Race: Vineyard City Council
What are the biggest issues facing your city and how do you plan to address them?
One of the biggest concerns facing Vineyard today is “Density Creep”—the unplanned/after-development increase in the number of people and cars in neighborhoods. Examples:
• Because UVU is expanding into our city, investors purchase single family units to rent to 6 students (and their cars)
• Basement apartments (ADUs) increase neighborhood numbers and cars beyond planned levels
• Garages are not used for parking, pushing second cars into visitor stalls.
Density creep makes our neighborhoods more cramped, with less parking than they were supposed to have. How to control it?
• Limit single unit occupancy to no more than 3 or 4 unrelated adults (and their cars) to reduce the demand for parking. (Families will not be affected.)
• Penalize landlords for renting one unit to more unrelated adults than allowed.
• Require 2 parking spaces per bedroom at apartments, condos, and townhouses (max per unit = 4)
• Stop allowing developers to count garages as parking spaces.
• Require neighbors’ approval to build basement apartments (ADUs) in single family residence neighborhoods.
• Work with HOAs to create more parking where needed.
Business Development is also critical. We now have the population to start supporting businesses with both customers and employees. We should now focus more on building for businesses and a little less on new housing.
Entertainment, food and service-oriented businesses have started to build in the Yard district. Light manufacturing businesses continue to build in the Eastlake Industrial Park. Efforts to recruit businesses there should continue.
It is time to build the planned Vineyard Town Center district on the old Geneva Steel lands north of the Vineyard Connector. It should be aimed at high tech and related companies so that it can become the south end of the regional Silicon Slopes high tech corridor. That development should include a train station/bus/Trax hub to service the long-planned Vineyard stop on the UTA Front Runner and routes throughout the north Utah County and Silicon Slopes area.
Roads are also critical to supporting our growth--both existing and new--in Vineyard. Construction of the overpass from Center Street to Mill Rd is underway. It needs to be completed. We need the Vineyard Connector expanded and completed through to the Pleasant Grove Freeway exit. Main Street needs to be connected to 400 South. We need to find a way to fix the intersection of Vineyard Rd and 400 South. And, we need to build the roads that will become the framework for the Vineyard Town Center.
These projects need to be completed so we can generate the funds to continue to put in parks and recreation, reclaim our Utah Lake shoreline, and honor our heritage in useful and appropriate ways.
There is much to do, and I hope to you will give me a chance to participate in the work to complete the vision that our local founding families had for our little home along the lake.
What sets you apart from other candidates?
What sets me apart?
Education—I have a Ph.D. and have practiced in my field for over thirty years.
Experience—my employment requires I listen to experts and help them come to consensus on various topics they feel are most important. I am required to listen. Carefully. I also regularly conduct extensive high stakes analyses on people’s test results, both numeric (statistical) and qualitative (meaning) that can affect people’s futures. I have to be careful. My results have to be accurate. People’s test scores, grades and certifications depend on it. I would bring these skills and mindsets with me to city council. I would use them to listen carefully, develop consensus and analyze thoroughly before coming to a decision.
Attendance--I have been at the city council meetings. I have attended for over two years. My attendance record is as good or better than some of the council members themselves. I have been there listening and learning. I don’t think many of my competitors can say that.
Research--I have watched the budgets being debated and approved. I have run the numbers myself before attending the meetings, so I could understand the intricate issues encapsulated in the budget. I have done the math.
What relevant experience do you have for this position?
I have been attending all City Council and Planning Commission meetings for over two years. I attend as a resident, many times as the only private citizen in the room—all others either city employees or officials. I attend whether the issues that concern my little neighborhood are being considered or not. As a result, I have heard about the problems—the ones raised by citizens coming in and the ones placed on the agenda by the mayor and staff. I have monitored the budgets and run the numbers when budgets have been reviewed, debated and approved. I have watched and listened to the developers seeking approval and exceptions for projects. And I have listened carefully to the mayor and councilors as they have deliberated. As a result, I know the issues that face Vineyard. I see where the ‘pinch points’ are and I have heard wide ranging proposals on how to address them. Our Mayor and City Council has been uncommonly wise, cautious, but also purposeful in guiding the development and growth of our city. I admire their work. And now that there is a vacancy on the council with one of our city counselors retiring, I am seeking to step up and attempt to fill that position. I hope to serve as I have been taught: to wisely, cautiously, but purposefully move our little city forward into the future.
