Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.
First, I am a teacher who has worked in the most educationally, economically and culturally diverse high school in this state. I understand educational issues from many different perspectives and agendas. More of our state tax dollars are allocated to education than any other item in the budget. It is essential to have legislators who understand what it is like inside the classroom as well as familiarity with the funding formulae that flow monies to our children and their education.
Second, I am a businessman who understands the need for fiscal responsibility. I understand property rights issues and transportation concerns. I also have a unique knowledge of health care dynamics and the current impacts the industry is having. I have worked to assist many lower-income citizens when they find themselves in crisis. I have a unique perspective, attitude and personal nature, which allow me to effectively work with all stakeholders to provide you, my neighbors, with key representation of issues that are important to us and our neighborhoods.
Third, I understand my community and I have the ability to represent our many unique issues with tact, intelligence and work ethic. I get things done. I represent you and your values.
1. The Legislature has considered loosening its development rules, most notably in a bill that stalled in the 2006 session. Please describe the fairness of the state’s rules regulating developers. Please describe one change to the rules you support and, if there are none, discuss why the rules, in your opinion, are adequate.
I do not have a depth of knowledge of this particular piece of legislation.
I do support the notion that we should strike a balance between the interests of both parties where responsible development can occur that will continue to support smart growth as well as protect the interests of the citizens.
2. Utah s tourism industry is critical to the economy of Summit County, employing scores of people and generating lots of the area s taxes. Please outline your opinion of the Statehouse s role in promoting tourism. Please discuss one new program you would support that would boost tourism in Summit County.
I support the statewide initiatives that have been taken to promote tourism. These statewide movements impact everyone and Summit County benefits as well.
I would like to see this paradigm continue and then become more specific by directly marketing to unique consumer markets the individual characteristics of Summit County that will make it the primary destination if many, a must visit in every traveler s planner.
3. Even after changes to the state s liquor laws, people in the entertainment industry remain unhappy with what they see as a restrictive and confusing set of rules. Are the liquor laws adequate and do they accomplish their goals? Please discuss one change that you would support.
I believe the state liquor laws are adequate and I would not recommend changing rules because this will only cause more confusion and frustration among both consumers and vendors.
4. The Statehouse continues to have difficulty shedding an image of shortchanging Utah students. Is that a fair assessment of the amount of money that is budgeted for education? Please discuss one idea to ensure that the state s schools are funded adequately.
The Statehouse continues to have difficulty shedding the image of shortchanging public education in Utah because each year, including just over a month ago, the legislature continues to shortchange our students even when there are multi-million-dollar surpluses. This reckless behavior is particularly alarming when most taxpayers, me included, have repeatedly said they want their money invested in public education. For $70 million, the state could have reduced class sizes in kindergarten through third grade by four students per class — statewide. Instead, most of us will get $24 back — wow!
I support the UEA s following statement. The state minimum education tax levy has been cut in half over that time. Most troublesome is the fact that the current system actually forces continued reductions in that state rate and further exacerbates the situation. There is a need to incorporate some type of inflationary adjustment as part of the state rate-setting process.
5. Lots of Summit County s traffic problems are either on or near state-owned roads, notably S.R. 224 and S.R. 248, even after both have been upgraded. Do the state roads in the county function to your liking? Please describe two methods the state could promote in Summit County to make the area a better place for drivers.
The upgrades of the state roads have significantly improved the access and safety of these transportation corridors. One area where we can improve driver need is to provide public transportation to and from Summit County to Salt Lake City. This alone will provide our citizens with options that some will choose. This will consequently alleviate traffic congestion of our surface streets as well as better the air quality of our county. Another area would be to continue to have a master plan that looks far into the future, which will anticipate potential problems and issues before they become a frustration for all of us.
6. School districts continue to accept students who do not speak English as their native language, mostly those who speak Spanish. Please rate the state s efforts to integrate the non-English speakers and describe one initiative you support addressing those who do not speak English.
Public schools from the beginning were created to provide an opportunity for all students regardless of wealth, race or language spoken. That the majority of students that do not speak English speak Spanish should not be a surprise to anyone.
I believe the federal government s response to the issue has been less than adequate. The state should be doing more and the federal government even more than the states since they control immigration issues (both legal and illegal).
Our teachers have done more than an outstanding job adjusting to these new and challenging pedagogical dynamics. More assistance is needed in the form of more teachers and teacher training is critical if we are to maintain the quality of education. Education is the great equalizer, but if we limit resources and pull from one source of funding to pay for another, then we weaken the structure altogether.
7. Utah allows some undocumented immigrants to hold what are known as driving-privilege cards, which allow them to drive but are not recognized as official identification. Do you support keeping the driving-privilege cards intact or doing away with them?
I believe that we should keep the driving-privilege cards intact.
8. Please discuss your opinion of Utah s tax structure. Should taxes go up, be cut or stay as they are now? Please address in your answer your opinion of the so-called primary-home exemption, which makes property more expensive for people who own houses but do not live in the state all year.
I believe the current tax structure is adequate and provides the necessary revenues needed by the state as well as providing current surpluses.
Taxes should be adjusted downward if current surplus trends continue. If they are not cut, then we will naturally see an increased level of waste and bureaucracy. I do not support the so-called primary home exemption.
If someone owns a home, they pay taxes. Trying to draw the line regarding what qualifies as living here all year or not starts us down a slippery slope that I would rather avoid.
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