Growth is the most important issue facing Lehi now and in the years to come. I believe we need to properly plan for and manage growth in our city. As our city moves forward, I will work to preserve the things about Lehi that make it such a great place to live. A new general plan was recently approved by the current city council. While there are many things about the new general plan with which I disagree, I believe we do need to follow this plan. In order for the city to plan for needed infrastructure, we should not go beyond the densities granted by the plan. I also believe we must be very cautious about approving additional bonus density, allowing exceptions, or making changes to area plans. See more details on how I will manage growth on my posts "Growing Pains" and "Principles".
Along with growth comes traffic issues as infrastructure tries to keep up with growing demand. Fortunately, there are plans and funding in place to add and expand state roads in Lehi. These plans include expanding 2100 N into a freeway with frontage roads, expanding Pioneer Crossing, and extending Pony Express Parkway. As these much needed roadways are planned and built, I will pay close attention to how our residents are impacted, making sure people have safe and time-efficient ways to get in and out of their neighborhoods.
Parks, Recreation, and Open Space
I believe outdoor activity and gathering spaces are important for our health and welfare and add to our quality of life. There are a number of ways I think the city can provide more parks and open space to our residents. These include
designing modest, manageable, and more affordable parks,
collaborating and coordinating with neighboring cities to provide more recreation opportunities
targeting park impact fees to new growth area which are most in need of parks
encouraging private sector options
holding developers of multi-family developments to design standards that require they provide open space and amenities for their residents.
I believe public parks and open space should be accessible to all residents and not be fee based or used as revenue generators. I also support obtaining land for parks in a way that doesn't negatively impact residents or the character of their neighborhood. Too often deals are made where the developer gets a density bonus, the city gets free land (usually the most undesirable parcel), and the residents get more traffic, more pressure on their schools, and developments that don't match their area.
You can read more on my post Dry Creek Lake.
Ranked Choice Voting
I am opposed to ranked choice because it denies equal voting power to all voters. In a traditional election, if, for example, there are two city council positions up for election, each voter can have a vote counted for two people to fill both positions. In the 2021 Lehi City election using ranked choice voting, over 1,300 voters had only one vote counted in a two-seat election. When a voting system prevents some people from having a say in the two people they want to fill two separate elected positions than that system is flawed. It is time for Lehi City to end its failed ranked choice voting experiment and return to the established principle of one person - one vote. You can read more on my Ranked Choice Voting post.
I am opposed to unnecessary tax increases.
In 2022, despite favorable growth in tax revenues and millions of dollars in surplus from previous years, the mayor and city council voted to increase property taxes in Lehi using the rational that the city is losing purchasing power because property tax does not keep pace with inflation. The mayor's budget also states that the city will consider increasing property taxes every two years. I disagree. Property tax is not designed to keep pace with inflation. Instead, property tax was purposely designed to provide a consistent, predictable source of revenue despite ups and downs in the economy. Sales tax revenue on the other hand does increase with inflation. Also, the Utah Tax Payer Association recommended that cities should look to see if property taxes need to be adjusted for inflation every 5 -8 years rather than every two years.