Were you unable to attend last week’s Meet the Candidates event or did you miss any of the questions? I thought it might be helpful to post my responses to all of the questions we were provided so that those who were unable to attend could review my responses and those who were there could review my responses for the questions I was not asked. Do you have any questions of your own? Let me know! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 801.367.3634
What is your vision for future businesses coming to Mapleton and how will you promote that?
- My vision for economic development supports the
diversification of revenue sources to increase the City’s long-term financial
stability and models recognized strategies, including:
- Emphasizing targeted industries that align with the values and goals of the City.
- Cultivating strategic relationships.
- Omnidirectional marketing and communication strategies.
- The 2014 Mapleton City Economic Strategic Plan has
six goals that align with my vision, each of which should be reviewed in
conjunction with the General Plan update.
Specific examples I support include the following.
- Promote Business Attraction and Recruitment
- Targeted Industries campaigns (personal services, health services, restaurants, food stores) to support neighborhood retail centers (like Springville Main Street).
- Branding and marketing strategies – Emphasize approved developments and potential development to increase investment viability (e.g., currently approaching 3000 residences; currently approved will be over 4500; 2061 build-out is estimated at 7582 residences for 30k population).
- Consider Tax Increment Funding or other incentives only when there’s a win for the City (don’t give away the farm – literally!).
- Ensure Existing and Future Land Use Plans Promote
Economic Objectives of the City
- Economic development needs to be addressed in the General Plan and funding appropriately allocated. At the time of the 2014 study, the General Plan actually had too much commercial space allocated (300 acres were recommended for sustainability; 405 were allocated). This needs to be reviewed.
- Increase Economic Development Capability
- Strategic Relationships/Partnerships – Build/strengthen relationships with chambers of commerce, MAG, Envision Utah, TribeHouse, commercial realtors, public policymakers, etc.
- Reach out to 216 businesses in Mapleton to explore strategies to support organic growth, including finding spaces outside of the home to support growing businesses (before those businesses relocate elsewhere).
- Identify and Promote Economic Development Sites;
Develop Industrial and Business Sites
- Master plan a specific area for a business park or “district” along highways 89 and 6. Integrate into General Plan.
- Develop Sustainable Government Services and
- Allocate funding for recruitment, communication, and demonstrate adequate infrastructure support/long-term needs of potential businesses.
- Promote Business Attraction and Recruitment
What is your vision for the growth of Mapleton City? If elected, what’s one major issue you plan to address?
- One word
continues coming to mind: Connection.
- Between Neighbors & Neighborhoods
- Between Open Space, Trails, Programs, & Amenities
- Between Infrastructure – Roads, Pressurized Irrigation
- Between our Past & Future Pioneers
- Between Surrounding Communities.
- Between Strategic Partnerships.
- One major issue I’d like to address: Financial Sustainability versus Culture
& Atmosphere (They’re not mutually exclusive!)
- Diversify funding through strategic commercial growth (small-town-friendly) to mitigate risk and decrease non-sustainable long-term dependence upon development (built out by 2061); at risk for instability in an economic downturn in which development ceases to occur as planned.
- Controlled growth: make well-informed decisions about limited remaining land.
- Infrastructure essentials: decide on how, when, and at what levels to invest in the Spanish Fork Treatment Plan. We must determine how and when to expand our pressurized irrigation and how to improve road safety and maintenance.
- Consider sustained culture as a “need”, not a “want.” Cultural connections through community events and resources (e.g., pioneer day, farmer’s markets, music in the park, parks and recreation activities, senior group, choir, library) promote public safety and health, which affect the city’s viability and satisfaction of residents.
Economic development is critical to any city. Explain what you will do to help build Mapleton’s economy?
- (See previous answers.)
- Residential development will support us for the immediate future and perhaps longer should the economy hold.
- We must diversify so we can handle economic change and set our future generations up for success. (Don’t put your eggs in one basket!)
- Diversify revenue sources with sustainable strategies, including targeted industries (professional, personal service, food-related).
- I bring to the table experience in economic development, recruitment, marketing, communication, and strategic partnerships.
