Gary Shumway, Constitution Party
October 2, 2008
1.The two entryways into Park City, S.R. 224 and S.R. 248, are under stress from traffic increases, with backups at Kimball Junction being especially worrisome to officials in Summit County and commuters. Please talk about your preferred solutions to the two entryways, with particular attention to how the expensive projects could be funded. (150 words)
I would first want to obtain traffic pattern studies then I would determine what the County could afford to remedy the problem. I would then publish those initial findings with additional constraints while seeking citizen input. Possibly a contest could be made of it to determine how large the problem is perceived to be. Obviously 38,000 heads are better than five. My entries for SR 224, amendable based upon the constraints, would include greater use of the Jeremy Ranch off-ramp and Kilby/Landmark roads to service the Factory Stores, continue N 2200 W around the Tanger Outlet stores to Sports Park Road, incentives to use park ‘n ride, or possibly widen SR 224. My entries for SR 248 could include greater use of Euston Drive, possibly working with Park City businesses to stagger commuter hours, use park ‘n rides, and decrease impediments to traffic flow. BTW, vote person, not party!
2.Foreclosures are on the rise as real-estate sales slump in Summit County. How would you respond as a councilperson if faced next year with an economic recession? (150 words)
I would seek advice from local and state economists, advice from previous Commissioners and others who have experienced an economic recession as civic leaders. Along with others on the Council I would assist in determining what our options were and which of those are possible to implement. As the County’s executive decision making responsibilities are those of the County Manager, they would of course be brought into the process. Once a multi-tiered plan had been formulated, it would be explained to Summit County citizens, implemented, monitored and adjusted, as needed. I expect some of the solutions would be looking at where government can be more efficient, streamlining processes, explore ways to increase revenue without increasing taxes, potential budgetary cuts, projects temporarily held in abeyance, and in the worst case, decrease level of services. BTW, I’m not asking you to change party’s, just your vote!
3. You’re vying for a seat on the Summit County Council, which will replace the County Commission when it disbands in 2008. Voters decided to change the form of government and a significant difference will be the hiring of a county manager to fill the executive role. If elected you’d help decide who is hired as the manager and could help divvy up powers between the legislative and executive branches of government. Please discuss traits important in a manager. (150 words)
The most important traits for a County Manager would be those in common with corporate executives and civic leaders. These traits would include the ability of being an excellent listener and have exemplary communication skills, someone who has a participatory style of leadership involving the elected County Council when appropriate, and the ability to shape policy agenda. It goes without saying that the County Manager should also be innovative, honest, earn and maintain the respect of County personnel and citizens, able to bring ideas to the discussion table and involve Summit County citizens, as appropriate. The candidate should exceed the minimal vocational and educational requirements for the position. Previous experience as a County Manager would certainly be necessary. It would be best if the candidate resides in Summit County and was familiar with the issues facing the County with a vision for their solution. BTW, vote person, not just party!
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4.The new Summit County Council will function as the legislative branch of government in Summit County. How is the role of a county councilperson different from a county manager, and what do you see as the positives and negatives of the five-member board versus the old three-member panel? (150 words)
The council-manager system of government was designed to remove politics from municipal administration. Sumter, SC was the first city in the United States to successfully implement the council-manager form of government while Phoenix, AZ is the largest city. In Summit County, the council will select a County Manager from three candidates proffered by an, independent selection committee. The Manager will be responsible for supervising government operations including many of the committees and personnel. Ideally, the Manager is apolitical. The negative of the council-manager are: likely greater expense, citizens cannot vote out a Manager (directly), and the position may turn political. The positives are: Council’s not burdened with minutia and administration, managerial decisions less political, Manager can be vetoed and fired by the Council (thus has limits), Manager can actually be a management professional, and the potential continuity of management. BTW, I’m not asking you to change parties, just your vote!
