Race: Highland City Coucil

Email: doug@ElectDougCortney.com

Website: http://ElectDougCortney.com

Facebook: https://facebook.com/ElectDougCortney

Age: 48

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

The number one issue is the budget. Highland commissioned a General Fund study earlier this year, and it projected our 25% reserve to turn into a 7% deficit in FY 2022.

We need to take a hard look at our current expenses and make sure the city supports the things on which we're spending money.

We need to ensure we budget for predictable expenses so we don't put future taxpayers in the same spot we're in today.

We need to be creative about ways to do more with less. I think volunteerism is a big part of this. We've got a strong volunteer spirit in Highland, and we need to find ways to tap into that .

Perhaps most important, we must actively reach out to residents to explain the issue and to ask for suggestions. Council candidates are walking the streets of Highland, knocking on doors, and talking to our neighbors. This cannot stop on November 5. Council members must remain actively engaged with the city. In our families, it is strong relationships and honest communication that allow us to face problems and emerge stronger. The same is true for the city,

There are, of course, other issues facing the city -- open space and maintaining Highland's character, for example. None are more important than the financial issues, which is why I've focused on these. I discuss several other issues on my website. Anyone with questions or suggestions about any issues in the city can call me or email me. I'm happy to discuss them.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I've been attending City Council meetings for nearly a year. By the end of the evening, I'm usually one of just a couple people still in the audience.

I've read the same agenda packets the City Council receives. I've heard the fears, concerns, and values residents have shared with the City Council. I've taken time to talk with many of those same residents.

I make a decision, I explain my decision to anyone who wants to hear it, and I discuss my decision with anyone who disagrees. Sometimes I change their mind, and sometimes they change mine. Sometimes we still disagree. But we understand and respect each other.

I've demonstrated that I care about the city and that I'm willing to spend the time needed to understand the issues the city faces -- and to discuss those issues with other residents.

I did this before I decided to run for a seat on the Council. I'm doing this as a candidate. If you trust me to represent you, I'll keep doing it as a member of the Highland City Council.

What relevant experience do you have for this position?

As a Director of Software Development, my job has been bringing people together to solve problems. That's what we need in Highland.

As a member of the Library Board, I have quickly become knowledgeable about modern library needs. I attended trainings, I did personal research, and I was -- as far as I can tell -- one of only two library trustees in the state to attend the Utah Library Association's conference in May. Highland deserves involved, informed Council members, and I've shown that's exactly what I'll be.

As a resident of Highland, I've seen needs and stepped in to help. I volunteered with the Fling parade last year, kept track of what I noticed, and provided suggestions for future improvements to the committee. When analysis of the resident survey was slowed because of other needs for staff time, I volunteered to help with data entry. I'm no expert gardener, but when I discovered the Beautification Committee needed volunteers to help maintain public areas around the city, I stepped up -- and now I visit Windsor Meadows once a week to maintain a median and nearby areas. I don't wait to be asked. When I see a need, I address it.

What previous elected positions have you held?

Although I've served in many elected and appointed positions within private organizations, I have never held public office.

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

Voting for a candidate who shares your opinions is important. I think my opinions are in line with most of Highland's residents, and I hope they're in line with yours.

Ultimately, though, I'm not asking for your vote because we share common opinions. If that were my whole pitch, I don't think I'd deserve your vote.

I bring an open mind. I have opinions -- strong ones, in many cases -- about all manner of things. But if you disagree with me, you'll have an honest opportunity to change my mind. A City Council member must keep an open mind, because none of us always has the right answer.

I bring a willingness and an ability to research issues. I don't think there has been a week since I first started attending City Council meetings where I haven't checked the Utah Code, the Highland Municipal Code, or both. Sometimes it's just general curiosity, but usually it's to understand an issue. A City Council member must have the curiosity to dig in and understand issues facing the city.

I listen. I frequently talk with other residents outside of Council meetings, trying better to understand their thoughts and concerns. I usually give them my phone number.

I hope you'll trust me with your vote. Whether you do or not, though, please don't vote for anyone who won't bring an open mind, the dedication to be informed, and a real interest in listening. Highland deserves Council members with these qualities.