What is your background professional, personal, or otherwise?
I am an IT Manager of Client Engineering for University of Utah Health. I earned my bachelors degree from the University of Utah and an MBA from the University of Arizona. With a team of 16 technical professionals and a multi-million dollar operating budget, I lead the engineering and operations of one of the largest client infrastructures in the state of Utah.
What are your thoughts in regards to the discussions around remodeling or replacing City Hall?
For me it is much like walking into a house that you want to buy. Is it appealing and would you want to live there? People spend half of their day at work, and what building they work in contributes to the appeal of their job. I remember walking into the city building almost 12 years ago and thinking how old and musty it was. It was not a building I would have wanted to work in. Buildings, like homes, need constant investment or they will fall into disrepair. The time for reinvestment in our current City Hall is overdue.
When considering options, the City looked at the old library to minimize costs, but structural defects made that plan less appealing. They are now considering an option to remodel and expand the existing space. In looking at the current proposal, I believe what they have planned is reasonable–a place where our city employees will want to work and a place that will be welcoming to Kaysville citizens or visitors. I believe in a representative government and support decisions made by the current City Council regarding investment into a remodeled City Hall.
What are your thoughts on the Fiber to the Home Project?
I believe in creating a competitive marketplace for internet services in our community that provides better service at a cheaper price–a better overall value. Many of us in Kaysville have only two options for fixed broadband. I would like to see the City remove the barriers to entry, allowing multiple internet service providers to compete for our business. With the proposed project, residents could replace their existing internet bill with something that costs less, creating a monthly savings to participating residents.
How do you feel about the state of roads in Kaysville and the current maintenance plans?
I believe this to be an area of opportunity, something that should be a priority, and one the City is trying to improve upon. Two roads that need attention, Shepard and Sunset, are either under construction or construction is planned to improve their current state.
What has your involvement been with the Kaysville community up until your filing to be a candidate for City Council? In particular beyond being a resident of Kaysville what else have you done in our community?
Since moving to Kaysville, I have been an advocate on multiple occasions to improve traffic safety on Deseret Drive resulting in a traffic mirror at Greenbelt Circle, curve speed limits, and the relocation of a residential mailbox. I could not have accomplished this without the support of the Mayor, City Council, and City staff.
In 2015, I served on the Traffic Calming Committee with Councilmember Brett Garlick, Councilmember Ron Stephens, Officer Mike Martinez, Andy Thompson, and other invested residents. Through that committee, we established formal processes and procedures to conduct traffic studies that would facilitate changes where appropriate.
From 2018 to present, I have been serving on the Technical Advisory Committee on the proposed Fiber to the Home project with Mayor Katie Witt, Councilmember Michelle Barber, Councilmember Stroh DeCaire, Shayne Scott, Ryan Judd, Andre Lortz, and Jordan Stephenson. Through that committee, I have given advice on the Initial Request for Proposal to build out the infrastructure and a feasibility study with a consulting firm, and have provided input for the recommendations made to the City Council in the Summer of 2019.
The process of zoning is very emotionally charged for many companies and residents. What will be your approach to ensuring the best balance for the various applicants? In particular the idea of zoning in a way that favors current residents vs future investment?
What I would like to see is more collaboration that is positive, productive, and includes compromise. My current perception is that one side, the other, or both are often unwilling to compromise. I see and understand both points of views in this emotionally charged zoning discussion. My hope is that I can help facilitate, encourage, and if needed or requested, mediate between both residents and applicants to achieve a win-win for all parties involved. Two ingredients I see as key predictors to success on this front are empathy and understanding from all parties.
What would you describe as your personal brand?
I would like to be remembered for how I treat others, preferably with respect and kindness. I am a strong believer in a culture of collaboration and accountability. I do my best to instill these values in my children and those that I lead through my example. I also recognize that I make mistakes often, so whenever possible I look to empathize and understand not only my weaknesses but the weaknesses of others.
It is a common concern of the people that their elected representatives don’t listen to them or respond to their needs. How would you address this concern and do you have any specific ideas about how you will facilitate that?
This is one of many reasons I am running for City Council, I want people to feel like I do not have an agenda. I want to listen to them, and I need their input. This is why I settled on “a resident like you” as the tagline for my campaign. I do not perceive myself as a politician. I want to be a peer resident to all the citizens in Kaysville and do my best to represent their interests. I won’t be able to make everyone happy or meet everyone’s needs, but I will do my best to listen and use that input to make the best decisions possible.