5. Discuss your knowledge of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act and explain whether you believe elected officials in Summit County regularly obey the law. When is it appropriate for the Summit County Council to close a meeting? (150 words)
The UOPM Act can be found in Title 52, Chapter 04 of the Utah Code. The Act is very specific on which meetings are not open to the public. I have heard complaints regarding inappropriately holding closed meetings but have not experienced this myself. Of course one of the planks of my campaign is open government thus I most enthusiastically support the UOPM Act and GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act). As per Section 54-4-205 of the Utah code, closed meetings may be held for: 1. discussion of character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual, 2. strategy sessions to discuss collective bargaining, pending or reasonably imminent litigation, the purchase, exchange, sale or lease of types of real property, 3. discussion regarding deployment of security personnel or systems or commercial information (59-1-404), and 4. investigative proceedings regarding allegations of criminal misconduct. BTW, vote person, not party!
6.Summit County was sued by a private competitor when it entered the water business by forming Mountain Regional Water Special Service District several years ago. Should officials have formed the public water provider? (150 words)
First, I must state that I am a stock holder of Summit Water Distribution Company since we use the water they produce for Jeremy Ranch. Second, by principal, I would like to encourage cost effective private enterprise solutions. Third, for the County to unlawfully tie the sale of water to building permits and planning approvals seems wrong to me, and in 2005 the Utah Supreme Court agreed. As Robert Campbell, the attorney of Summit Water stated, "It is a forceful reaffirmation by Utah’s highest court of their commitment to strong enforcement of the state’s antitrust laws. Neither a county or its commissioners or its contractors are immune from antitrust liability when they conspire to eliminate competition in a competitive water market and attempt to install their own company as a monopoly." BTW, I’m not asking you to change parties, just your vote!
7.Significant changes are being discussed for the Eastern Summit County General Plan and Development Code. Some eastsiders claim the current zoning rules are too strict and prevent them from benefiting economically from the development of their land. Others say most development should occur in cities and rigid codes are necessary in unincorporated Summit County to preserve its rural flavor. What is your vision for residential and commercial development in eastern Summit County? (150 words)
The Eastern Summit County Development Code and Plan can be obtained from the County’s web site at http://www.co.summit.ut.us/communitydevelopment/eastern.html. I would encourage everyone to at least browse the material proffered by the Eastern Summit County Planning District. One of the problems is that some of the Eastern Summit County’s larger landowners are wishing to sell portions of their historically agricultural land. This is because their progeny are reticent to farm the land as their ancestors did. Yet many residents in Summit County want to retain the agrarian heritage of the area. Ultimately, it is up to the landowner what they do with their property, constrained by natural resources, County services, and fair zoning regulations. We must find ways to promote residential and commercial growth without losing the agrarian heritage. I would favor looser restrictions based on resources. Let’s hear from the citizens as to solutions. BTW, vote person, not just party!
8.The Summit County Commission has debated whether to allow Walmart at Kimball Junction to expand into a Walmart Supercenter. How would you vote if asked to expand the store by about 60 percent and are there any areas of Summit County where other big-box retailers would be appropriate? (150 words)
I was present at the last public meeting regarding Walmart’s Supercenter. At that meeting, after hearing considerable angst from the majority of the citizens, the Commissioners wisely decided to hold off the approval of the expansion until after the new roadway is finished to give the County time to determine how effective the new roadway would be in alleviating the traffic congestion in the area. At that meeting, County staff presented a favorable opinion regarding the expansion and it appeared that the Commissioners agreed that legally, there was nothing they could do but eventually grant the expansion. Whether large box retailers are encouraged in the future is up to the residents of Summit County, there are certainly pros and cons to their coming to Summit County. If approved and encouraged, then the I-40 corridor would be one suggestion as to their location. BTW, vote Shumway for Summit County Council!
9. Please differentiate yourself from your opponent. (200 words)
I am offering you a choice this November 4th. You have a choice of continuing politics as usual or you can elect a member of the Constitution Party who will actually represent you, not just the party. With no political debts to repay, with no close ties to any specific industry, special interest group, or political entity, I can represent all the citizens of Summit County.
Succinctly, I am fiscally conservative and socially inclusive. I believe our human rights come from God, not government. I believe the Constitution to be the supreme law of the land and we have strayed too far from it. I believe we must reign in government or government will reign over us.
Unlike Chris Robinson who states his company has "a broad range of interests" and Alison Pitt who works for a Summit County business and is married to a Park City Attorney, I have no business dealings with the County (other than paying taxes!) I will not have to recluse myself from doing County business, that is, your business, due to conflicts of interest. Electing Gary Shumway means you are paying for five and you will get five Council members voting for you.