How would you respond to citizen’s complaints about high taxes and utility rates? What are your personal feelings on the topic, and how would you propose to influence this matter going forward? How do you feel is the best way to decrease property taxes and utility rates
- This is a trick question: Not all citizens agree
about high taxes and utility rates.
- Some struggle on fixed incomes and see a negative about Mapleton being one of the highest property tax rates in the State.
- Others value the quality of life achieved from paying additional taxes.
- Reviewing and updating policies can alleviate
perceived burdens. For example:
- Recently capped fees for water to large parcels encourages development of low-density and rural zones.
- The City should review the current policy for charging similar rates for properties using pressurized irrigation versus those using culinary to irrigate.
- Adding to revenue through additional sources of
- Sales Tax
- Public-Private Partnerships
- Federal Funding
- We can enhance how we educate and communicate with citizens about funding allocation, including adding clarity about future needs and funding options. For example, the Spanish Fork Sewer Treatment Plant replacement is in response to both increasing EPA standards and capacity requirements.
- We can enhance volunteerism.
- We must pay attention to State Tax Reform and how it’ll affect Mapleton.
- The City Council should ALWAYS have taxes and fees in mind; respecting every citizen’s dollar, no matter how many dollars he or she has!
How do you feel about activities that are at least partially funded by taxpayers’ dollars? (i.e. recreation programs, Pioneer Day Celebration, etc.)
- Mapleton’s unique atmosphere is driven in part by these activities. As such, I support them.
- Endorsed by the Utah Cultural Alliance for commitment to the arts in the community.
- Evidence shows cultural commitments also bring about decreased crime, increased volunteerism, and enhanced satisfaction and perceived quality of life.
Will you give us your definition of transparency and address how you intend to improve transparency between the city and its citizens?
- In context of the City Council, transparency includes the sharing of information as well as avoiding and disclosing potential conflicts of interest.
- While I rarely assume maliciousness, there is an
increased opportunity to educate and communicate more and through various means
with our citizens. The more engaged citizens we have, the more checks and
- Open Public Work Sessions
- Mapleton 101
- Improved Digital Communication – Multimedia, Social Media (topic-driven to yield conversation), Information Solicitation (Surveys).
- Annually published disclosures from elected and appointed officials.
- Expanded “notice” areas for significant zoning changes.
- OurMapleton.org is a great start.
The city’s general plan is in the process of being updated. What changes do you recommend?
- The General Plan update is perfect time to review our vision and ensure alignment between our vision and our plans.
- Specific things I’d like to see in the General Plan
- Annexation strategy and timeline for 1600 S and E of 89.
- Decreased anxiety. More clarity for nervous neighbors afraid of zone changes in their backyard.
- Strategically acquired land for public use or through public-private partnerships. (Parks, fields).
- Review of Central Business District across from City Center.
- Density review on West Side to either validate or negate assumptions that high density is the best/only option for the remainder of the west side of Highway 89.
- Consideration for conservation easements to preserve agricultural and open spaces.
- Identification of all potential TDR receiving sites.
What are your thoughts on providing bonus incentives for developers to utilize TDRs? In which zones should TDRs be used?
- TDRs should be used as a priority over zone
changes. We cannot afford to keep TDRs from being used up; developers must be
willing to pay the fees.
- I’m okay to offer reasonable incentives to get them off our books.
- 678 TDRs existed; about 471 are used. The remainder will include 90+ for Mapleton Village.
- We must provide opportunities for TDRs to be used, which can tie our hands in terms of designating appropriate zones.
- I prefer them to use TDRs in one and two-acre zones (RA-1, RA-2, R-2) and not create more high-density zones.
- We must be cautious to prevent potential abuse, such as a zone change being granted AND allowing TDRs to create high density. The General Plan update will help with this, especially if it includes potential TDR receiving sites.
When the council is faced with a major issue or decision what will you do to solicit feedback and involve residents?
- My platform has a foundation in education and
communication. My behaviors over the last six months provide evidence to my
commitment to an engaged community:
- Responsiveness on social media, email, and phone.
- Providing thoughtfully researched educational blog content.
- Highlighting Top 10 lists after each Planning Commission and City Council meeting via Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Additionally, I’d like to work on the following:
- Engage citizens in the General Plan update.
