Race: Eagle Mountain City Council
Occupation: Software Engineer
What are the biggest issues facing your city and how do you plan to address them?
Cost of housing is a huge issue facing us. Historically Eagle Mountain has been affordable but it is changing rapidly. If we don't begin addressing this problem now, it will very soon be a crisis (some would argue we are already there). In order to address this, we need to plan well and allow for a diversity of housing options. The city should not be in the business of dictating to the market what they will accept. We should plan and get out of the way. This does NOT mean we need high-density housing, especially near existing neighborhoods. We are a geographically huge city and should take advantage of that.
Roads are also a hot issue that is full of trade offs and nuance. I won't pretend to have all the answers here. What I will do is say that I will work hard to more fully understand our options and work toward the best solutions that don't ignore the problem but also respect the sacred nature of tax dollars. If we need to bond to do important road expansion, that is something I will consider. We can get a lot of mileage (pun intended) from impact fees as businesses and new developments occur. In some cases roads are becoming a public safety issue, and that is something I will also address.
What sets you apart from other candidates?
I come from a tech background, particularly Cyber Security. This will come in really handy as our city continues to prepare for disasters but also in day to day operations keeping our city lean. Technology is expensive but necessary. Many cities skimp on cyber security because consultants are wildly expensive. I will bring some very useful skills in that arena. I would hate to see a ransomware attack affect Eagle Mountain https://businessinsider.com/florida-city-paid-600k-hackers-shows-us-unprepared-for-threat-2019-6.
What relevant experience do you have for this position?
My experience comes mostly from the private sector and the military. There are a lot of similarities and differences, however. I have been a follower of politics/government for many years. I also frequently attend city council meetings. I also played a lot of Sim City 2000 back in the day ;-)
What previous elected positions have you held?
I have not held elected positions before. Personally, I view this as a plus. While there is some benefit in continuity, I do not generally like the idea of career/chronic politicians. Our founding fathers wanted citizen servants that would spend some time in government and then return to the private sector. I think we need more of that.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you?
I have tried to capture many of the questions I've been asked on my website! Please check it out, and feel free to email me! Ben@benporterforcitycouncil.com.