The Fairpark Community Council hosted a Candidate Forum for Salt Lake City Mayor to a packed house at its meeting on June 25 at the Northwest Community Center in Fairpark. All 5 candidates, or their representatives, participated in the brief introduction and overview of their races, followed by a group Q&A session. Good4Utah.com (Channel 4) recorded the session and posted their piece here.
The following is a recap of the candidate presentations.
Ralph Becker – Mayor Becker is has been in office for 8 years. His administration has rejuvenated the downtown, made significant improvements in transportation and has implemented equal rights policies in housing and employment. The city boasts #1 status in the U.S. for job creation and is in the top 10 cities for sustainability and livability. The city has initiatives in place that have decreased the carbon footprint, but there is much work still to be done, according to the Mayor. While the city has increased prosperity, the city has initiated a “5,000 Doors” campaign due to the increasing disparity with people regarding income and housing.
Jackie Biskupski – Jackie Biskupski’s representative was on hand as she was at a scheduled campaign event. “She will listen” was the prevailing theme of her platform. Biskupski was a legislator for 13 years and enjoyed a close working relationship with the city during her tenure on many issues. She understands the West Side issues, including resources for things like infrastructure, street lights, clean river, a safe community, protected bike lanes, safe crosswalks, and economic development.
George Chapman – According to Chapman, issues have been ignored with regards to transportation, homelessness, safety and many other city issues. Chapman’s platform is based on the need for more police, more transit service, protection of open space and better air quality.
Luke Garrott – Currently a Salt Lake City Council Chair, Garrott’s campaign is focusing on public transit, clean energy production and affordable housing options in all neighborhoods. All neighborhoods should have better resources and be engaged in “participating budgeting” to have a voice in what is funded in their areas.
Dave Robinson – Robinson is a first time candidate for office in the political system. An owner of multiple businesses, he has a strong interest in building and development. Robinson’s platform will focus on better public transportation, homelessness, the rights of property owners, issues that affect the housing market and affordable housing.
Q & A (Ms. Biskupski was not represented in the formal Q&A due to her prior commitment)
1. Do you support increased funding for community councils to be able to support things like community newsletters?
Becker: A core strength of the city is neighborhood participation. Funding for Community Councils has always been there. There was a shift to make funds available to communities as a block and for them to decide how to spend the money.
Garrott: Yes, along with a higher commitment to people in neighborhoods.
Becker: Having a clean energy city is key for citizens. The city has developed a “net zero” (no carbon footprint) public safety initiative without changing the budget. More facilities and becoming net zero under this administration.
Chapman: Supports the advances of solar for the community.
Garrott: Supports clean energy production for cleaner air in the city. The city should bond so that citizens can have an affordable way to make improvements to their homes with energy efficient devices. The city should get aggressive with more solar initiatives. Rocky Mountain Power needs to be a transmission company and not an energy company. Supports eliminating coal as a means of energy production.
Robinson: Supports clean energy initiatives and energy efficiency for residents.