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Provo Council Candidates Answers - Nov. 7, 2005US flag

Candidates - District 5 (see map):

no photo available Adam Clark
no photo provided Cindy Richards

Question #1

Will you support a bill or ballot initiative that alters the limits on singles in a house to base it on the # of off-street parking spaces, and/or square footage or the # of bedrooms?
Answers: Adam Clark:
       Let me begin by explaining this: Anytime you promise support or a vote before you see the data and arguments from the different stakeholders, you risk making the wrong decision. I have opinions and ideas, but going into a collaborative process, you need to realize that the best decisions are reached in a true negotiation process where everyone is searching for the ‘best deal’. In an academic paper I am writing on negotiation, I define the ‘best deal’ as “best matched values in light of all viable alternatives.” This is how I make decisions. To get that best deal, I have to be willing to let my opinion or idea die if need be, in order to get the best deal for everyone.
       That said, I am not satisfied with current ordinances, and I am interested in looking at all viable alternatives in order to get the best deal for rental occupancy issues. First, though, we must define which values we are trying to match. I believe that is where we have not been successful. We must begin there. This is a difficult and complicated issue that requires more than any 200 words can give it.
Cindy Richards: *
By neighborhood initiatives, using the parking permit program in the code book.
Question #2 Is there anything that can be done besides zoning laws to control SOB's (sexually oriented businesses) within the city?
Answers: Adam Clark:
       The United States Supreme Court case of City of Littleton (CO) v. Z.J. Gifts brought a unanimous decision which stated that communities are well within their rights to defend themselves against the spread of SOB’s and the resulting social consequences. However, outside of zoning, there is not a lot that can legally be done. Provo City has done an excellent job of keeping our laws and ordinances up to date with the most proactive methods possible within the law. Provo just completed a thorough review and update of these laws, using some of the best legal advisors available in the country.
       According to legal experts, current interpretations on zoning issues prohibits cities from simply passing ordinances that completely eliminate the businesses out of a city. But, proactively you can work to fill the areas zoned for those kinds of businesses with other ones. I think it is better to facilitate businesses you want in your city rather than trying to keep out ones you don’t want. When you facilitate business in your city, the competitive atmosphere will hopefully keep SOB’s out. The process for them will be a competitive disadvantage.
Cindy Richards: *
       Absolutely. Some important work is currently being done with the Council and our attorney, Neil Lindberg. I have been very involved in this issue and legislation for over 10 years.
Question #3 What do you think of the new parking enforcement system proposed in the Booterwatch petition?
Answers: Adam Clark:
       I have long been involved in the booting issue. It has always been a thorn in the side of students, landlords, and the city. I read the letter and there are some elements of it I like. However, I am not sure that is the best solution. Our city does not need to compete further with private enterprise. We are already involved with power, internet, telephone, cable, mortgages, and real estate. We do not need more monopolies of enterprises that are currently with the private sector. I agree that we do need to find a better solution than the one we have. However, the city is not supposed to be ‘in business.’ If we allow this, where do we finally draw the line of government owned monopolies. We cannot let our city government become a giant landlord where our citizens simply rent space from the city.
       I am not opposed to discussing the various arguments for and against this issue, but my initial opinion is that this is not in our city’s best interest. I believe that a better overall ordinance would be a better option. Let’s talk after the election and see what we can come up with.
Cindy Richards: *
       I would promote this idea to be analyzed by Council's legal staff, Community Development, our Police, and our Finance and Budget Directors -( least), as well as the appropriate Citizen's, private sector and Council Committees. Key questions involve cost, staffing, enforcement, private market issues, and legal implications.
Question #4 Do you have any suggestions as to what students can do to better our relationship with the city of Provo and its permanent residents?
Answers: Adam Clark:
       First and foremost, VOTE! If just the students that were registered voted in numbers around 30-50%, they would largely determine the outcome of at least 2 district races and would greatly influence the mayoral and city-wide races.
       Secondly, take more ownership in the places you live. When you take stewardship of wherever you live, you give yourself more credibility and earn the respect of the rest of the city. For instance, don’t park on the lawns, hold your landlords accountable for the upkeep of the yard, be respectful of your long-term neighbors, and don’t treat your homes like a cheap one-night hook up (pardon the example, but you know exactly what I mean).
       Third, get involved wherever you can. There are plenty of organizations in the city that need and depend on student help.
       Fourth, get off campus. Life on campus is great, but don’t live your life there. I know that seems difficult for some of you, but do it. Take advantage of the great things about living in Provo – there are a lot of great things here that most students never learn about. Take the time to actively find out what is here and go experience it.
Cindy Richards: *
       Students are some of the busiest people in our valley. Still, good relationships come from relating---Getting involved. Serve, over time, on committees and other needed activities. Call me, there's tons of service needed in Provo. Everything from adopt-a-grandma, the Public Schools, tutoring, mentoring, cleanups, NHS has many service activities, Habitat for Humanity, David Domingues' community law classes, provide leadership to Youth City Council, Provo City's Senior Center, The Center, etc.
Question #5 Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Answers: Adam Clark:
       Our city has 115,000 residents. Each resident has a cost associated with them. That cost must be recouped by the city in order to survive. Property taxes are not sufficient in to cover the on-going/long-term cost of citizens. Our city has not done a good job of having balanced growth which enables the city to recoup their costs. There is plenty of evidence of this.
       We are currently voting to renew for the second time, a bond that was created 20 years ago (1986) to pay for road improvements. We currently pay for sidewalk improvements with special improvement districts where citizens are assessed 20% of the cost (basically a short term tax), or we pay for them with federal tax money which is granted to us each year. These are instances that show how Provo does not have the ability to take care of its infrastructure without added debt, taxes, or outside funding. We are not self-reliant.
       It is critical that our city develop its ability to recoup their costs better. We need more businesses that provide quality jobs and good retail options for our citizens. We have to retain more of our money within the boundaries of our city.
Cindy Richards: *
       Last minute, false, and negative attacks by unidentified persons and funding sources are inappropriate in Provo politics. They increase the cost of campaigns, they discourage virtuous people from running for office, they insult the voter, and they are, in essence, dishonest attempts to manipulate. The voter deserves to know what the candidates have to offer and how they can best interface with our form of government.
       Good ideas, good government, and good results are the efforts of many people. They engage in honest, open dialogue, careful thought, combined with practical and legal solutions. It takes more than just talk, it takes service.

From: cindylourichards@aol.com
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 12:58:41 MST

I have made personal commitments regarding my Sunday activities. My family's spiritual needs and worship are a high priority to me. We also have callings which are very important to us. I, my husband, children, and grandchildren try to keep this day sacred. It would have been nice to have a day without political interruptions.

If you choose to include my answers, short and incomplete as they of necessity must be, please also include our disappointment with your timing. Please also note the time I submitted this response.


Editors' note: These questions were emailed to candidates Saturday night at 10:30pm. It was either we ask last minute questions or ask nothing. We asked that they reply by noon on Monday.

They're getting free coverage here to thousands in exchange for them taking 30 minutes of their time to answer a few questions.

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