What are your thoughts on the power lines that were allowed to be placed through town, they started on 40 on the east side of the highway.?
As I understand it, the old lines needed to be upgraded to handle the increasing demand in Heber City and Midway. I am not a fan of above ground power lines, but I also know putting those lines underground is a very expensive process. It is actually something I would like to see a vote on. In the last election there was a bond that passed to purchase open space in the county. It would be interesting to see if an increase in rates at Heber Light and Power or a city sales tax increase to pay for lines to be buried would pass. I am for buried lines, but the voters or users would really need to decide because they will pay for it in the end.
Do you support trails in our valley including dirt and paved that would connect us with Midway, the river, restaurants etc.?
Trails absolutely need to be part of the master plan and are a necessity of any thriving community. We currently have some of the best mountain biking trails in Utah and there are more appearing all of the time. I am a ride leader with the Devo Mountain Bike team for Wasatch and we have spent 2 Saturdays including tomorrow on trail service and upkeep this summer. As I talk about future development and infrastructure, trails is always part of that conversation. For example, if and when the bypass road happens, I would love some sort of river trail from Deer Creek to Jordonelle incorporated in that plan. This community has the opportunity to be one of the best bike friendly communities in the west, but it will take planning and time to get there.
What is your understanding of the airport expansion issue and what approach do you believe Heber City should take to resolve it?
Heber’s Airport has become a popular place for larger jets to land and needs to be safe for all aircraft that are currently coming into the valley. We do not want an accident of any kind at the airport. This is the reason the airport should be brought into compliance with the FAA mandate.
As I understand, we opened the door to the larger jets when the runway was lengthened in 2003 and although the traffic did not exist then to be a C2 airport, the traffic is here now. Heber City Airport needs to come into compliance with safety for the airplanes that are currently using the public airport due to the federal monies received over the years.
Some people have made an argument citing the following lines from the FAA rulebook:
“In some cases, the airport sponsor may decide that it is in the community’s best interest for the airport not to continue to grow to accommodate forecast activity, or to accommodate forecast activity only up to a point. In these cases, the master plan should document this decision and indicate the probable consequences of the decision (e.g., demand will be capped, the demand will go unmet, or the demand will be diverted to another airport).” – 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plans. Chapter 8 801.a
The FAA responded:
“The language quoted from the AC [Advisory Circular] is geared toward capacity improvements for unmet demand, primarily at commercial service airports. In the case of HCR [Heber Valley Airport], we have not identified any unmet demand or aircraft operators that are wanting to use HCR but currently cannot. Through the forecast chapter and conversations with T-O [Engineers; the project manager] the current operations and future forecasted operations are unconstrained at HCR and would not see any increase in larger than C-II traffic once an ARC [Airport Reference Code] change is complete.
The current situation at the airport is that the facility does not meet standards for the existing fleet of users and critical aircraft. You can refer the the Heber Valley Flight Path website for more information:
The paragraph referenced in the facility requirements chapter of the Master Plan Advisory Circular does not relieve HCR from the requirement to meet FAA Design Standards.
The forecast does not show the need for going above C2, nor are we close to that. The forecast was completed using unconstrained conditions so there is no reason to believe that by changing the ARC to C2 that there will be an automatic increase in larger traffic. Heber Valley Airport cannot legally limit or restrict operations of the aircraft that are larger than C-II, however it is under no obligation to provide facilities that would attract or encourage growth (i.e., stronger or longer runway). At this point the FAA sees no need to plan for anything larger than a C2 facility. Our position has been that current and forecasted users of this facility are entitled to and should receive the same level of safety standards and considerations that they get at any FAA obligated airport across the country.”
Heber is not looking to strengthen or extend the runway which would invite larger planes. I believe the response to the question by the FAA clearly states what needs to be done and what is not being done. As a member of the City Council I would encourage a safe facility but never encourage or take measures to generate growth.
I appreciate and value all of the work that was done with the Envision Heber 2050 master plan process. This plan includes several economic centers for the valley. Having clusters of residential, commercial, and mixed use is good for a vibrant community. Wasatch county is very spread out so having everyone travel to the center of town for every need does not make sense, especially with the current traffic congestion we are experiencing. Done correctly, new developments can have separate centers for shopping and business.
