Race: Highland City Council

Email: brittney@thebillsfamily.com

Website: http://BrittneyBills.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/BrittneyBillsHighlandCityCouncil

Occupation: Educator

Age: 44

Education: BS Political Science, MS Public Policy Analysis Brigham Young University

What are the biggest issues facing your city and how do you plan to address them?

Budget: Highland is one of the least expensive cities in Utah County for taxes and fees. Last year, city management hired an independent third party to conduct an in-depth cost versus revenue budget study. The study suggested that if our current rate of taxing and spending continues, Highland will face a budget shortfall in 2022. This is because a number of the big-ticket items, like snow plows, are aging badly and must be replaced. In parallel, the buying power of our property tax has been reduced 24%, due to inflation, in the last 12 years. It is time to quit kicking the can down the road and have the difficult conversations about how to solve this problem.

Water: We live in the second driest state in the union. Water availability and cost are serious issues. We need to teach water conservation and reward those who do conserve. Highland uses more water per capita than almost any other city in Utah. There are several root causes of this problem: we are watering almost twice as much on average as needed, we are watering land not planned to be watered, and we are encroaching into conservation areas and city property. We have got to address this problem and recognize water for the limited resource that it is.

Open Space: We have got to address the maintenance and use of the city parks and the open areas in the open space neighborhoods in Highland. The fee paid by the residents in the open space neighborhoods should be adjusted to reflect the level of maintenance the residents expect and the services they receive. I am a strong proponent of local government, down to the neighborhood where possible. We also need to find a better way to fund the building and maintenance of our city parks.

Low density: We continue to see growth in our city and wise use of our land is critical. Residents of Highland are the priority, not developers. We must resist major changes to our low density residential zones in order to protect the look and feel of Highland.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

Government is not just a passing interest for me. I did not start attending city council meetings because I decided to run for this office. I have literally been attending these meetings and participating in government for years. This is a community where understanding the issues and their history is critical, and I have that understanding.

What relevant experience do you have for this position?

I currently sit on the Highland City Planning Commission, which gives me a unique view of the important issues with which our city is grappling. The issues, policies and regulations the City Council deals with are nuanced and complicated. My experience on the Planning Commission will help me bring insight and background to the City Council.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis. This gives me the background necessary to understand the government structures, policy, budgets and debates that surround the issues we face.

I sit on numerous councils, committees and advisory boards across the community. I have a passion for public policy and public service. I have spent the last twenty years immersed in bettering the communities in which I live. I have served in volunteer capacities that give me a breadth of understanding of the multi-faceted issues our families and communities face.

What previous elected positions have you held?

Highland Elementary School PTA President (2 terms)

Highland School Community Council (10 years)

Timberline School Community Council (6 years)

Lone Peak Community Council (2 years)

Precinct Chair/Precinct Vice-Chair

County Delegate/State Delegate

Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you?

My husband and I were drawn to Highland initially because of the natural beauty, the good schools and safe neighborhoods. We chose to stay because we felt that this was where we should raise our five children, now ages 7 -19.

Professionally, I have all the requirements needed to be an asset to the city council. I teach American history and government, have a Masters degree in public policy analysis and have served three years on the Highland City Planning Commission. I understand the city’s issues and will use my background and experience to solve them.