Frequently you will hear that high density housing in neighborhoods is our biggest challenge. I believe there are also other concerns that affect the characteristics of our homes and neighborhoods. When homes are turned into short term rentals, illegal accessory apartments, multifamily units or large student rentals, we see problems with upkeep, parking and the nature of our community. I believe high density housing should be kept out of our residential areas, and I also believe we can do more to manage and improve these other aspects of our neighborhood as well.
Over the past 10 years many residents and city officials have developed and adopted nine Strategic Neighborhood Plans. I commit to supporting these comprehensive plans for protecting our neighborhoods. As needs arise that are not currently addressed in these plans I will support reviewing and making changes as needed and on a regular basis to keep strong neighborhoods.
After all, its your neighborhood.
Throughout my professional experience I have been a collaborator, I do that at work and I will do that as Mayor. This experience has given me the insight and skills needed to make a difference in solving these problems.
I am a strong supporter of preserving our neighborhoods and keeping Orem known as Family City, USA.
Keeping Orem City Strong
In the past two years, the city has made significant adjustments to police/fire pay to ensure market competitiveness and to retain and attract the best professionals we can. When the City Council was debating increasing police pay to keep our officers, I was in favor of this.
Since then, the city has been able to fill many of the positions with highly qualified and experienced public safety personnel.
With the state of the economy and the tight job market we also need to look at other critical services and skilled positions to keep and attract the professionals we need. With over 475 full-time employees working for the City of Orem we need to be creative to continue developing a culture of trust, competence, and high-quality service to enjoy the wonderful things that make Orem the #1 place to raise a family. We want our employees to love working for Orem and its residents and to be recognized for the great job they accomplish.
My experience and leadership in a large and successful organization with over 600 employees has prepared me to be a strong and effective organizational leader for Orem. I understand the key components required to build on our current success and to ensure a professional and customer friendly organizational team.
As mayor I will continue to support the Police and Fire and our other critical services for a stronger City. I don’t believe any “defund public safety” efforts should be pursued.
Quality of life.
There are several things that make Orem a great place to live and stay affordable. I will continue to work to maintain and rebuild where needed our infrastructure like water, sewer, streets, parks and recreation with an emphasis on keeping our cost structure in line, taxes low, and being efficient with our resources.
I believe in being forward thinking and looking for the things we need to plan and do now to make the future even better. Things like an additional water tank, clean and fun parks, access to recreation opportunities, safe and well-lit facilities, and effective leadership on resource management and conservation.
Orem’s future is bright and together, we can make Orem’s future even better.
Continue Economic Development Efforts
Having served on various committees and boards for the Chamber of Commerce along with leadership on charity and other vital community organizations, I understand the need to retain and excel as a business-friendly city. We have enjoyed the growth of University Place and its master plan including major retail announcements that are of regional significance. This area is the envy of Utah County. We continue to see strong startup and entrepreneurial growth with increased strength in the technology and manufacturing sectors.
We also need to keep a focus on all of State Street and University Parkway. The retail marketplace is changing with big box retailers closing and/or consolidating. We need to continue our efforts to keep the city’s “miracle mile” vibrant and sustainable with the right projects in the right places yielding balanced and strategic economic growth.
In regards to general economic development, we need to do what we can to remain “regionally significant” on retail and commercial fronts. If there are new uses entering the Utah County market, we should continue to work to land them in Orem first before other cities, including retailers like Trader Joe’s, Shake Shack, Sephora, etc. On the business front, we should continue to push for more Class A office space in an effort to keep our fast-growing startups where they can continue to thrive.
I also commit to the business community that as Mayor I will lead out on a comprehensive review on our regulations and licensing fees to make sure we are being fair with our Orem Businesses.
Orem should be known as being open for business.
Orem’s prime location as the heart of Utah County puts additional traffic needs in strong focus with the current and projected growth in the area. In recent times, the city’s focus has been on improving east/west transportation along 1600 N (from State to I-15 expanding lanes in each direction) and examining the future of Center Street.
One of the challenges Orem faces with some of our major roads is that they serve a regional/state purpose but are locally owned. For example, Center Street connects with 4 state roads (Geneva Road, I-15, State Street and University Avenue) but is a “local road” that needs to be maintained by Orem. Future southern expansion along Geneva Road and our major connectors will not be possible without state (UDOT) and regional (MAG) assistance. If these roads serve a broader purpose than simply Orem, then the city, state and county should work as partners to help fund improvements along these regional corridors.
As Orem’s mayor I will be able to use my already established working relationship with these other entities.
Additionally, future plans for a freeway interchange south of University Parkway in Provo must share the increased traffic burden away from other current Orem corridors. These important transportation issues need someone who can stand up and protect the vital interests of Orem.
Now more than ever my service as a State Transportation Commissioner provides the needed background, knowledge of the process, and effective relationships necessary to bring these projects to reality and completion.
A number of years ago, many Orem citizens, businesses, elected officials, and community partners spent countless hours studying, taking input and developing a comprehensive plan for Orem’s State Street. A key purpose of these efforts was to protect existing neighborhoods and to have adequate buffers between them and the State Street corridor. Since that time, citizens, businesses and the city have discovered that there are areas of this plan that need to be revised and adjusted to make sure those underlying principles are followed and improved.
I support the efforts currently under way to review this plan and to make any necessary adjustments to the plan. We must keep the integrity of our neighborhoods, maintain essential transportation viability, and improve business vitality with appropriate development along State Street.
We can’t afford to get this wrong. I support the current moratorium so we can all work together to get the plan right.
Besides working with citizens and adjoining neighborhoods, I will seek after the input from existing businesses along the State Street corridor to make sure their needs are being supported as well.
A City that’s Financially Sound and Well Run
Orem City is one of the best run cities in the country and often receives awards for the fiscally sound way in which it conducts the business of providing city services to its citizens. I am grateful for the strong fund balances that we currently have and will work hard to support keeping those in a healthy position. We have amazing roads, water and sewer systems, etc. and I pledge to make sure we keep it that way.
Orem has consistently been rated as one of the best managed cities in the country and as Mayor I will work to keep this important rating. A well run city, with an excellent bond rating, saves everyone’s tax money as the city provides essential services.
As mayor I will work closely with the council, city administration and staff and citizens to make sure we continue to operate in a fiscally sound and conservative manner.