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Steve Bevan

TOOELE — Mayor Charlie Roberts recently announced that, as of Monday he is stepping down as mayor, a little more than three months before the end of his second term. But there are plenty of people in line seeking to fill the position he leaves open.

In the Oct. 4 primary election, seven candidates will ask residents to vote for them to replace Roberts. That field will be narrowed to two who will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

Tooele also has two at-large city council seats up for election, and six candidates — including the two incumbents — hope to be among the final four on November's ballot.

The Deseret Morning News sent each candidate a questionnaire about the issues facing their city. Following are summaries of their responses:

Mayor

Steve Bevan, 56, a retired Federal Aviation Administration employee currently in his second term on the city council, wrote that water, commercial growth, public safety and a need for more resident involvement are the city's top issues. The city should explore options "to establish flowing water from our currently owned water rights." He wrote that the city should continue working with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah to pursue commercial growth. He said he will push to give the police and fire departments "the resources and training necessary" and will seek ways to get people to observe speed limits.

Jay Edwin Collier, 53, wrote that he has four areas he wants to emphasize if he becomes mayor. He wants to "work on Sheep Lane to I-80." He says the city should make sure it has enough water before allowing more houses to be built. He believes the city should build a biodiesel fuel plant, and "make it 78 cents a gallon to be used by city vehicles." Finally, he wrote that he would work toward city residents using alternative forms of energy, such as solar and wind power, "and have Utah Power buy back what the city doesn't use. Then the city is part of the solution to our power problem, not part of the problem."

• City recorder Patrick Dunlavy, 58, has been in public service for 38 years. He wrote, "Tooele City, like many cities in Utah, (is) facing significant growing pains. It is imperative that the mayor fully understand the issues relating to growth." Among those issues, he wrote, are a clean, safe water supply, safe streets and efficient, cost-effective public services. He wrote that experience is necessary for dealing with those issues.

Tom K. Ellevold, 28, is a microbiologist and chemist making his first foray into politics. He wrote that he has worked on charity drives to raise money for cancer victims and a nursing home in Tooele, adding, "I consider these actions to be political experience because I feel helping the needy is one of many duties all politicians should make a priority." He wrote that the top issues in the city are growth-related and include land and water use, low-income housing issues and ordinances regarding new building projects. He also wrote that he wants to address Tooele's crystal meth problem.

Bobby Joe Main Jr., 46, a retired police lieutenant currently working as the Tooele County attorney's investigator, agreed that growth issues are the biggest facing the city. "While growth is inevitable," he wrote, "it has to be managed in a way that the infrastructure can keep pace with managed growth and the citizens are able to receive the services they deserve." Water availability, he wrote, needs to be studied, and "if more water is needed then proper conservation methods need to be employed and funds need to be allocated to ensure conservation of water as well as securing additional water rights, but not at the expense of the current citizens of Tooele." In addition, he wrote, the city needs to recruit businesses with "the reputation of being good community partners."

Ryan Timmins, 29, a college student and collections specialist, listed as his previous political experience being a volunteer for President Bush's 2004 campaign. He also said growth is the city's major issue. "How to best manage it?" he wrote. "Certainly not by following the current blueprint of the woefully inept and unresponsive mayor and city council." Tooele needs more jobs and more major roads, he wrote. He criticized city planners for focusing growth on the north end of Main Street, "effectively destroying the downtown area to the south and causing massive congestion" to the north. He also said the east side of the city has been neglected and should be revitalized, possibly with federal redevelopment assistance.

Russell Winters, 29, listed his occupation as "entrepreneur/CEO." He has served on the Tooele Planning Commission, the Tooele County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the county Republican Party and the city's Downtown Alliance. Growth, jobs and atmosphere, he wrote, are the city's top issues. The city needs a comprehensive master plan that includes solutions for increased water and sewer usage, preservation of open space and "an intelligent city design," he wrote. He wants more businesses and more jobs to reduce the number of residents who have to commute to Salt Lake City for work while preserving the "close community atmosphere that has been fostered by those who have been here for generations."

City Council, two at-large seats

• Incumbent John L. Hansen, 63, wrote that maintenance and improvement of infrastructure, water development, an improved sewer system, street improvement and parks and recreation are his priorities. This, he wrote, requires "good tax policy, proper planning and budgeting and a good dose of common sense."

• Incumbent Doug Redmond, 33, a technical systems analyst for Ingenix, who has also served on the Tooele Planning and Zoning Commission, wrote that the city needs to plan for future water needs, even if it seems the drought years are over. This would include cooperation with other cities. He also said the city needs improved planning for residential growth and continued commercial expansion.

• Retired Marine and Desert Storm veteran Dave McCall, 46, is currently working for Selectrucks/Freightliner as a human resources and safety representative. He wants to work with the schools to create more after-school programs, pay more attention to stopping theft and vandalism, fight traffic congestion, tackle water shortages and make Tooele friendlier to small businesses.

Scott Wardle, 35, an LDS institute teacher and coordinator for the church's educational system, is a first-time politician. He wrote that the city needs to focus on "quality" economic and residential development and a comprehensive water plan. With growth, he wrote, current codes and ordinances need to be strengthened and enforced. Infrastructure damaged by this summer's flooding needs to be fixed, he wrote.

Sam Woodruff, 45, a certified public accountant who worked for nine years as Tooele's finance director, said his short-term goals include settling current litigation against the city, tackling a $1 million deficit in the city's wastewater fund and fixing the city's secondary water system. In the long term, "it's all growth-related," he said, and his approach would include a push for a valley-wide water and wastewater special service district.

• Candidate Tom Poyner did not respond to the questionnaire.


E-mail: dsmeath@desnews.com