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There is much that is good about West Valley City, but there are also issues that need immediate attention. Some are more urgent than others. Based upon the information I have received and the comments of thousands of you as I have listened to you at your homes, my plan is to work on the following issues:

• Making public safety our number one priority
I have pushed to make Public Safety our number one priority as a city. The council has now adopted that priority. I will encourage making our budgets, our policies and our practices reflect this priority. Our police department has received national certification for establishing high standards of professionalism and practices. Our city is the only one in Utah to have achieved this recognition.


• No tax increases

With residents who are retired and on fixed incomes or who are just starting their careers or families, tax increases are especially difficult. None of us want to pay more taxes. We can find other solutions such as reducing spending to continue to provide critical services to the residents of West Valley City. I voted against the property tax increase.


• A responsible and efficient budget

We can find ways to improve efficiencies of city government and promote economic development to meet the needs of growth across the city. During the great recession at the state level, I was the house chair of the budget committee. We worked together to find reasonable ways to cut spending by $1.3 billion and maintain all critical services. We can use the same process at the city level to make sure we are meeting the needs of the people who live in West Valley City. We must focus on our critical and core purposes to create a safe and enjoyable place to live.


• A friendly environment for both residents and businesses
I found in my discussions with you that some residents are unhappy with the city, even to the point of wanting to move. A few have already moved. Some businesses are reluctant to relocate to our city. By creating an environment of service and support, we can make our city more livable for all of us. This includes a community minded police department that not only catches the criminals, but provides to the majority of law-abiding citizens a friendly and helpful service. We can create a place here where businesses want to locate and people want to live. That is the best way to improve our image as a city. We can make it a desirable destination for people to live, work and play.


• Resolving financial commitments and debt

The city has made major financial commitments, a practice which is not sustainable in the long term. We have gone into debt for a number of major projects, including UTOPIA. We will pay our debts and meet our obligations. However, we need to examine what we are receiving for that debt and make sure that we are receiving our full benefit of services as legally agreed upon. We must reduce or eliminate that debt as rapidly as possible. My work in representing the state of Utah at national bond rating agencies and my understanding of government debt will enable me to assist in finding ways to improve our financial position as a city.


• Strengthening the transparency and availability of financial and other information to the public
It is important that we provide more information about the finances, the budget, the police department and other services and programs in a way understandable and usable by the citizens of West Valley City. There are many ways to provide simple and understandable information about what is happening at the city, especially with tax dollars. Citizens need to know how their money is being spent and what they are getting for their money. I have been working to provide this for West Valley City and its residents.


• Positioning the city financially for future changes in the economy
Although the city has a balanced budget, I believe that much work can be done to strengthen the city finances and provide the needed flexibility for future economic changes. My work with budgets and the economy can provide ways to improve the city budget and prepare for the future. I learned many important principles that can be used in city government to stabilize the finances and protect the citizens and their taxes. I worked with many departments of state government to create efficiencies and improvements during the last great recession. Working together, we were able to reduce government spending and keep almost all services in place. This was done while avoiding tax increases.


• Continuing the growth of the city through economic development and job growth

I worked with many in state government who improved the state economy and increased the number of jobs available to the people of Utah. I will continue to work with them to do the same for West Valley City. It is not something to be done easily nor with just my efforts. It will take the full city council, the city employees, and input from the public to accomplish this.


• Ordinance or code enforcement
I have visited with many of you on your door steps to listen to your concerns about our neighborhoods. Your feedback on needed changes to the current methods of making sure our neighborhoods are safe, healthy and enjoyable will be a priority for me. We will get input from many of you to determine an appropriate and workable way of accomplishing this. It will be a difficult task to balance the desires of having beautiful neighborhoods and allowing residents to use their property in reasonable ways. There should be opportunities without penalties for residents to make critical improvements and allow flexibility within their financial abilities. The city can and should provide them with reasonable suggestions or alternatives to resolve concerns. I will continue to get ideas and suggestions from you as I go door to door throughout the campaign for mayor.


• Traffic concerns
As I visited with many of you on your door steps, a number of you brought up the issue of traffic. This included the Mountain View Corridor, east-west traffic and the condition of the roads. I worked with UDOT, the legislature, the county and our city employees to improve our roads and make sure there are safe roads to meet our needs.


• Safe and Inviting neighborhoods
We need to invest more time and money to create and maintain safe and inviting neighborhoods. Our neighborhoods must take priority. We should increase community policing that emphasizes serving and protecting. This would include regular patrols and interaction with citizens throughout our many neighborhoods.


• Gangs and drugs
There is an ongoing effort by the police department to rid our neighborhoods of gangs and drug houses. We must increase these efforts to protect our citizens, especially children, from these dangerous and alarming influences. Proven models that have been effective in other cities should be tested in our city to find practical efforts at combating gangs and drugs.


• Listening to your Concerns
In addition to walking through the neighborhoods and talking with those who I find at home, lines of communication must be kept open and active with the citizens throughout the year. The first Wednesday of each month I meet with any interested resident of the city. I hold neighborhood meetings in conjunction with neighborhood watch and community council groups.


• Responding to citizens
Many have raised concerns about getting responses from the city to their questions and concerns. It is essential that a citizen's phone call be returned promptly. It is also critical that they be informed of reasons for action or inaction on any issue. I have encouraged all departments of the city to be responsive and to follow up on all citizen contacts.


Clearly, there are many other issues that impact the lives of everyone in our city. I believe that I will bring an experienced and professional approach to improving city services and the image of West Valley City throughout the state.

Please contact me with comments or questions about these or any other issues.

info@votronbigelow.com

801 - 968 - 4188 or 801 - 859 - 9807

Copyright © 2013 Paid by Committee to Elect Ron Bigelow