council meetings and I don't really know how the city operates. Until I understand more, there's no way I'm going to put myself out there as someone who could represent my fellow residents. What knowledge do you have that makes you qualified to be a city councilperson?
I won't pretend to say I know everything I need or want to know. I acknowledge I will make mistakes, I will sometimes offend people. However I am running because I want to serve my community. I love Herriman, but I feel the city has taken the approach of telling us what is best and not listening to our concerns. This approach seems heavy handed. I feel the best solutions come from the residents, not politicians. I have degrees in Business Admin and Political Science. I work in the mortgage industry for one of the states largest credit unions. I manage hundreds of millions of dollars as I deal with all the financial details associated with the selling of loans into the secondary market. This industry is one of the most regulated and subject to constant change. I constantly adapt and continue to reach new records. If elected I will continue to learn and find a way to help the voice of the residents to be heard.
I have not attended City Council meetings, not out of neglect or not caring, mostly due to other obligations on Wednesday Nights. But I have actively followed what is happening in the city and been involved at the community level. Professionally, I worked for 12 years with many commercial businesses dealing with deadlines, critical issues, and budgets. Whether a projects budget was under 100,000 or over 1,000,000, I always treated my clients and their projects with a meticulous eye for detail within budget. I am a detail oriented person and can quickly get to the heart of an issue. I do my research and make sure I have all the information before making a decision. As a member of the City Council, I would base decisions on 3 important factors:
- Is this something that is the responsibility of city government?
- Is it fiscally responsible and should taxpayer money be spent on this?
- Does this enhance the city and is it the direction that residents want to see the city go?
I feel I have a distinct advantage in understanding Herriman's internal operations and all of the players because of my employment with Herriman City. Beyond that, I understand city operations as they extend to the broader community and our partners in transportation, county and state government, surrounding cities, the legislature etc. It is certainly beneficial to attend city council meetings to gain understanding, but that does not provide the depth one gets from actually being employed by a city, attending internal and external meetings and establishing relationships with our partners. I've had hands-on involvement with municipal government since 2009. That institutional knowledge is invaluable in a city council member, given the complexity of government. I'm fully aware of areas where I feel Herriman is succeeding and areas that could use improvement. I'm privy to the lessons learned by city governments across the state and will use that knowledge to improve our government operations.
Lastly, I'm not a one issue candidate. I'm not running because I'm angry. To the contrary, I have the full vision of the city in mind and I'm running because my skills, education, institutional knowledge and established working relationships are what I feel Herriman needs to reach that vision during this time of extreme growth where it becomes so vital we make the right decisions. I am a positive person looking to build upon what is right in our community and willing to make the tough decisions necessary to fix what isn't working. I'm passionate about public input, as my career record clearly shows. One change on that front that I would champion in Herriman is to start an annual city survey whereby citizens could give us a grade on how each department is doing. This would establish a baseline by which we could improve. I believe in a city being held accountable to those it serves and am unafraid to operate "in the light". The communications principles I've used in government: innovation, transparency, two-way engagement are the same principles I would bring to my service as a city council representative.
I know where the city is right now. I have put in the time to go to every City Council and Planning Commission meeting for the last 2 years. I have seen the issues brought to the city and have participated in the discussion with the city council in regards to many issues. You would be hard pressed to find anyone else in the city, besides city staff, that has put more time into learning how our city works, and what the current issues are. I don't rest on what I did years ago, I am active now. I believe anyone would be able to serve in our community, it just takes the willingness to put time in.
I am impressed by all of these candidates and their desire to jump in and serve as our representative on the city council.
I am especially impressed with David Watts as he has made a visible effort over the last couple of years to help himself and his fellow residents become more informed about what happens in various city meetings and what they can do to affect decisions made in those meetings.
Nicole Martin clearly has years of experience behind the scenes in city operations both in Herriman and in Sandy. Those who were aware of the work she did for Herriman knows she was a force for positive change.
I love that Valarie Kingsburg feels it's important for a councilperson to ask the question "Is this something that is the responsibility of city government?" Too often, our elected officials push or exceed the limits of what is the proper role of the level of government they are entrusted to operate.
Because of her extensive experience, knowledge, skillset and her positive principles of, as she said, "innovation, transparency, and two-way engagement," I pick Nicole Martin on this topic.