Two state senators who represent portions of Salt Lake City are not seeking re-election.
In the central part of the city, five candidates want to succeed Democrat Frances Farley.In District 7, which includes the southeast part of the city and a large protion of unincorporated area south of the city limits, state Rep. Ronald Ockey, R-Salt Lake, is running against Democrat G. Gail Weggeland, a former federal attorney, for an open seat.
And in the eastern part of the city, Republican Sen. Richard J. Carling faces two challengers.
Voters have five candidates to choose from, representing a wide range of opinions on issues facing state government.
Hoping to take up where retiring Sen. Frances Farley, D-Salt Lake, left off is fellow Democrat Karen Shepherd. The 50-year-old director of development and community relations for the University of Utah Graduate School of Business resides at 1261 Second Ave. She has never held political office but has been involved in election campaigns and is co-chairman of the 1990 Democratic Policy Commission.
Shepherd favors removing the sales tax on food, phasing it out over five years. "The Legislature needs to revise its entire tax code so that people are taxed according to their ability to pay," she said.
If voters opt for no food tax, she said, cutting tax exemptions, adding taxes to luxury items, revising the state tax code and taking advantage of a 1989-90 budget surplus can replace the lost sales tax revenue to both state and local governments.
If the sales tax remains, Shepherd said, the surplus then should go toward education, social services and environmental programs.
The major problem facing the state and District 1 is a lack of resources to solve problems posed by a growing and diverse population, Shepherd said, and the solution is involving all levels of society in meeting the challenge.
Shepherd supports abortion restrictions and rights outlined by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the high court gives states more leeway in controlling abortion, she said, the Legislature should work toward preventing the need for abortion, not abortion itself.
Libertarian candidate Bob Waldrop agrees with the slogan, "keep your laws off my body" and opposes any further restrictions on abortion.
Waldrop also favors removing the sales tax on food, saying such a tax hurts low-income families most. He said the lost tax revenue could be more than made up by combining the expected state surplus with cutting $80 million out of the state budget.
As for shortfalls experienced by local governments and Utah Transit Authority, Waldrop said cutting out unnecessary programs and restructuring would have to take place. He said tax money shouldn't fund the Olympic bid.
If the food-tax initiative doesn't pass, Waldrop recommends a state budget surplus should go toward eliminating the state's $259.52 million debt, saving taxpayers $13.79 million in interest.
The "business as usual" attitude of the state bureaucracy blinds it to problems facing the state, such as high taxes, Waldrop said. The only answer, he said, is to give new challengers in the 1990 election a chance to try something new.
Waldrop, 37, 111 S. 600 East, is a research assistant and has held leadership positions within the Libertarian Party since 1981.
Running on the American Party ticket is Lawrence R. Kauffman, 45, 63 S. 400 East. A U.S. Senate candidate in 1982, Kauffman agrees that problems facing state government exist because of unqualified elected officials who need to be replaced. He suggests office holders should be prosecuted for "hurting others."
In advocating another stiff criminal sentence, Kauffman said he doesn't believe in legal abortions, but if the distinction is made, illegal abortions should be prosecuted as murder.
Kauffman opposes removing the sales tax on food, but not because of reasons most other candidates express. Instead, he advocates higher sales taxes to make up for revenue lost by removing income taxes.
But if voters elect to remove the food tax, Kauffman said the tax should be phased out as state and local elected officials adjust other taxes and slash expenditures by reducing or eliminating programs.
A surplus in fiscal 1989-90 should be returned to taxpayers in the form of a rebate or reduced income tax, Kauffman said, or it at least should be held in reserve and not spent.
Republican candidate David Fiske, 235 W. 400 South, also supports returning a state surplus to taxpayers in the form of a pro-rata refund.
A 56-year-old businessman, Fiske opposes removing the sales tax from food. But if it happens, he favors a gradual removal.
The state should restrict abortion to circumstances where the mother's life is endangered, he said.
Concerning the major problems facing state government, Fiske mentioned two: widespread perception of waste, duplication and inefficiency, and the high cost of remedial education.
Fiske recommends passage of legislation implementing sound businesslike practices assuring that public money is being spent wisely and with restraint.
He said elementary educators cover too much material from kindergarten to third grade without focusing on basic skills. The result is students struggling "all the way through the system" and forcing higher education and business to teach basic skills.
Fiske said that if teaching material were refocused to teach mastery of basic skills, "remediation costs" to higher education and business could go toward increasing teacher salaries and reducing classroom population.
Independent Party candidate Ryan E. Randolph, 40, 425 Fourth Ave., favors removing the sales tax from food. He says it would give consumers more buying power to fuel the economy.
"This is just the beginning," said Randolph, a motel manager with a social work background. "We still need to do an overhaul of the tax system in this state."
The apparent surplus in fiscal 1989-90 would more than offset any shortfall removing the food tax would cause to state or local governments, he said.
But if the food-tax initiative doesn't pass, Randolph said, the surplus should go toward increasing teacher salaries and reducing crowded classrooms.
He said the major problem facing state government is overtaxing.
"I feel the government is a business and should be run as a business," Randolph said. He suggests the state create programs that generate a cash flow and pay state expenses.
Concerning the state further restricting abortions, Randolph said, current restrictions are sufficient.
He is undecided on whether to support a constitutional amendment banning flag burning. Randolph said he respects the flag, but government can't legislate respect.
