Read about our vetting process here: How to Vet Candidates
First, Eagleshare.org brought you the “Eagle Mountain City Utility Scandal” report which forced the city to lower its natural gas rates and become more responsive to citizen complaints. Now we bring you the solution to the rest of the problems that the city refuses to fix.
These three candidates for office are different than most of the individuals who have tried to fix our broken government in the past.
Before he retired Robert Schermerhorn was an honest teacher in one of the most corrupt school districts in the nation. This experience gave him an instinctive ability to spot corruption even when his colleagues were actively hiding it. Nick Jessen is a successful entrepreneur who loves to wade through mountains of data so he can find the problems (and solutions) that evade most people. And Tom Westmoreland is our resident scholar who thinks deeply about the kinds of structural reforms that are needed to keep our government officials and employees honest.
Normally, when new officials get into office the most visible forms of corruption go underground. Employees and officials quit taking government vehicles on personal errands. They stop using their city expense accounts to pay for their spouses’ vacations. They no longer ask their subordinates to clean their homes and babysit their kids. And sometimes they even make an effort to work harder.
Because it’s so hard to catch public servants breaking the law, new officials rarely make significant personnel changes while in office. And when their attention is finally diverted away by other business, the old problems usually resurface and residents are left wondering what happened to the reforms they were promised.
Since Schermerhorn, Jessen, and Westmoreland have the skills and experience to break this cycle of corruption the results of this election may be very different. But there’s a very real chance they will never get elected.
Currently, there are 13 other candidates running for office and if the “reform vote” gets split, the incumbents and their establishment alternatives could easily dominate the primary election. After all, they’ve been using your money for years to buy the support of key constituent groups within the city and you can bet that they will turn out in large numbers to support them.
Also, it’s worth noting that earlier this year an outside consulting firm told the city that if it didn’t raise its utility rates soon, it would no longer be able to make its debt service payments. The mayor and city council responded by lowering our natural gas rates right away to curry favor with voters, but they are saving the big electrical rate increases until after the elections. This will result in a net increase in the utility bills of many residents.
If you want real reform–wiser spending, lower utility rates, less debt, and better government services–please consider giving these three candidates your vote. They will work hard to lower your utility costs and ensure that our local government operates honestly and efficiently.
Please, don’t let the incumbents win again. We simply cannot afford it.
–Your neighbors at Eagleshare.org