Share

Fairview City mayoral election candidate David Taylor speaks to the crowd during a “meet the candidates night” at the Fairview Museum on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Behind Taylor, partly obscured is his opponent, Shawna Rawlinson. Council candidates seated behind Taylor are (L-R) Sean Rawlinson, Casey Anderson, Michael Jarman and Kristy Jensen. At far left is Jonathan Benson, a former mayor, who moderated the discussion.

 

Growth on minds of Fairview

candidates and residents

 

By Robert Stevens

Managing editor

Oct. 26, 2017

 

FAIRVIEW—Growth in various forms was one of the main topics on the minds of candidates and voters during a “meet-the-candidates night” in Fairview last week.

The meeting took place at the Fairview Museum on Tuesday, Oct. 17. Both mayoral candidates, Shauna Rawlinson and Fairview City Planner David Taylor, participated as well as four candidates for city council—Kristy Jensen, Michael Jarman, Sean Rawlinson and incumbent Casey Anderson. Former Fairview mayor Jonathan Benson was the moderator.

Shauna Rawlinson was the first of the mayoral candidates to speak. The growth she emphasized a need for was in openness between the city and its residents.

“I see a ton of potential growth for the city,” she said. “Not as far as bringing tons of people in—I don’t think any of us want an influx. I think we have a lot of other places to grow, like transparency.”

She told people in attendance one of the main goals she had was making sure there was more sharing of information between the city offices and the people of the town.

Rawlinson said the city wasn’t taking enough advantage of social media to keep the residents informed.

She also said that she hoped to improve the town for young families moving in and cooperate with the city council to get things done according to city policy.

Next up was David Taylor, the current Fairview city planner. “I have had the opportunity of serving here with three different mayors,” he told the crowd. “I haven’t made everyone happy, but I have tried to be fair.”

He said if he was elected as mayor, he would retire in an official capacity as city planner but continue to do the job voluntarily in addition to his mayoral duties. He said the double-duty would save the town money.

“The city does need someone keeping the ship going straight down the road,” he said. “And it has to be someone who understands how to do it already.”

Next up were the city council candidates. Anderson, the incumbent, spoke first. He admitted he had been hesitant about running for reelection, but after receiving a lot of encouragement from family, friends and neighbors had decided to run again.

Anderson was one of the few candidates who did not emphasize a desire for growth in his opening statement.

“My main reason for re-running is because I feel like there are some things I still need to see accomplished,” he said, “but my desire is to keep Fairview feeling like the same little town it was when I grew up here.”

Shauna Rawlinson’s husband, Sean, spoke next, joking that he had kissed his wife in the apartment next door to the museum when they were kids.

He said he had wanted to be a city council member for a long time and had loved being involved with other aspects of the city, like the Planning and Zoning Committee.

“Like my wife said, we love Fairview,” Rawlinson said. “I want to serve as much as I can and learn more about how to run things right in our town.”

Jensen spoke next. Jensen was an EMT for 12 years and said that years ago, she had been the first woman to serve on Fairview City Council. She said had also been the first woman on the North Sanpete School Board. She said she wanted an opportunity to serve again.

Jensen said she had once been told that people don’t vote for you as much as the vote against your opponent, but she told the audience, “If you can support me, I would love to have your vote.”

Michael Jarman, current chair of the Planning and Zoning committee, was introduced last. “I would like to see Fairview grow, he said. “Bring in some new business and jobs. Give our teenagers in high school a chance to work here. I think if we could get some more businesses here and help out our youth that would be great.”

After the introductions, Benson opened the floor up for attendees to pose questions to the candidates.

One attendee asked the entire group what one thing each would try to change if elected.

Shauna Rawlinson said she wanted to bridge the communication gap between the city and its people through the use of social media, mass texting and other methods.

Sean Rawlinson, Jensen, and Jarman all gave answers alluding to the need for more growth and more jobs for the city’s residents.

Anderson said that Fairview’s young people were one of its biggest exports, and better local jobs would give them an opportunity to work locally instead of having to leave the area.

Taylor’s answer was that although some of the residents might not be aware, Fairview was “on the threshold of real growth.” He said, “We are at a crossroads.”

“I know you want to keep Fairview like it is,” he told attendees. “But there will be growing.” He encouraged attendees to begin coming to the council meetings to see what is happening in their city, saying it was discouraging to see so little involvement from the public.

Anderson said his number one concern was the budget. If re-elected, he wanted to improve the city’s financial situation.

Meeting attendee Charlet Pemeberton posed a question directly to Jarman, asking if he thought the city should ever zone for industrial use. Jarman’s answer was yes.

“It would be nice to get some high-paying industry jobs in our city,” he said.

When asked by the Messenger what the mayoral candidates would like to see happen with money raised by the Fairview-only ballot measure proposing a 1/10th of a cent sales tax on non-food items for funding recreation, arts and parks, Rawlinson and Taylor gave very different answers.

Taylor declined to say how he would like to see the revenues spent, instead saying a committee would be formed to distribute the money fairly among qualified applicants.

Shauna Rawlinson said that, if the sales tax passed in the upcoming election, she would be most pleased if the revenues went toward helping integrate the arts into the school curriculum.

Several attendees expressed concern about long-term plans for infrastructure improvement to handle the growth referenced by some candidates.

Taylor tried to put concerned residents at ease, saying the city had been progressively improving its power system, and while the sewer plant “wasn’t perfect,” if a problem arose, the city would surely address it.