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Pleasant Grove residents come out to meet the candidates

By Laura Giles - Correspondent - | Sep 9, 2011

High utility rates, lack of businesses, city debt and a new library building are some of the common concerns among Pleasant Grove residents, according to comments and questions heard at Wednesday’s Meet The Candidates Night. The event was held at the Pleasant Grove Library, and a steady stream of people mingled with the eight candidates who are hoping to fill three city council positions.

Cindy Boyd, Val Danklef, Cyd LeMone, Jay Meacham, Donald Paas, Ben Stanley, Jeffrey Wilson and Joseph Woodruff are running to fill the vacancies. Boyd, Danklef and Wilson are incumbents. The primary election is on Tuesday.

Boyd, who has served on the council for eight years, said her focus is on economic development, the historic downtown, parks and leisure services. Boyd said that city leaders have been fiscally responsible and she does not foresee major problems.

“We should look to the future with enthusiasm,” she said.

Danklef has served on the council for two years and said people asked him to run again because he knows what is going on in the city. Danklef said he has no personal agenda and only wants to serve the community.

“I want nothing but to make Pleasant Grove a better place to live,” he said.

Hoping to keep the city a beautiful place for children to grow up is one reason LeMone is running. She said she wants other young families to feel that they can get involved and make a difference.

“I was raised here, and I want to get involved,” she said.

Experience is what Meacham said will help him to be an effective council member. He has served on the council previously and with the planning commission.

“I’ve got experience and a professional background,” he said.

Paas said he wants to bring revenue in with businesses, and he wants to minimize high-density living as much as possible. As a veteran, he is patriotic, and wants the city to be more open about honoring veterans.

Experience as an attorney is what will help Stanley as a council member, he said. He wants to see more economic development, more accountability in city leadership and get utility costs and city debt under control.

Wilson has served for seven years on the council and for 24 years as a police officer. He stressed the importance of public input while serving on the council.

“I’m always concerned about the citizens,” he said. “I want to be their voice.”

Woodruff also wants to be a representative of the people.

“I want to be a listening ear to citizens,” he said.

Woodruff decided to run to become more involved, to be a part of the decision-making and to connect with the community.

“I’m here to see what the candidates have to say and where they stand on issues,” said resident Jean Jense. Jense is particularly concerned with the lack of business growth in the community.

“I think the City Council is disconnected from the citizens,” said resident James LeMmon. “I don’t feel like they listen.”

LeMmon said he came to meet the candidates because he wants council members who will listen to the residents about concerns.

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