Six candidates vie for three seats in Kamas
July 21, 2007
The six people running for three seats on the Kamas City Council will campaign as the developer of the High Star Ranch pressures the city to annex the land for the ritzy equestrian subdivision.
Incumbent Kamas City Councilman Dan Littledike, who is seeking his second four-year term, said officials haven’t determined the annexation’s impacts.
"In general, residences don’t pay for themselves," Littledike said.
To annex, High Star builder Mark Fischer may have to agree to upgrade sewer and water systems in Kamas.
"It’s something that we’re just going to go really slow and do what’s best for the citizens of Kamas," Littledike said.
Littledike, who has served six years on the City Council, said he has more experience on the board than other candidates in the race.
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"You don’t learn the process in a year or two," Littledike said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I’ll take the ball and roll with it, versus a new candidate coming in and taking another year to get on board."
There will be no primary election in Kamas. Other candidates in the City Council race include: Rod Atkinson, Jeff Zenger, Rex Mitchell, A. Jason Barto and incumbent City Councilman Kevan Todd, who is seeking his second term.
Mitchell also acknowledged the impact the High Star development could have on Kamas.
"I’m not totally opposed to annexing it into town, depending on what [the developer] has to offer," Mitchell said. "Before we turn them away, I think if the city can get a nice sewer system out of the deal, it’s definitely a plus."
Mitchell says he served one term on the Kamas City Council about six years ago.
"Some of the issues that I think we’re going to be faced with are water and growth," Mitchell said. "I have a lot at stake in the valley and would like to be a part of controlling the growth and making sure we do what’s best for Kamas."
Mitchell says he supports a combination of commercial and residential development.
"There has to be a happy mix," he added.
As a City Councilman, Zenger, a political newcomer, said he would work to prevent gentrification in Kamas.
"When I got married and started a family, we found out we couldn’t buy a home (in Park City,)" Zenger said. "It’s already happening (in Kamas.) We need to be very thoughtful and careful and not be bowled over by developers."
Meanwhile, Barto said he is running simultaneous campaigns for a City Council seat and the mayor’s office, which he intends to contend for in 2009. Barto began his mayoral campaign in 2006 and has criticized Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant. Last year, Barto claimed somebody stole his campaign signs.
Kamas is growing faster than ever and re-electing someone to the City Council who has already overseen development for four years is important, said Todd, who is an incumbent.
"The Council that we have currently, I feel like we work really well together," Todd said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "We don’t see eye to eye on all of the issues, but at the end of the day, we come to a common goal for all of the residents."
Helping plan a business park near State Road 248 is one of his top priorities, Todd explained.
"We’ve got a lot of new commercial income," he said. "Our whole goal has been to keep taxes down and to keep utilities to a minimum, so people can continue their quality of life."
He boasts that Marchant and the City Council have improved the sewer and water systems in Kamas.
"We do have a lot on our agenda and things that we’ve been working on that I would like to see to the end," Todd said.
Atkinson said he is a newcomer to politics with an interest in maintaining the rural character in Kamas while bringing prosperous businesses to town.
"We are getting a lot of growth, and I guess that’s good," Atkinson said.
Beautifying Main Street similarly to Heber’s thoroughfare excites him, Atkinson said.
"Heber is so beautiful," he said.