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Sandy Journal

Sandy voters say growth is top issue at ‘Meet the Candidates’ event

Jul 25, 2019 03:09PM ● By Justin Adams

Sandy residents got a chance to meet and talk with the candidates hoping to fill four open seats on the city council. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

Growth and development was the top concern among Sandy residents who attended a “Meet the Candidates” event at Salt Lake Community College’s Miller Campus on July 18.

The event, hosted by the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sandy Journal, brought together the 11 candidates who are seeking to win four open spots on the city council. Several dozen residents turned out to meet the candidates and share with them their top concerns about the city. 

The Sandy Journal conducted an informal poll of residents as they left the event, asking them what they believe is the No. 1 issue in this election. More than half of the respondents said growth and development is their top concern. 

Residents cited instances of development throughout the city — from the apartment complex at 9800 South and Highland Drive in the east, to the Cairns development in the west — that they said were concerning to them. 

One resident said growth was his top concern because it impacts so many other issues. “It affects everything. The traffic, the taxes, the number of police and fire we need,” he said.

A common theme among respondents was acknowledging that some growth is inevitable, and that it has its pros and cons. They just want it to be done smartly and responsibly. 

“Growth is a double-edged sword,” said Donald Kronenberger. “Someone who lives down by Highland Drive hates it because it adds to their commute. But someone who owns a business on State Street loves it because they have more potential customers.”

Given that there is a lot of development planned for the Cairns district especially (high-rise apartments, hotels, shopping centers, etc.), this year’s election could be very impactful if residents elect candidates who reflect their hesitation.

“With four seats up, that’s the majority of the city council, and we’re losing city council members who have been there for 20+ years,” said Councilwoman Brooke Christensen, one of the three council members not up for reelection this year. “The next four years will hugely shape the way our city goes.”

Surprisingly, few residents said the city’s potential 34% property tax increase was their top concern. In fact, multiple respondents said they supported it.

“It’s been 25 years since the last tax increase. It’s time,” said one resident.

Another said support for first responders was their top concern, and support the tax increase for that reason. (The increased revenue will be used to hire seven new firefighters and five new police officers.)

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 13. You can learn more about the candidates by visiting the city’s website.