Of the ten candidates that are currently running for Eagle Mountain’s City Council these are the three that I believe have the best potential to reform our city government.
Here’s my quick rundown of all the candidates and some of the information I used to narrow down my choices to the final three listed above. Let’s start with the worst first.
Richard Steinkopf (incumbent)
Steinkopf famously stated in a city town-hall meeting, “I am not corrupt. That word really ruffled my feathers.” http://www.eagleshare.org/audio/thm-steinkopf-not-corrupt.mp3
If you want to see what kind of corruption he’s supported during his tenure in office all you need to do is read the report at: www.eagleshare.org/pigs-in-suits or check out this link to a summary of the city’s food and clothing expenditures during his tenure in office: www.eagleshare.org/food.pdf
Ferre’s stated purpose for getting into office is to increase taxpayer subsidies for the rodeo.
Everyone should know that when he and his wife were organizing the city’s rodeo they generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses for taxpayers. Now that Mayor Pengra is in charge, the rodeo’s subsidies have been cut dramatically and it’s not nearly as lavish as it used to be. As a result, the rodeo’s supporters want to restore some of the pork that Pengra took away from them.
If you don’t want Ferre to have his hands in your wallets again, please don’t vote for him. These city credit card statements will give you some idea of what he and his wife think are appropriate taxpayer expenditures.
Jared Gray and
In order to maximize support for the rodeo on the city council Ferre is running with two other individuals who round out what has been nicknamed the “rodeo trifecta.” Both Gray and Phelps are big rodeo people too. They even brag about it in their city published bios:
I would highly recommend not letting the “trifecta” get ahold of any more taxpayer money. The city wasted tons of it in previous years on what was essentially their hobby and taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize their entertainment anymore.
John Bulldog Storrs
I don’t know much about him except that he never submitted a bio to the city after he filed to run for office and he doesn’t appear to be campaigning at all. The only interesting tidbit I’ve heard is that he showed up to the city’s candidate training meeting wearing a lot of bling with a woman on his arm who was wearing a tight pair of pants, a bra, a mesh shirt and some really high heels. He’s probably not the most professional candidate on the ballot.
Mike Owens was reportedly recruited to run for office by Mayor Pengra and shortly after his website went online I started hearing complaints that he was lifting text and ideas from other candidates and political figures and reusing them on his website. When I went to verify this, it certainly looked to be the case. He even reportedly claimed that he has been fighting to keep the state prison from relocating to Eagle Mountain but Drew Curley, a co-founder of the “Keep it in Draper” Facebook group, claimed that he hasn’t been involved in the fight.
The other big knock against Owens is that he’s an airline pilot. As we know from our recent experience with Council Member Adam Bradley, airline pilots don’t have a work schedule that is conducive to public office. I’ve tried for months to get a meeting with Bradley and still haven’t been successful.
If you want a council member who has the time to study the issues and attend all the council meetings, I’d highly recommend not voting for Owens.
Everybody likes Reaves but he’s a social worker who likes social spending. While I’m all for providing more activities and programs for our youth and families, our city has far more pressing priorities–like stamping out corruption and improving our roads. Plus, I don’t really trust someone who isn’t willing to put his campaign platform online for everyone to see. His website and Facebook pages are very inspirational but not very informative.
And that takes us to the last three . . .
Curtis seems to be an honest guy. If you ask him where he stands on issues, you will generally get straight responses. And if he screws up, he will usually take responsibility for it. These are both qualities that are quite rare in people running for office.
My chief concern with him is that he’s not very comfortable confronting public officials who’ve been misusing taxpayer funds to pay for their own personal meals and entertainment. He told me that there should be a dialog about the “appropriate level of taxpayer funding for employee food,” as if there was one.
I wish there was another third best candidate on the ballot other than him, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Gricius has been fighting the Utah state prison relocation for almost a year now and has successfully delayed the state’s decision on the potential move until at least October 1st. If it wasn’t for her hard work taxpayers would already be paying over half a billion dollars for this unnecessary and wasteful move. That’s quite an accomplishment for someone who got into politics less than a year ago.
Also, if you check out the Facebook feed for the “Keep it in Draper” group that she leads you’ll find that it’s filled with examples of where she’s exposed the lies and hypocrisy of our state politicians. If she’s willing to do that on the state level, she might have the courage to do the same thing if she’s elected to the Eagle Mountain City Council.
Leikam has the most government experience of any of the candidates on the ballot. He spent thirteen years working for the State Department and Department of Defense and has seen plenty of disrespect for taxpayer money. As a result, he has come up with a lot of practical suggestions for how the city can make sure its employees don’t waste money like the feds.
If you get the chance to meet him one of the things you’ll quickly appreciate is that he’s the anti-drama candidate. Local politics is always full of drama caused by people fighting over money. It would be really nice to have someone like him in office who wouldn’t give into it.
Notes: Links to campaign websites have been provided, when available. Not all candidates have an online presence.