The overwhelming majority of Heber Residents want to reclaim main street and our city center as a vibrant, walking downtown. To accomplish this we need a Heber Valley Parkway. This has been discussed for over 30 years and we are quickly running out of time to implement a solution. UDOT is currently doing the EIS and will ultimately determine a route. The city can encourage this to be a beautiful bypass by incorporating berms and trees to hide or obscure the road from neighborhood views. We can potentially have a trail from dam to dam and increase access to the Provo River and the North Fields preservation corridor. This is no longer just about truck traffic, Heber is a crossroads to several outdoor recreation destinations from Utah and Salt Lake counties. The weekend traffic is horrible. The Envision Heber 2050 plan incorporates a beautiful walking downtown with planted medians and parking to enjoy the shops and restaurants. It will also create the opportunity for memorable experiences that visitors and locals alike will come to time and time again. The parkway will bring more business to Main Street, not divert it away. A bypass would be a major step towards the goal that residents have resoundingly said what they would like to see.
What has you motivated to run for this position knowing the way many people feel about elected officials?
We have seen our elected officials be quite targeted the last several years with a lot of hateful and negative communication. We have also seen a lot of politicians driven by personal and financial agendas that don’t seem to consider the impact on freedom and citizens. How can the community balance keeping our elected officials accountable for their choices with respecting them enough that we don’t have the only candidates be those that are greedy for power or their own agendas?
It is a responsibility for every member of our community to serve those around us in any way possible and being an elected official is no different. I have no conflicts of interest in running for this office. This is an opportunity to serve the Heber community as we go through some growing pains and consider difficult decisions about our future. We are at a critical point, we need a voice that encourages decisions to improve life for us, our children and the next generation. I encourage everyone who speaks ill of elected officials to run for office or serve the community in another capacity. This valley has so much compassion and a desire to do good. We live together, work together, eat together and serve each other. Being part of a small community is what makes Heber wonderful. Don’t look for what you believe to be an individual’s weakness, try to see their willingness and desire to serve the community. It is important to see the good in each person.
The only experience I have in development is building my own home and speaking with my neighbors as their homes were being built. I have a successful financial business founded on making decisions that will increase return on investment. As a member of the City Council I would look for the best return on investment for Heber City residents. The CRA is a perfect example of this concept. This is an opportunity for taxing authorities to invest in the future of Heber, anticipating a return. It is a tried and tested process to invest in critical infrastructure and projects which enhance the city, bringing increased tax revenue. My goal is to see a vibrant community for years to come.
Over the past 15 years I have served in this community in a variety of ways. Some of these include:
- Member of the Board of Adjustment for Heber City
- Member of the Trustee Board for the Heber Valley Hospital
- Wasatch Community Foundation for 12 years and current board member
- Member of the Airport Advisory Board
Through this service, I have made many friends and met a lot of community members. We have grown up together, raised our families here and have served side by side. I am prepared to be a community voice as a member of the city council. I will always be open to listen and learn as all sides of the issues are presented.
Kristi and I moved to Heber in May of 2006. We built a home in the Alpine Meadows neighborhood (just west of Wal-Mart).
We own one property that is zoned residential where we plan to build a home.
I am not a developer and do not have ambitions to be a developer. I love seeing developments that are well thought out. I really do not like developments that are just thrown together. I believe there is a big difference. Thoughtful, quality development improves our valley.
How do you plan to work through differences to build consensus on the council and work cooperatively with one another for the benefit of Heber City and its residents?
As a member of the city council I will listen to all opinions and plan to voice my own opinion before coming to a consensus. It is also important to listen to and take direction from city staff. These are very qualified individuals, hired to do a job and they are doing it very well. They prepare reports for the council with a lot of time and thought so I will listen to their suggestions. The Council and staff need to work together arm in arm, to provide the most good for Heber residents.
What do you believe the city should do to control air quality, should emissions testing be done, should other measures be put into place?
The work done this last year on the wood burning ordinance that states new construction must use EPA rated stoves if the owner wants to burn wood is a great start. I also appreciate the Envision 2050 master plan which has several different economic “centers” throughout the valley. This will cut down on driving and therefore cut down on emissions. I don’t think we should be testing emissions since there are so few cars that would not pass and there would be an expense to administer the test.
