The race is on for several Weber County elected offices in the upcoming Nov. 6 general election.
Two seats are up for grabs on the Weber County Commission board, and incumbents William Bailey and A. Stephen Dirks are both facing challengers.Bailey, a Republican, is running against Democratic candidate Randall J. Williford and Independent challenger Danny L. Blaylock for commission seat A.
William Bailey, North Ogden, has been a commissioner for six years. Bailey, 69, is a former sales manager.
"I still have a desire to serve," he said.
The commissioner said he is proud of his accomplishments while serv
ing on the board, especially his push to bond a $12 million Weber County Fairgrounds without having to raise taxes.
Bailey also admitted that the county fair looses money every year, but he justified the loss by saying, "Doesn't every entity in the county loose mon
ey? Every program is subsidized through taxpayers' money."
Randall J. Williford, 38, resigned as deputy Weber County surveyor to seek public office for the first time in his life. The Roy man said he decided to run for commissioner because he has worked for the county and knows how it's run. He said changes need to be made.
"I've been working in there for seven and a half years and I just got tired of listening to elected politicians," he explained.
Williford said he thought the commissioners were unfair to the taxpayers when they went behind voters back to approve a $9 million bond package to build the Weber County Fairgrounds. He said the commissioners voted for the bond without taxpayers consent because the commissioners knew the voters would turn it down.
Danny L. Blaylock, a 38-year-old sales representative from Washington Terrace, is seeking public office for the first time. He is well-known in Weber County, having spearheaded the removal of sales tax locally.
The candidate said he wants to be elected so the commission will be more responsive to residents living in unincorporated areas of the county.
"I find that politicians are not in touch with the people they represent," he explained. "The people in the unincorporated areas of Weber County are not being fairly represented by the commission."
Blaylock said he felt the commissioners should pay more attention to repairing county roads and enforcing zoning ordinances.
For commission seat B, A. Stephen Dirks, is being challenged by a newcomer in the political arena, Joan Hellstrom, a Republican.
Dirks, the Democratic incumbent from Ogden, was appointed as a commissioner in the spring of 1989 after Commissioner Robert Hunter resigned to take over the job as Ogden City manager. Dirks, 47, is a former realtor.
Dirks served as Ogden mayor for 10 years before he lost his bids when he ran for a seat in both the U.S. House and Senate.
"I really enjoy the commission and I think I can make a positive contribution," said Dirks.
Dirks said he wanted to remain on the commission board because he was concerned about county employees and meeting their needs.
When asked if he thought there was a conflict of interest between him serving as a commissioner and his wife Barbara sitting on the Ogden City Council, Dirks replied, "The city and the county are two separate entities and she doesn't supervise me and I don't supervise her."
Joan D. Hellstrom, 44, also of Ogden, resigned as the Weber County attorney's juvenile-victim witness coordinator and counselor to seek the commission seat. She has a Bachelor's degree in social work and child development.
Hellstrom said she feels that the current commissioners are out of touch with the people.
"I really feel like I want to get in and make some changes," she said. "I think it's just time for a change."
The candidate said she is more in tune with the people because of her college education and interests. She said Dirks is more interested in real estate, banking and investments than with people's needs.
Hellstrom also said that she felt having Dirk's wife Barbara sit on the Ogden City Council might create a conflict of interest.
In the Weber County sheriff's race, Democratic incumbent George Fisher is being challenged by Craig L. Dearden, a Republican from North Ogden.
Dearden, 38, North Ogden, is currently a Pleasant View police detective who served on the North Ogden City Council from 1984-86.
He said the time is right for a new person to be elected sheriff because Fisher isn't progressive enough.
Dearden says Fisher doesn't hire women or minorities as patrol offices, but puts them in less paying jobs like bailiffs, jailers and warrant officers.
Fisher, 56, Ogden, is seeking his fourth term as sheriff and has been with the sheriff's department for 28 years.
The sheriff admits he has never hired a woman to patrol county roads under his leadership but says that will change in January. A woman who currently works in the office will move to patrol.
In other races, Democratic incumbent clerk-auditor-treasurer Kennith L. Dallinga, Pleasant View, is facing Republican challenger Greg Haws, of Hooper. For the office of county assessor, Parley E. Norseth, a Republican from Ogden, is facing incumbent Steven C. Bexell, a Democrat from Pleasant View.
County Recorder Doug Crofts, the Republican incumbent from Ogden, is being challenged by Democrat Neil A. Hansen, also of Ogden. For county surveyor, Republican incumbent John P. Reeve, Ogden, is facing his Democratic challenger, Kent Arave, also of Ogden.