What are your feelings about a fire station on the West side of town?
I believe a fire station on the west side of Kaysville should remain a priority with the City Council and City staff. I have spoken with Shayne Scott on this topic. Response times on the west side are not good, particularly on the southwest side of town. He is working with Chief Erickson on a five-year plan to acquire property and plan for a site on the west side of the City. In the interim, there are many moving parts with our neighboring cities’ fire station plans and our existing commitment to Fruit Heights. I am confident this will remain a priority for the City Council, City staff, and residents.
What is your position on bringing a fiber network into Kaysville for internet?
I support the proposed fiber network project to bring internet to Kaysville residents and businesses. My support for this project is mostly about bringing competition to our internet services that are becoming more and more essential with the advances in and dependence on technology. To be transparent with you, I have been serving as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee with the City for almost a year now. I committed to the Mayor that I would keep an open mind when joining the committee, and it has turned out to be very a collaborative and rewarding experience.
Do you think the fiber network should be owned and maintained by the city?
My opinion on this has changed over time. At first, I did not prefer the City to own or maintain the network. To be honest, I really wanted UTOPIA to come. I was most concerned about capital impact, as well as the overhead and operating costs and how they would impact the taxpayer. As I have learned more, I support the current City Council should they choose to own and/or maintain a fiber network. Should the City own the network, they can ensure we have a competitive market. The existing telecoms will be invited to use the City owned fiber infrastructure, but they will compete with others for our business. With many lessons learned from those that paved the way before us, the current, more mature financial models support an infrastructure that is supported by those that use the network, whether that is an opt-in or opt-out model.
Do you think the fiber network should be owned by the City and maintained by a third party?
I am okay should the City choose to contract with a third party to maintain the network, but I also believe it may cost less and provide better service should there be ownership and engagement from the City. With respect to third party ownership, I believe it will be better for the City to own the network because then the money stays here within the City and does not go to a third party to profit off our fiber network and internet service.
Should we not even have a fiber network and wait for someone else to bring into Kaysville?
With the status quo, the telecoms can do what they want with our service (e.g., data caps, throttle, etc.), charge us what they want, and they have very little incentive to replace the existing copper cable plant with fiber optic cable. With the current barriers to entry, both financial and political, I do not believe someone else like a private third party will invest the required capital, time, and/or effort in our city. I would like to see that change with municipal owned broadband, where internet services providers compete for our business, we get better service, and we replace our existing internet bill for something cheaper.
Do you feel you want to change something in how the council works? If not, explain what you would offer to maintain the status quo. Otherwise, describe the thing you would like to change most and how you would do it.
I am often reminded that it is not how smart, good, experienced, educated, or well-known you are, it is how you treat others that matters the most. It is respect and kindness that I would like to be remembered for in how I interact with residents, the Mayor, City Council members, and City staff. I would like to see and contribute to more collaboration that is positive, productive, and includes compromise.
What, if anything, do you like about how the City Council functions?
I think the current Mayor has made a significant effort to improve the decorum. There is still plenty of room for improvement, but it’s a process and may take time.
Historically, the City has not presented major issues for a vote in the general election. Do you approve of how the City Council will vote for some issues not go to a general election because they feel they have done their homework and know what is good for the City?
I believe in a representative government where elected officials are making the best decisions they can with the information and input they receive from residents, businesses, and City staff. I believe that is what voters are voting for or “hiring” a City Council member to do–to represent their interests and make the best decisions for them.
When appropriate, I support a public vote for issues, but I do not want that to become a burden affecting every decision needed to run the City.
What’s your opinion on Katie Witt?
I like Katie Witt. She’s a good person and means well. She’s an imperfect person, she makes mistakes, but she’s doing her best. One thing I really admire about her is that she chose to overlook my weaknesses, and I try to do the same for her. We agree on many things, but we are also very different and may not always agree. I still respect her.
What changes do you want to see in Kaysville in the next 20 years?
I will likely not be on the City Council that long, but as a resident I can tell you what I would like to see. I would like to see either (1) a fire sub-station built on the west side of the City or (2) the City enter into an agreement with neighboring cities to form a fire district to maximize our economies of scale. I would like to see a more balanced revenue stream so we have a healthy balance between commercial and residential taxes. One thing that is the most important thing to me in the near term is a change in how we interact with each other. I would like to see more respect and kindness between residents, City staff, and elected officials that results in positive and productive dialogue.