What relevant experience do you have for this position?
This is my first run for public office.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about you?
I was born in the San Francisco Bay area to a family with strong Utah ties. My teenage years were spent in Guam and Hawaii, chasing my father’s work assignments and visiting various locations throughout the Pacific. In my twenties, I moved to Provo to further my education, and other than a short business assignment to Texas, have spent the last 42 years here in Utah County.
I earned a bachelor degree at BYU—Hawaii, a master degree at BYU and a Ph.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. I have worked mostly in education-related industries, designing and implementing educational programs and materials driven by computers and associated technologies. I currently work out of my home as a testing scientist—a psychometrician—helping others design, create, measure, and administer valid, reliable certification and licensure tests.
This is my home. I married and raised a family here, and now enjoy watching my children do the same. Claudia and I have seven children and fourteen grandchildren, with (we hope) more on the way. Vineyard has become the hub for our little extended family—our gathering place. We so enjoy the way we have been welcomed into the Vineyard family. You have made our almost 5 years here the best of our lives.
Now it is time to give back.
For the last two years I have attended all official city leadership meetings—often as the only private citizen in the room—the rest either elected or appointed officials or employees. That includes all City Council and Planning Commission meetings. This has allowed me to hear the concerns you bring in. It has also allowed me to thoroughly study the issues we face. I serve on the Vineyard Heritage Foundation which seeks funding to preserve the unique, rich, amazing heritage left us by generations gone before. I have served and continue to volunteer with the annual Vineyard Heritage Days festival. Especially enjoyable to me is introducing our youngest residents to the vintage games, attractions, and petting zoo we sponsor there.
And now, I would like to serve on your City Council.
Our city motto is “Stay Connected” and we strive to live it. It is on our city vehicles, web site, and even the logos worn by our city employees.
Staying connected means staying close, maintaining positive relationships with our families, friends, churches, schools, neighborhoods, parks, heritage, and having the infrastructure to make that all possible. It is staying connected that makes living in Vineyard so enjoyable.
But these connections are threatened.
They are threatened by mundane things. Things we often take for granted.
Things like a lack of parking, congestion on our roads, the threat of overcrowding in our neighborhoods and schools, unbalanced development within our city. Things like a lack of water, power, roads, internet, sewage, parks, recreation.
The list goes on.
In saying this, I want to be clear I am not running against any current or former city officials, employees or volunteers or the enormous work they have accomplished in making these fields into a city. They have worked tirelessly and had many successes. We are their grateful beneficiaries. Rather, I am running to fill the seat left open by a retiring city councilor.
As a member of your city council, I will work, as have those before me, to reduce threats to our city—find ways to repair and complete needed roads, decrease crime, limit density to pre-planned levels, fix parking problems, attract desirable businesses, hold developers to established, approved plans, clean up our Utah Lake shoreline, and keep Vineyard the safe, clean, desirable, connected place that brought us all here to start with.
Now a word about the election itself.
This year, we will vote differently than in the past. In previous elections we voted for two people—one for each open council seat. This year on your mail-in ballot you will be asked to rank all the candidates in order of your preference. That means ranking your favorite as number one, second favorite as number two, and so forth. This allows us to avoid run-off elections, which are expensive for the city and which divert precious tax dollars from more desirable projects.
So I am asking for you to rank me as one of your top favorites on your ballot.
Let me help continue the work of making Vineyard into the wonderful place our children and our children’s children will enjoy long into the future.
My name is David Lauret, and I’m asking to be your choice to fill the vacancy on our city council.