13 file to fill Orem mayoral vacancy

Published: Sunday, Oct. 23 2011 12:03 a.m. MDT

OREM — Current and former City Council members and a former state legislator are among the 13 applicants interesting in filling the remaining two years of late-Mayor Jerry Washburn's term.

Washburn, the longest serving mayor in Orem's history, died Sept. 26 after a long battle with cancer.

Orem's mayor performs ceremonial responsibilities and is a voting member of the City Council. The mayor and council members serve part time.

The council plans to make its final decision on the replacement Oct. 24 in a closed meeting at 5 p.m., then announce its decision publicly at 6 p.m. The chosen applicant would then be sworn in as mayor at the City Council meeting Oct. 25, at 6 p.m.

The candidates are:

Norman L. Nielsen is a former member of the Utah House of Representatives and was raised in Orem. He has also been the director of the Polynesian Cultural Center, president pro-tem of the Laie, Hawaii Town Council, past president of SCERA and produced, with his wife, the Miss Utah Pageant for 20 years. He also holds bachelor's degree in economics from Brigham Young University.

"My desire is only to serve the city for the remainder of Mayor Washburn's term," he said. "As interim mayor, I would favor programs that enhance the quality of life from for Orem residents."

Karen McCandless is in her third term on the City Council. She said she has served as a council liaison to 13 city commissions. She is also a member of Intermountain Healthcare's Women's Advisory Council, the Orem Kiwanis Club board and is a volunteer substitute driver for Meals on Wheels. "This service has helped me better understand the needs of women, children and the elderly in our community. My service on (Utah Valley University's) Continuing and Community Education Advisory Board keeps me apprised and involved in the development of programs to meet our community's education needs," she said. "My service has given me an excellent understanding of how Orem city functions and what issues it currently faces."

Richard Jackson served eight years on the City Council and has served on the city's planning commission and board of appeals. He has also served on the Utah County Board of Adjustment and Orem's Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee. He spent five years as a member of the Utah Transit Authority Board of Directors, four years as a member of the Mountainlands Association of Governments Physical Planning Committee, and was a founding member of the Provo Canyon-Utah Lake-Jordan River trail committee.

Jackson is a retired Brigham Young University geography and planning professor. "I want to do my part to ensure that Orem will continue to be a great place for both families and businesses. I am retired and in excellent health, and have just completed what I hope will be my last book, so I have the time to devote to this position."

James T. Evans is a former City Council member and currently serves on the Utah State Board of Regents. He is also a trustee for the Mountainland Applied Technology College and the Utah College of Applied Technology. He is a former member of the Alpine School District Board and Orem/Provo Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was Mountainland Regional Director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. He is Chief Operating Officer and senior vice president of Xactware Solutions Inc. and holds a bachelor's in communications from Brigham Young University.

He said he and his wife, Tana, have lived in Orem since 1984. "Our three children have enjoyed the benefits of many of the recreational opportunities afforded by Orem city, not to mention the premier children's library in the state," he said. "During my time on the council I had the opportunity to work under three mayors and witness their different styles in leading the City Council."

Lester D. Campbell was a member of the City Council from 2000 through 2007. He has also been a charter member of the Orem Decency Committee, Orem Arts Council and Orem Heritage Commission and was a member of the city's Planning Commission.

"I'm retired and have whatever time is necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of mayor," he said. "I also don't have any major outside obligations or interests that would create a conflict with my time and ability to represent the interests of Orem citizens. I strongly believe the mayor and Council should seek input from all concerned Orem residents and make every effort to promote transparency in city government."

Keven J. Stratton has lived in Orem since 1962 and holds a bachelor's degree in business finance and a law degree, both from Brigham Young University. He has owned the Cascade Golf Center since 1989 and is a lawyer specializing in real estate, business and estate planning.

Stratton said his community involvement over the past 15 years includes being chairman and board member of Kids on the Move, the Orem/Provo Chamber of Commerce, Alpine Foundation and Healthy Utah Valley; and being a board member of the Utah Consumer Protection Agency, Orem Summerfest Committee, Mali Raising Foundation, Provo Freedom Festival Event Committee and the Cougar Club.

Richard F. Brunst, Jr., is president and CEO of Western Pipe Coaters and Engineers, Inc. in Vineyard. The Arizona native was a Senate page for Barry Goldwater and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1974 with a degree in political science. He is a former president of the National Association of Pipe Coating Applicators and is on the board of directors for the Utah Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He and his wife, Tammy, have four children.

"I believe that my education, work and service all give me a background of experience of starting, owning and running various organizations that would allow me to bring a large depth of knowledge and judgement to help work with the City Council and serve the residents of the city of Orem successfully," Brunst said.

Steven C. Golieb said he has worked in the mayor's office in Salt Lake City, worked at the Utah Clean Cities Coalition and with the Utah Clean Cities Coalition.

"I have had experience working on local, county and state levels both in Utah and in New York. I have executive experience as the CEO of Golieb Global, and I am co-owner of JAG Realty, a real estate company located in Quebec. I have also worked as the project manager for the YMCA in the public school system."

Philip Hornberger describes himself as a 31-year-old Orem native who graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in exercise science. He ran for mayor in Orem two years ago. He said he has been a swimming instructor, ski instructor and has been involved in real estate, learning apartment management and maintenance skills. He holds an active real estate license with Fairway RealTee.

"I believe private property rights are of utmost importance and should be guarded and protected; and that the city has a responsibility to be fair and reasonable in this public trust," he said. "In running for mayor, I learned how much the citizens want a mayor who will listen to and be responsive to their concerns.

Skyler M. Jeppson works at Utah Valley University and has worked for the mayor's office in Provo and for the U.S. Postal Service.

"I was raised to respect the diversity of others and value the contribution each can make to society," he said. "I feel I can understand the concerns and needs of Orem from the elderly neighborhood I live in to the youth of UVU that I work with.

Kyler Ludwig is a lifelong Orem resident, 2008 graduate of Mountain View High School and current Brigham Young University student studying political science.

"My desire is to bring this academic knowledge and preserve, grow and engage the community," he said. "I have given hundreds of community service hours and has shown leadership as president of the Utah Valley Youth Council."

Chris Nichols said he fell in love with Orem while attending Brigham Young University and has lived in Orem for more than a decade. "As a Realtor, I have had the unique opportunity to help others see the greatness of our city and make it their home as well," he said.

His experience includes being the current President of the Utah County Association of Realtors and Federal Political Coordinator for Real Estate assigned to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. He is a Utah County Republican Party Precinct Chair and state delegate and is the Utah County Coordinator for the Jason Chaffetz for Congress campaign.

Robert L. (Bob) Wright is a retired Union Pacific Railroad station agent and was the treasure and manager of the Railroad Employees Credit Union for 16 years in Milford, Utah. He is a World War II veteran.

"I have been interested in government politics most of my life," he said. "I have been a candidate for just about every political position available. My platform has always been restrict tax increases, be more accountable and responsible, try harder to live within your budget. As a result I was never successful."

Information about the candidates draws from the applications they submitted to the city.

E-mail: sfidel@desnews.com Twitter: SteveFidel

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