Candidates for the Cache County Council are stressing a unification between county and municipal governments as they approach Tuesday's general election.
Two of the three open council seats are being sought by new candidates. And in the county executive race, Republican candidate Seth Allen, who won the primary election against the incumbent Bruce King, will face Blake Petersen.Allen, county recorder for more than 18 years, says he can offer the position experience from his work with at least 10 different county commissioners and the still new county council form of government.
"The issues are rather broad," Allen said. "From my perspective, it is who has the best background and feeling or pulse of the people."
Born and raised in Cache Valley, Allen has reared seven children in Cove, where he is involved in agriculture. He said he is running for the position so he can return to the people his experience gained in the past.
"I was very humbled and greatly pleased with the vote of confidence from people in the primary."
Petersen, a safety engineer at Morton International, is serving on the Millville City Council and in January completed a four-year term as mayor. As the Democratic candidate, he says he can offer the position a progressive attitude which he feels his opponent cannot.
"I think my opponent bringing in 18 years of experience will merely reflect what has been done in the past," Petersen said. "I can bring a more objective look."
The dominance of the Republican Party in county government also adversely affects the council's ability to serve the best interest of the people, he said.
"Government should serve the people rather than the people serve the government," he said.
Petersen lives in Millville with his wife and five children.
Logan District 3
Chris Coray, a mathematics professor at Utah State University, said his main concern is the increasing separation between Logan City and the county. He said an example of this is the $35 library fee county residents are being charged for the use of the Logan Library. He said he believes there is another way to pay for the library use and would like to see the council solve this problem.
"I want to have people living here in the valley cooperate," he said. "They are separate today and I regret that. I would like to see this separation end."
The Democratic candidate is also stressing continued economic development in the county and the renovation or construction of the Cache County Jail. He said the current jail is an inhumane place for prisoners and the problem must be solved. He also said he would like to see the County Council race be changed to a non-partisan race.
Beth Hendricks said she is a newcomer to politics but feels she can offer to the council her experience of raising seven children, caring for her father and helping her husband run his business, Bridgerland Supply, for 19 years.
A resident of Cache Valley for 20 years, Hendricks said she feels Cache County needs a good county planner so the county can devise a master plan to prepare for future problems. Without a plan, she said, problems tend to "jump up and catch you unaware."
Hendricks said she has learned from raising her family that all solutions need to start from the inside
and work out. She feels a county budget should be approached in the same method. She stressed the need for the County Council to get involved in all the programs. She said during her campaign she has approached several programs and learned a little about each.
"I don't know everything. I just think if we start working on it (the budget) from the inside out now, we will know how to spend money better."
North East District
Stuart Howell, advanced placement American history teacher at Logan High School, also said he has no previous experience in politics but has spent several of his adult years studying the political process.
Howell, a Democrat, is also stressing the need for a master plan in the county. He said things change so rapidly that if the county does not do something to anticipate and accommodate economic growth, everything will go "helter-skelter."
A fifth-generation resident of Hyde Park who is now raising four children, Howell said he would like to see the valley continue to be a place where people can enjoy life and still make a living. If elected, he said he would like to address the low average annual wages in Cache Valley.
Unification of Logan and the county is also being addressed by Howell. He said services are not as unified as they should be.
"We need to find a way so Logan feels it is a part of the county," he said. "We talk about it but never seem to do anything about it."
Republican Jack Nixon has been in real estate for the past 30 years and has spent the past 31 years in the valley, where he has reared five children.
Economic development needs to be given special consideration, Nixon said. He stressed the necessity for planning ahead so the valley does not lose its appealing qualities for the sake of growth. Input by the people is also important, he said.
"Sometimes we move ahead thinking we know best without giving proper consideration to the people," he said. Their desires need to be heard."
South East District
Joseph Morse, professor of chemistry at USU and di rector of the honors program, is the only incumbent in the council race. He took over for Clyde Braegger, who died 18 months ago.
Morse, a Democrat, said he is offering experience in the council position. He said he has been successful in his term so far and feels he can offer continued experience.
"I'm a good listener and can offer judgments in a non-doctrinal way," he said. "I'm concerned more about the individual than groups."
He sees two major issues facing the county. The main issue, he said, is making the best possible use of a limited budget, especially facing the upgrading of the county jail.
Morse is also addressing the need for planning ahead in the county to avoid hazardous situations. This includes a cooperation with the municipalities, he said.
Republican Larry Anhder owns a small ice distributing business and raises cattle in Nibley with his wife and five children. He feels it is important for the council to continue its strong support of economic development.
"The council has made good strides in the past, but it needs to do better," he said. "We need to economically incorporate Tremonton and Franklin County, Idaho, to continue development if it related to them also."
Anhder said he also would like to see the county have a better relationship with Logan. He said most county residents shop and work in Logan and therefore contribute to the city in taxes and services.
Anhder said he understands public administration and is running for the council seat because he feels it is a chance to contribute to Cache County.
All candidates for the county positions said they are strongly opposed to the proposition to remove the sales tax on food as it is proposed. Each said they would like to see a better devised method to help lower income families in Utah.