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Ben McAdams: Salt Lake County needs the plan and vision I can provide

Published: Monday, Nov. 5 2012 10:44 a.m. MST

Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Ben McAdams goes house-to-house during a precinct walk in Sandy on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2012. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Ben McAdams goes house-to-house during a precinct walk in Sandy on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2012. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

If you ask my kids what cereal they had for breakfast, their response will tell you something about our family. You see, instead of Fruit Loops, they'll say Fruit Rings. Instead of Crunch Berries, they'll say Colossal Berry Crunch. Yep, we buy generics.

We are willing to pay our fair share for the critical government services we receive — police and fire protection, roads to drive on and parks to play in. But I want to know that my government is doing everything it can to use precious tax dollars wisely and efficiently while delivering the key services and amenities that make this a great place to live and raise a family.

As a corporate finance attorney working with Fortune 500 companies, working in local government and as a senator in the Utah Legislature, I have used business principles to find innovative ways to get things done and accomplish goals without raising costs or taxes.

If elected Salt Lake County mayor, I will make sure every tax dollar is used wisely and efficiently. Mayor Peter Corroon has provided strong leadership and worked collaboratively with Republicans and Democrats on the County Council to make tough choices, balance the county budget and maintain Salt Lake County's AAA bond rating. Still, there is more that can be done.

In order to maintain our county's financial fitness for the long term, we must evolve as our circumstances change. We must continually identify efficiencies and better ways to deliver services at a lower cost.

As a candidate for Salt Lake County mayor, I have proposed a five-point efficiency plan to streamline county government, reduce cost of services and deliver improved levels of service. The full details of my plan are available at www.BenMcAdams.com.

My plan includes a top-to-bottom review of county government to identify redundancy and the formation of new partnerships with municipalities and unincorporated areas to deliver services more efficiently. These are just a few specifics from my plan to bring greater efficiency to Salt Lake County government.

Working in corporate finance in the private sector, in local government and as a senator in the Utah Legislature, I have found that the most effective way to accomplish goals, make tough choices and overcome challenges like balancing a budget is by leading collaboratively.

We all know it is not enough to merely have ideas or create plans. Ideas must be translated into actions, and those actions must produce results. It is incumbent upon a leader to find common ground among diverse groups and build consensus — that is the only way we can avoid gridlock and ensure an efficient, well-managed government. I have a proven track record of doing just that.

Thirteen of 17 mayors in Salt Lake County support me — Republicans, Democrats and Independents. I have worked with them and proved I have the ability to bring people together and deliver results. As a state senator, I have shown how to reach across party lines to address tough problems like supporting our schools, making decisions to ensure a healthy and balanced budget for the long term and nurture our return to a vibrant economy. I get things done by listening and working with others.

Salt Lake County has many challenges on the horizon. Our county needs a leader with a plan and a vision. Equally important, that leader needs the skills to actually implement that plan successfully. The responsibilities of county mayor directly affect our lives. I want to safeguard our Utah values and ensure a high quality of life. And that is my promise to you.

In case you're wondering, my favorite cereal is Cocoa Crunchies.

Ben McAdams is the Democratic candidate for Salt Lake County mayor.

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