Race: Santaquin City Council
Education: Trade School
What are the biggest issues facing your city and how do you plan to address them?
Hello, my name is David Hathaway, and I am running for the Santaquin City Council. As a resident of Santaquin for more than 38 years, I have seen firsthand, all the changes we have gone through as a community. With new roads, new residential developments, new schools, and many new faces; we have all been touched by these changes, and each one has helped us grow. But with growth, also comes growing pains. The challenges ahead, may test us as a community. But if we are prepared, we can better navigate those obstacles, and strengthen our commitment to making Santaquin the best place to call home.
At this time, I believe the biggest and most important issue we face, is preparing our community for the extraordinary growth projected for Utah county over the next 50 years. It’s expected that 37% of Utah's full projected growth will reside in Utah county, bringing more than one million new residents to our area. Sufficient housing and infrastructure will be critical in preparing for that considerate population increase. I believe prioritizing our economic development plans are a crucial step in accomplishing that goal.
An influx of new business will bring more jobs to our community, and increase our city's tax base. Adding more money to our general fund will help support community endeavors, such as recreation development, residential and emergency planning, infrastructure, and community outreach.
If elected, I will vote against regulations that discourage commercial development. I will support prospective manufacturing and commercial investors, and seek opportunities that will draw to us both, business and recreation options that align with our community goals.
What sets you apart from other candidates?
I am a local guy, born and raised in Payson, Utah. I moved to Santaquin when I was 19 years old and I have proudly called it my home for more than 38 years. I have strong ties to this community and I care about its citizens. Through the years, I have served them as a community volunteer, an EMT, and a member of the Fire Department.
Working as a first responder, I developed skills that help me to assess and prioritize challenges, seek long term solutions over short term fixes, and make the hard decisions necessary for survival.
I feel this experience sets me apart from other candidates, in that very few of us have ever experienced an event, where the outcome of a bad decision, meant life or death for another human being. Being timid or uninformed in my choices, carried a much higher consequence. Having experienced those life and death situations, I believe that makes me unique amongst my fellow candidates.
From that experience, I have learned the tremendous value in accepting personal responsibility for my choices, and being accountable to those whom I serve.
What relevant experience do you have for this position?
As a low/fixed income resident, I feel my presence would bring a unique perspective to our next city council. In fact, it was with that thought in mind I chose to run. I feel my input would be an asset to the council, as it considers decisions that may negatively impact other low and fixed income households within our community.
With 8.3% of our residents living beneath the poverty line, and more than one third of those being children under the age of 17, I would like to bring a voice to the concerns of that demographic, in a forum where they may not otherwise be heard.
What previous elected positions have you held?
While serving two previous 4-year terms on our city council, I have acquired detailed work experience relating to the expectations placed on a city council member. I am familiar with the workings of municipal government, and my participation in those two previous terms, has brought many positive improvements to our community.
As a council member, I proposed an initiative that led to the approval of installing new lights at our rodeo grounds. Additionally, acting on the request of one of our citizens, the council approved a name change to a local pond honoring her late grandfather, along with placement of stone sculptures in every park, identifying the park's name. I am proud to have been the one who brought her request to the council for consideration.
In my 8 years as a councilman, I have served on several boards. Working alongside another council member, we represented Santaquin in both the South Utah Valley Municipal Water Board, and the Nebo Water Advisory Board in discussions over future water conservation and availability.
I also served as a board member on the Utah Lake Advisory Commission.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you?
During my campaign, many residents have voiced concerns over the 12-million-dollar bond being proposed for a new rec center. The financial impact it would have on our residential property tax, has been unsettling for most and they are fearful of what that will mean for the future of our community.
Additionally, many of the figures presented by the city are based on projections, rather than fact. There is no clear course that guarantees the outcome they are suggesting.
Another concern is the yearly o/m costs of the facility itself. If projections are not met, it is the city's general fund that will make up the difference; thus, robbing our city of funding that would otherwise go to more crucial and urgent matters. Lastly, fears over whether the general fund would be sufficient to cover those costs, bring more concern to the possibility of additional tax increases.
As our city grows, I believe its important that we seek out opportunities to make our community safer and provide more family friendly options for community recreation. But I feel the timing of this proposal is premature, and far more grandiose than our tax base can currently support.
I feel a better option would be investing in smaller scaled projects that can be built and managed with far less financial risk. Securing grants and private investments may also help subsidize the costs. I believe this approach will provide a clear path for amenity development, without all the risk to our community budget.
With that in mind, I would like to explore the possibilities of building bike and walking trails, a skate park, outside basketball courts and more lighted regulation ball fields. Each will give our youth more choices for recreation; and hosting ball tournaments or skating events, will draw people from neighboring towns.
These activities will bring more customers to our local businesses and restaurants, which will contribute additional sales tax to the city's general fund, thereby helping the amenities pay for themselves.
I would also add that partnering with the National Forest Service to develop hiking and mountain biking trails along the forest service boundary line above the city, could also be a huge draw for surrounding areas. All of these choices will bring more economic growth to our community and also provide opportunities for exercise and community interaction.
With careful planning and fiscally responsible decisions, I feel these goals can be attained without compromising the financial stability of our home town or its citizens.
So I ask for your vote on November 5th, and remind us all to stay positive, and keep smiling!