- Development of online and in-person orientation course (Mapleton 101).
- Support City in growing social/digital media presence.
- Expand “notice” zones for significant zoning changes.
- Participate in online and in-person open houses and data collection.
- City Council Work Sessions, many of which would be open meetings.
- Retaining a Public Information Officer (when financially prudent).
When you hear about something that concerns you in the city, what steps would you take to see that this concern is resolved?
- I have demonstrated this process repeatedly throughout
the campaign. For example, a citizen
reached out regarding concerns on water. My process included the following:
- Researched code and publications.
- Met with relevant individuals to triangulate historic context.
- Contacted involved personnel in the city.
- Interviewed city leadership to discuss nuances, strategies, and opportunities.
- Reported back to the citizen.
- Blogged about it and posted on social media to close the loop.
- As part of the City Council, the increased authority would allow me to affect change at a different level through committee service, too.
- The new Citizen Problem report ticketing system will a wonderful resource to resolve citizen problems, enhance accountability, and elevate communication.
In reviewing the city budget what changes do you recommend?
- Mapleton City has a well-managed budget. In fact, the $6.7M budget from 2018-2019 was decreased to $6M for 2019-2020. This shows excellent budgetary control; we must continue conservative management.
- Our challenges lie in making sure we’re bucketing our money appropriately.
- Opportunities with long-term planning for capital investments and related maintenance include considering enterprise funds earmarked for those investments.
- We must diversify revenue streams to decrease dependence on development.
- We must carefully follow State Tax Reform and its impact on Mapleton.
As a matter of policy, should the city council give preference to existing zoning and the general plan over increased density?
- (I can’t imagine anyone would say ‘No’ to this question…) Of course the existing zoning should have preference!
- The General Plan is a guideline that reflects the highest level of zoning commitment we have to our citizens and to others.
- Increased density in itself shouldn’t be a motivation; rather, the vision for the city should guide decisions.
- We must update the General Plan and Zoning Map to decrease the frequency of this conversation! (This shouldn’t be a question.)
There is a lot of talk about multi-family housing. How would you approach this issue that Mapleton is facing?
- We already have approved several developments that contain high density, such as Harmony Ridge and Mapleton Village.
- I prefer not adding any other multi-family housing outside of the Highway 89 corridor and, even then, only when it makes sense. For example, I’ve spoken out against changing a rural zone to a high-density zone along 1600 S (it’s unnecessary, it doesn’t align with the neighborhood, it doesn’t comply with the gradual increase in density over larger space, and, frankly, we don’t need it).
- We have several high-density zones that could include multi-family housing in the current General Plan; I’d like to see those reduced.
- I advocate for, however, decreasing the $5500 fee for accessory apartments. This supports affordable housing requirements, but decreases sprawl and empowers private citizens to property rights.
What about your past experience makes you a good candidate? What do you hope to accomplish as a city council member?
- I am uniquely qualified with broad experience in leadership, problem-solving, and advocacy at high levels across diverse environments. I am well-qualified and I love this work. I hope to make a difference during the time I serve so I can leave to my son a beautiful, friendly, well-managed, well-planned community to enjoy.
- As I’ve
noted in the mailer that’ll come out next week, I see five keys to our success:
- Prioritize Planning. Complete integrated, inclusive General Plan update that is followed up with master planning to align vision and resources across departments and addresses plans for major infrastructure requirements (e.g., sewer treatment plant replacement, pressurized irrigation expansion, roads).
- Curate Conservation. To preserve our peaceful environment, establish conservation easements, support agriculture and animal rights, bolster community parks, and enforce open space requirements for new developments.
- Increase Information. Enhance two-way communication and transparency between the City and citizens through City Council work sessions, development of an educational series, and an expanded digital presence.
- Retain Rights. Respect our current residents by discouraging zoning changes contrary to the new General Plan or incongruent with surrounding property owners’ interests. Reduce accessory apartment fees to empower property owners, reduce sprawl, and keep our families close to home.
- Cultivate Commercial. Clear pathways and recruit businesses appropriate for our country atmosphere to buoy a central commercial corridor along Highway 89, reducing the City’s disproportionate dependence on new residential development and property taxes.