Seat B candidates square off
Ryan Summerlin October 30, 2012
Summit County Council Seat B Republican candidate Sue Pollard makes no qualms about being on opposite side of most issues from council incumbent Claudia McMullin.
"We differ a ton. We’re night and day basically," Pollard remarked, adding that she finds it offensive for someone to think that a law degree is required to run for public office.
"Claudia touts she’s an attorney," Pollard said. "Anyone who has ever run for public office is doing a service to the community. The more diversity the better. And if she thinks it’s so difficult to do a budget, then move over and let someone else who wants to make the hard decisions do the hard decisions."
Pollard’s campaign centers on creating a fiscally conservative budget, without raising taxes.
"I think first and foremost we have to get the budget under control and other things will fall into place," Pollard said.
People, particularly Democrats, have been asking her where specifically she plans on cutting the budget to balance it, Pollard said. "And I can’t tell you what exactly I would want to cut. That’s not what I want to do."
Instead, she said she wants to look at the budget from a business perspective and find ways to make it more efficient.
"If you look at any entity that is successful, it always has to wrap around fiscal responsibility," Pollard said. "That’s the only way something works well. I think if you have a vision of where you want to go, you work at it from the angle of Where do we want to be and how do we attain that goal."
McMullin, a Democrat who has served on the County Council for the past four years and the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission from 2003 to 2008, said she differs from Pollard because of her own experience and proven leadership.
"I’m the one who has made the tough decisions, and I’m the one with the leadership and experience to continue to do so for the next four years," McMullin said. "It’s very interesting being an incumbent, making the tough decisions, the unpopular decisions, but doing the right thing, or doing what you and your colleagues, and frankly, I think, the majority of the community thinks is the right thing."
The County Council recently made the decision to raise the Municipal Services and Service Area #6 taxes, which were successfully challenged through referendums to put the measures on the ballot.
McMullin said the referendums were a result of poor communication from the council to the public about what the taxes are and why they are important.
"I think if we had done a better job of communicating from the beginning, we wouldn’t be in this situation and there wouldn’t be the perception that my opponent is propagating that somehow we are out of control, because I don’t believe we are out of control. So it’s a very important goal of mine to make sure that never happens again," she said.
McMullin said she also wants to focus on regional planning, particularly in areas not yet developed, such as the east side of U.S.-40 and lower Silver Creek Pad I, as well as areas planned but not yet built out, such as the Canyons and the Park City Tech Center.
"These are long build-outs that require flexibility and partnership. And we need to work with the landowners to make sure what we get complies with the development agreement and benefits the community as best we can," McMullin said.
Lastly, McMullin said she wants to continue to improve the county’s relationship with the state Legislature.
"It’s important to have a good relationship with your Legislature, but it’s specifically important for Summit County and Park City to have a good relationship with the Legislature so we don’t fight spot zoning by the Legislature and we don’t fight bills that target Summit County and Park City, which we have been doing for quite some time now," she said.
McMullin added that the county has made great strides in their relationship with the state lawmakers but said more needs to be done.
"The council needs to make an effort to meet with all the legislators — maybe one-on-one, maybe in a group," she said. "It’s a critical relationship to first get and maintain so we don’t have to fight legislation targeting Summit County."
Early voting continues through Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the County Courthouse in Coalville, the Marsac Building in Park City, the Richins Building at Kimball Junction and Kams City Hall.
The general election is on Nov. 6 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.