Race: Provo Municipal Council - District 4

Email: val.provocouncil@gmail.com

Website: http://paxmanforprovo.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/paxmanforprovo

Occupation: Property Manager

Education: BS in Business Management from BYU

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

One item that I have observed becoming more common on the City Council’s agenda is the request for zoning changes and parking variances so that more large developments of high density rental housing can occur. I realize that development will happen in our city, but I believe that we have to carefully consider the type of development that we want to allow so that we don’t overwhelm our schools, our police and fire departments, and our city services.According to a report given to the City Council, our Police force is currently understaffed by 14 officers. Provo City is funding the addition of 7 more officers with the new budget, however, we are still understaffed. Our waste-water treatment plant is in need of being replaced. Our city fees continue to increase to help fund these needs. When new development is proposed, I believe that it is the job of the City Council to look forward into the future and make sure that our city services and our schools can handle the impact of that development, and that the impact fees that are associated with the development can cover the costs of the needed city services.I also believe that it is the City Council’s job to make sure that our tax base will continue to grow with our city so that we can fund the needed services. I would like to see affordable housing in the form of condos and townhomes (properties that allow people to purchase homes) rather than large developments of rental apartment complexes. This allows our citizens the opportunity to own and accumulate principle as well as take advantage of market increases in value.Another issue that has become a concern for me is the traffic flow. Traffic has become increasingly worse and some of the improvements that the city has made in the past have only added to the problem. I believe we need City Council Members who can look at road proposals with an eye to the future and with their District members’ best interests in mind.Provo has actually been unique in that it was a larger city but with a small town feel. We didn’t really have any major traffic issues until the last few years. The city started doing projects to improve roads and transportation and have caused, what I believe to be, unintended consequences. Even the best of intentions can cause frustrating traffic circumstances if we miss seeing the bigger picture of the domino effect in traffic.As I have spoken with the residents of the West side, I have heard again and again how much the Center Street on-ramp and interchange has made traffic and safety worse. How University Avenue has made traveling the only street that goes all the way through Provo a frustrating experience. That traveling on 700 North and 300 South has become impossible to get to where you need to go because of the barriers down the middle of the street. Provo is now adding barriers to 500 West and Bulldog Blvd. I have heard from fire fighters that the barriers increase response time for emergencies. The recent projects have been detrimental to businesses in Provo. I believe that Provo needs to work to help and retain businesses and be more conscientious about how our road construction affects them and do all that we can to be more business friendly. I question if all of these factors were taken into consideration as these projects were pushed forward even in the face of public protest. I feel like I have the foresight to look at these transportation proposals and see the flaws and possible unintended consequences that can happen. I will try to be a voice of reason and represent the wishes of our district. I will oppose any plans that would reduce the number of lanes on major streets. I want to work on a master plan for our city that gives us a clear, detailed vision of what we want our city to end up looking like in the future and that will accommodate the amount of traffic that will come with Provo’s growth. I would carefully consider how any development proposals would affect traffic and if we have the roads and infrastructure to support the proposed development. If you look at the Vineyard development that has occurred you can see what having too few roads in any given development does to increase traffic to unbearable conditions. I do not want that for our city.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I have the time and the education to devote to learning about the issues and coming up with creative solutions to our city’s problems. I believe in transparency. I believe that we need to share how successful or unsuccessful the projects we implement are. We need to know what works and what doesn’t so that we can make better decisions and not repeat our mistakes. I believe that we need to prove that what we are doing is working or stop doing it. I believe in data proven results. We should only be spending our money on what is proven to work.

What relevant experience do you have for this position?

I graduated from BYU in Business Management and I am a long time resident of Provo. I have spent years volunteering part time in leadership positions with religious and civic institutions. I have been actively involved in the Provo school system volunteering on the Land Trust Committee and serving on the PTA boards. I currently serve as our Caucus Precinct Chairman. I owned a small business and I am currently a property manager.

What previous elected positions have you held?

Precinct Chairman for my Republican Caucus precinct. PTA President and Treasurer at Provo High School.

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

I would like people to know that I care about Provo and every individual in our city. I care about all parts of Provo and I am working hard to talk with people from all over the city to understand the issues of each neighborhood. I especially want those on the West side to know that I think the next 4 years are crucial to determining the direction that the development and growth of Provo will take. I want to be the person to stand up and push back so that Provo ends up looking the way we all want it to end up looking. As I seek the opportunity to be your representative I want to keep the dialog open and civil. We may not see eye to eye on every issue but I will always be willing to listen to you about any concerns you may have. I ask for your vote.