District 1 includes Capitol Hill, the Avenues below Sixth Avenue, Central City, south through the Liberty Park area and south-central neighborhoods to 2100 South, and east to the University of Utah campus.
For Republican incumbent Richard J. Carling to gain a fifth term in the Utah Senate he must beat Democrat Bob Steiner and Libertarian Charles G. Pearce.
Both Carling and Steiner oppose the initiative to remove the sales tax on food, saying it would gut funding for education and social services. But they differ on how to replace the revenue if the initiative passes.
"If ongoing sources of revenue are not sufficient, all state programs would have to be prioritized within existing revenues," said Carling, noting the removal also would require a shift in property and income taxes.
As for local taxing entities, Carling said those who spend the tax should be responsible to raise and not rely on the state sharing revenues.
Instead of removing the food tax, Steiner favors an income tax credit for lower-income people to reimburse what they paid in food tax. But if the initiative passes, Steiner would offset the shortfall by: stopping tax breaks to ski resorts, reducing personal income tax exemptions, adjusting tax brackets, eliminating tax breaks for "a few favored businesses," and increasing the sales tax for cities and towns.
Pearce favors removing the sales tax on food because it is the only choice available right now to start cutting taxes. "It will send a clear message to the Legislature that we are not a bottomless pit," he said.
To make up for lost revenue to the state and local government, Pearce recommends reducing state employees and management positions.
Pearce said an anticipated budget surplus for 1989-90 should also go toward reducing government bureaucracy.
But Carling and Steiner said the surplus should go toward social services and education. Carling also added public safety to his list of agencies in need of funding.
A 52-year-old attorney who was first appointed to the Legislature in 1973, Carling said the major problem facing state government is adequately funding essential state needs while maintaining an equitable tax program. "We must encourage quality economic growth to increase the tax base," he said.
Carling, 1075 Alton Way, favors Utah's current abortion law, pending Supreme Court guidance. He said he would support a constitutional amendment banning flag burning, but he reserves the right to review the amendment's terms.
But Steiner, 40, who is a veteran, opposes such an amendment. He said it abridges the right of free speech. Concerning state law on abortion, Steiner said he would support no state intervention in early weeks of pregnancy and work toward offering affordable prenatal care and support for women and children.
Steiner, 80 N. Wolcott, manages the foreign division of Steiner Corp./American Linen. He is also a member of the Utah State Bar and a board member of the Utah Symphony.
Taking his first run at a legislative seat, Steiner said the biggest problem facing state government is creating new jobs not based on military spending. To accomplish this, the state must eliminate barriers confronting women in the workplace and provide good education for Utah's young people.
Pearce, 1975 Imperial St., said the state must overcome economic stagnation. He suggested making Utah a retirement haven by exempting all retirement income from taxation.
Concerning abortion, Pearce, a 47-year-old factory project manager at Unisys, said a woman who wants an abortion should be able to have it. He would not vote to ratify a constitutional amendment banning flag burning.
District 3 includes the Avenues area above Sixth Avenue, Federal Heights and Salt Lake City's east side, generally east of 800 East between 400 South and 2100 South.
Sales tax on food preys on the poor, says Democrat G. Gail Weggeland, while Republican Ronald J. Ockey says removing the tax would hurt economic development.
Both men are running for the District 7 state Senate seat, being vacated by Republican Sen. Kay S. Cornaby. The only issue they do agree on is a constitutional amendment banning flag burning.
Weggeland, 60, 2426 Maywood Circle, Salt Lake City, says tax on food should be removed because it is regressive - it takes a larger fraction of income from low-wage earners than from high-income families.
State government could make up the lost revenue by removing some sales-tax exemptions and adjusting income tax rates, Weggeland said, while other tax-funded entities could adjust services and rates.
Ockey, 56, 4502 Crest Oak Circle, Salt Lake City, opposes removing sales tax on food. He predicts it would damage economic development, which helps fund essential state services.
Economic development would particularly suffer, Ockey said, if other taxes were raised to offset the revenue lost if the food tax were removed. "To avoid this recessionary path, services would have to be cut to make up the revenue loss," he said.
An attorney specializing in high-technology industries and a state representative since 1988, Ockey says the major challenge facing Utah is advancing economic development statewide. "Because our work force is our greatest economic development strength, we must provide quality educational opportunities at all levels of the job market," he said.
Concerning a possible state surplus, Ockey said, it should be used on economic development, reducing school-class sizes, reducing taxes and providing services for the poor and handicapped.
Weggeland is a retired U.S. government attorney, with 27 years as head of the Securities and Exchange Commission office in Salt Lake City. He is now in private practice.
He said the major problem facing Utah is education and any surplus should be spent on education as well as social services.
If the U.S. Supreme Court allows more leeway in controlling abortions, Weggeland said he favors legal abortion under the circumstances now authorized by Utah law.
Ockey said he supports placing further restrictions upon legal abortions.
District 7 includes Salt Lake City south of 2100 South, plus a section between 2300 East and Foothill Drive north to 1700 South; the Millcreek area east of Highland Drive and north of 3900 South; Olympus Cove; and Emigration and Parleys canyons.
Democratic candidate Scott Howell says that his response to a Deseret News questionnaire was misinterpreted in a story last week.
Howell said he likes the idea of removing sales tax from food but will vote against the initiative because he doesn't like the methods - such as cutting services or raising other taxes - that might be used to make up for the lost sales-tax money.