Roland Uresk |

Roland Uresk

Please differentiate yourself from your opponent.

My campaign is about bringing the voice of the people back to the Legislature. The arrogance of the legislature, telling us what is best for us and not listening to what we think, is wrong. When two-thirds of the voters say no to a tax cut and direct the money be spent on education, and that s not done, it s time for change. I m the candidate to do that.

My experience in local government, my understanding of the issues and my experience with the Legislature make me the candidate to let the voice of the people be heard.

As a Democrat I can bring balance to the Legislature. As a moderate politician raised on rural conservatism, I can represent all of the district. I would not yield to the threats of the majority leadership to vote for what they want rather that what my constituents want. I understand the issues and have taken positions that are practical and not mainstream politics. I am open to innovative ideas to solve state problems.

I can bring the voice of the people back to the Legislature. Learn more about my position on issues at I ask for your support on Nov. 7.

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.

While I applaud the Legislature s efforts to remove state restrictions on development, I do not support the concept of that bill. That bill was an effort by special interests to strip away local control over the planning process. I believe that government is best at the local level and to strip away the power of the local government to set its own regulations and to enforce its own ordinances is an abuse of power by the Legislature. Local persons on the planning commission who are appointed by local elected officials know more about the needs of the local community. The communities of this state do not have the same problems or needs, and a one-size-fits-all approach by the Legislature is not in the best interest of our communities.

I would support a statewide effort to streamline the process, but not at the expense of local government.

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.

2The Legislature should encourage, through funding, the promotion of tourism on a national and an international level. The state should also address critical infrastructure needs such as transportation and services in the communities that provide the lodging, food and other incidentals of tourism. The state should also revisit its Liquor laws, which are complicated and confusing. Restrictions should be reasonable and not such as to discourage tourists from coming to Utah and to Summit County. The state should also encourage use of Olympic venues for other uses that would bring in tourists.

I would support an effort to balance the desire to control the sales of alcohol and the needs of tourism. I do not support efforts on the part of one agency of the state at odds with another. No one wins in that situation.

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.

No, the liquor laws are not adequate. They are burdensome, complex and confusing. They contain restrictions that are overreaching and go beyond the purpose of alcohol control.

They impose added burdens on small business owners that are not necessary. The goal of Utah s liquor laws should be to regulate the sales of alcohol to protect the safety of the public.

The existing law is an effort to discourage the sale of alcohol by making it difficult. This flies in the face of the goal of promoting tourism to generate more revenue.

One change I would support would be a streamlining of the liquor laws to facilitate the permitting process and increase the number of permits for tourism-based industry. I would work to remove burdensome unnecessary regulations that impact small businesses.

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 image of shortchanging Utah students is a fair assessment of the amount of money that is budgeted by the legislature for education. This is shown in Utah s ranking at the bottom of all surveys regarding education expenditures. It is appalling that this state touts itself as a family oriented state with family values and yet we shortchange our children in education. That needs to change.

The Legislature needs to re-evaluate the funding sources for education, and should consider funding from mineral revenues as well as more stable existing tax revenue sources. The funding needs to be commensurate with the needs of education.

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 roads in Summit County are too congested, even after the new construction. I believe that the solution to the transportation problem in this state is for joint cooperation between the state, the county and the federal government to improve the overall transportation system in the State. The traffic in Summit County would justify serious consideration of a mass transit system. I would also encourage, where feasible, new construction with consideration of existing and future traffic patterns, and consultation with local leaders as to the needs of the area.

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.

I believe that the state s efforts to integrate non-English speakers into the educational system are mediocre at best. My father and his brothers were born here to immigrant parents. None of them could speak English when they entered the school system. They learned English by associating with the other children, because they had the desire to learn. The local school districts should assess their needs for integrating the non English-speaking students into the system. Those needs should include programs that would encourage those children to learn English as quickly as possible. I would support any funding initiative that would meet those needs and achieve those goals.

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?

Illegal immigration is a federal issue that can only be dealt with on a federal level. To expect the states to deal with this issue places a heavy burden to the taxpayers of Utah for a problem that state efforts cannot ever control. Until the federal government solves it, Utah should not waste its limited resources dealing with illegal immigration. The Utah Legislature should not eliminate the driving card for undocumented immigrants.

These undocumented immigrants are here and will drive. Requiring a driving card insures that they will have the proper training to be able to drive a car, and not create a danger to others. We should address that issue and demand that the federal government address the issue of illegal immigration.

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 taxes more expensive for people who own houses but do not live in the state all year.

Utah needs a stable tax structure that will generate the necessary revenues to meet the needs of the people. The current tax structure including exemptions should be reviewed and those exemptions not presently necessary should be repealed. The tax structure should be fair but adequate to raise the necessary money for the state s needs. Taxes should stay as they are now but real tax reform needs to occur.

I have yet to hear a flat-tax proposal that I am comfortable with. We need true reform. I think that the primary home exemption should be reviewed as to its true need and, if it is needed, it should remain. If not then it should be repealed.

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