How can we balance bringing in tourism and high-paying jobs, with overcrowding, constantly needing new schools, not having enough staff for lower paid jobs because housing is not affordable, etc.?
Heber has grown too quickly over the last few years. We all knew growth was coming, but anticipating the surge in construction costs and the dramatic increase in real estate prices was unexpected. Infrastructure, including schools, has not kept up with resident’s needs. We are in the process of addressing those issues as a community, but I think we can do more to prepare for the future.
I grew up in a small mountain town that experienced the same growing pains. None of my friends currently live in that city because prices got too high. Most moved “down valley” where less expensive housing was built and a new community center was established. Growing is painful and difficult on many levels.
We need to be thoughtful and better prepared as we continue to grow. The school district is studying what schools are needed going forward. The city is starting to require deed restricted properties for new development so that we have places for people who want to work and live in Heber but can’t afford to do so. Our valley is a desirable place to be and I do not see that diminishing over time. Home values in desirable places have a tendency to increase more quickly. That is a dilemma in many ways. Only property values that are deed restricted can be capped. Homes will continue to sell for the price a buyer is willing to pay. It is hard to see this valley ever having enough supply to fill demand so increasing prices will continue to be an issue. Two years ago a family could have moved to Heber and purchased a home for $500,000. That same home currently sells for $750,000. In many cases that same family would not be able to afford the higher home price. We have a lot of work to do on these issues over the next few years.
What incentives will you pursue to maintain open space and preserve our agricultural heritage? How will you balance that with not overtaxing people or stepping outside of the role of necessary government function?
Last year a county-wide vote for an open space bond passed with strong support and another bond passed in Midway. This is important to Heber City residents and we need to figure out more ways to keep open space. I fully support a partnership with developers to help raise money for open space. The city is exploring several opportunities and should continue to raise the necessary funds to keep open space.
We, as a city, are doing so much better than we were even 4 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Heber when we moved here 15 years ago. As more land is developed and more open space is built on, I want to reiterate that we need to be building quality developments. If we are going to have growth we need to make it worth doing and the city has that vision. The 2050 Envision plan is the blueprint for what we are trying to build. We are headed in the right direction but there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get there. I know this community is willing to roll up their sleeves and do the work.
How would you approach balancing the needs of select segments of the community while not being divisive or endorsing certain stances, theories, etc.?
Government should provide the framework where businesses and families can thrive in the community. Government also creates and manages the infrastructure so that life can progress in an orderly fashion. It is not the government’s place to tell its citizens how they should think or feel, but government should provide the freedoms so that the citizens can think and feel for themselves.
Water in Utah is a hot topic. Our water is managed by Heber City, Midway Irrigation, Twin Creeks and other water authorities. Their main purpose is to make sure there is fair usage and enough sources of water to fill the demand of shareholders and users. The City’s role is to encourage the prudent use of water and make sure that every development has enough water shares. Eventually we will be limited in our growth by water, but we are not there yet.
The city can do nothing without tax revenue. As I understand it, the city was using the reserve fund due to a shortfall in tax revenue which is hard to consider when the economy is doing so well. We have roads that need to be maintained, pipes that need to be replaced, curb and gutter that need to be installed. All of these items, and a lot more, need money so they can be addressed.
What role do you think the city should have in the county’s known problem with inequitable assessing?
In a day and age when anyone can find the market value of their home in mere seconds, it should be relatively easy to assess property values. My understanding is that the county reassesses the value of each property every 5 years. If a taxpayer is unhappy with their assessed value or feels that it is unfair they can appeal the valuation. It is the burden of the taxpayer to show they are being treated unfairly. The existing system is fair in that way. All property owners are on the same playing field as they can appeal their valuation at any time.
Which sources of community communication will you commit to using as feedback from your constituents to consider before making a decision on something?
It would be wonderful to have a dedicated individual that works with the city as a community communications specialist. One can get lost in all of the social media platforms today trying to sift and disseminate all of the information that is available. I would like the city to send text messages as well as emails to individuals who opt in so they can stay informed. The city sends a letter with the water bill but I doubt many people actually read it. A centralized communications hub for citizens to receive information and share feedback would be a great place to start.
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