From economic planning to dog parks, voters share their views with candidates
Oct 21, 2019 12:25PM
By Josh Wood
Voters share their views with city council candidates. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)
By Joshua Wood | [email protected]
Elections for representatives of the first and second districts on Cottonwood Heights City Council take place on Nov. 5. Residents had the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn more about their priorities during an event at City Hall on Oct. 10. Decisions on candidates will be sorted out on election day, but many attendees brought up the same issues during the event.
The event gave voters an opportunity to share their priorities and let candidates know what they would like to see from their representatives. “We just want to see the city prosper,” said Joseph Lockyer. “The city needs to understand growth has got to be maintained, looked at; it’s got to be careful how you do it. You’ve got to have growth, because if you don’t the city will die.”
That sentiment was common among attendees of the Meet the Candidates event. While some people had specific issues they wanted to raise with candidates, others sought reassurance that things would continue as they have over recent years.
“My priorities as a voter, it’s kind of boring because I really am happy with the way things are going,” said Stan Rosenzweig. “If they keep on going the way they are going, I’m a really happy camper.”
Growth was a major issue on the minds of community members talking with the candidates. While attendees expressed appreciation for recent economic growth, they also seemed to recognize the inevitability of population growth. They just don’t want it to bring too much change to their community.
“We have to have a balance because Utah is growing, and we have to be cognizant of that,” Rosenzweig said. “At the same time, people who move to the community are wanting outdoor recreation, and the people who live here are very open space people. We bike, we hike, we like all that stuff.”
In addition to preserving open spaces, residents expressed concerns about construction that alters the look and feel of the community. “We have a master plan, and it seems like we’re veering away from that into more high density, different heights than a lot of people want to see, traffic,” said Bob Jacobs. “We want to see more trails, more open space. There’s not much open space left.”
Careful planning of growth seemed to guide the thinking of voters speaking with city council candidates. The challenge they put forth to their future representatives is to balance growth with preserving community. “I think growth is good for the city, but I think it has to be in specific places where it doesn’t distract from people’s views and their living,” Lockyer said. “You’ve got to respect the citizens.”
Several people attending the event didn’t even live in districts one or two. They just wanted to hear what the candidates had planned for their community.
In addition to growth and planning, some of the event’s attendees came to voice their concerns on single issues. A group of residents met with each candidate to state the case for the construction of a dog park in Cottonwood Heights.
“That’s why I’m here, because I’ve been wanting a dog park for a long time,” said Stephanie Gelman. “We’ve been out canvassing, and there are just so many dogs, and the pressure’s there for the city to do something.”
Whether concerned about how growth is managed or what projects take priority, attendees seemed to hope that solid economic growth continues as they have over recent years. The October event was about giving voters what they expect — having their voices heard.
“One thing I would say about our city council is that they are very intelligent about getting involved with the community, and that’s super,” Lockyer said.