Thursday, July 13, 2006

Davis County Commission - Seat B responses

Here are the responses from the candidates for Davis County Commission - Seat B. The candidates are Democrat Chris Martinez, and Republican Louenda Downs. I have put the answers exactly as I received them. I have not corrected any spelling or grammatical errors. Louenda prefaced her answers with this, "My answers will be brief, would love to expound in a phone conversation possibly, but under a very tight schedule at the moment..."

1) What are your feelings on the famous 138 percent proposed tax hike in 2002? Do you feel that the majority of the public didn't understand that the 138 percent only applied to the county portion?

Chris
I believe that the public was misled and didn't understand how the 138 percent was going to affect the the property owner. In cases like this the commissioners should have held a public meeting and explained how it was going to affect us and what it was going to be used for.

Louenda
I understand there were some critical future revenue shortfalls that needed to be addressed, but feel that the public should have been involved in the NEEDS first of all, brought together to look at possible solutions (not having been part of the process I don't know how many possible solutions were explored) ...THEN when the numbers were clear and the direction was CLEAR (not a 138% that would change to a 35%) and the public had bought into the need, the 35% or whatever solution was determined could have been announced with more people on board and more of the public clearly understanding what and why.

2) How do you feel about a Davis County Conference Center expansion?

Chris
I'm against the expansion. The commissioners should have realized when the first proposal was made, now we have to sell Sales Tax Revenue Bonds to finance the expansion.

Louenda
I support the expansion AS LONG AS the current study that is being done to determine the costs comes back verifying that the expansion can be built using the $500,000 alotted from the Legislature and the revenue from the TRT (Transient Room Tax...paid generally by hotel visitors to the county), not by an additional tax burden to Davis residents. In addition, studies project the Expansion to double the economic revenue to the county...from $16,000,000 to $31,000,000. That is significant. Love to hear your take.

3) How do you plan on funding the operating expenses of the Davis County Jail expansion?

Chris
I believe the funding is already included in the proposed budget for 2007.

Louenda
It is my understanding that the $35 tax raise to cover these costs has been ratified, just not yet imposed. As always, love to look closely to see if there are ways we could consolidate and save if possible on these projected costs.

4) Do you support or oppose cities coming together to create certain projects such as the South Davis Recreation center?

Chris
I do not oppose cities coming together to create certain projects as long as they have the funds and will be maintain by the cities.

Louenda
I support cities autonomy and encourage entities to look for ways to work together. I support any credible group that can consolidate and deliver NEEDED services and provide them in a cost effective manner. Thoug I understand some who opposed it wondered if it was a need, South Davis residents voted in favor of the Rec center project, I support the majority vote.

5) How do you feel about the South Davis Metro Fire Department? What about them having their own paramedic service?

Chris
I don't have a problem with the with the fire department. I will support them in having their own paramedic services. This County is growing and we need these type services available at a moment notice.

Louenda
Again I support autonomy and consolidation. Love to watch this new consolidation unfold to see the level of services and satisfaction. I think we need to talk seriously about consolidation vs. division of paramedics and 911. Love to talk more about this per phone.

6) Would you support or oppose a consolidation of the municipal police departments similar to the South Davis Metro Fire Departments? Who would you see running such a department? Would you envision it run similar to the way the SDMFD is run or as a department of the county?

Chris
A study would have to be conducted before I could supported or oppose it. Here again it depends who is funding it, in order to decide who is going to run.

Louenda
Think that there may be some smaller cities where this may be an option. Would never attempt this without sitting down with Public Safety experts to discuss options, plusses and drawbacks....can we provide services and safety, costs-is it a savings or more money. Would rather see it under a city umbrella than a county one.

7) Do you think party affiliation is important in this race? Why or why not?

Chris
No. I believe a person should be able to vote for the best candidate for the job, no matter what party he or she is affiliated with.

Louenda
Though I am a Republican and feel strongly about the party platform, I feel even more strongly that when it comes down to voting, you do you due dilligence, study the issues and the candiates, and then vote for the PERSON, not the party.

8) What differentiates you from your opponent? In other words, why should I vote for you instead of her/him?

Chris
Other then gender. We both have different opinions on how this county should be run. I have been involved with the community for several years with different organizations. I'm A MAN YOU CAN TRUST to get the job done and if I don't I will be open to your opinion. I believe you should vote for me because I understand Davis County issues, Its problems and its potential.

Louenda
Mr. Martinez is a gentleman, but I believe I have the expereince and background (member of COG, President of Davis School Board, Memebr of DATC Board, Chair of Davis Hsopital Board, David Behavior al Board, Chair of Davis County Economic Devlopement Task Force, etc...) in county issues, in politics and on councils and boards that relate to county issues that will help me provide leadership and, hopefully, wisdom in critical issue such as growth, transportation, budgeting, public safety and economic development.

Finally...
Let me say Thank You very much to these two candidates. Their answers have been very enlightening to me. I hope they are to you as well.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Have you had any further responses to your questions?

Thad said...

I still have not had Rob Miller or Bret Millburn e-mail me their responses. I sent them to the e-mail address that is listed at the county clerks website:
http://tinyurl.com/kebuq