Utah State House of Representatives, District 70 (Democrat)

Grand County Council, District 1

Please introduce yourself. What is your name, where did you go to school, what do you do for a living and how long have you lived in Grand County?

Chris Baird: My name is Chris Baird and I moved to Grand County as a teenager and have lived here for nineteen years. I am the father of two wonderful children, both born in Grand County. Eleven years ago I founded a manu- facturing business and I also work part-time for the Canyonlands Watershed Council.

Kim Call: My name is Kim Call. I went to four grade schools – in Phoenix, Arizona; in Tolleson, New Mexico; in Gilbert, Arizona; and in Warden, Washington. I attended one junior high school – in Warden – and three high schools – in Warden; American Falls, Idaho; and in Snowflake, Arizona. I attended two years of college in Mesa, Arizona.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement.

Baird: I have been involved in community service for ten years and have gained a broad spectrum of experience. I served on the planning commission for two years, the county council for four years, as well as over a dozen other boards, including two special service districts.

Call: I’ve spent over twenty happy years here and am proud to call this my home. Myself and my family have spent many hours roofing homes (free of charge), working on school fund-raisers and projects, helping with scouting events, taking meals to neighbors and friends, painting homes – fun things to do while getting to know our neighbors.

What are your main concerns regarding Grand County’s future?

Baird: I consider budgeting and organizational management two of my strongest points. While on the council I worked overtime to ensure that the public’s money was wisely spent and devised innovative solutions to financial problems. I also led the county through a significant reorganization that has proven to be efficient and effective. I’m a big proponent of higher-education in Grand County. For several years I worked on establishing a new USU-Moab campus, as a member of the Higher Education Action Team and the USU-Moab Campus Advisory Board. I believe that enhancing higher-education opportunities for Grand County will provide the biggest “leg up” for our quality of life and will plant the seeds for a variety of diverse economic endeavors.

Call: I’ve learned that Grand County residents are happy to support our schools with 70% of our property taxes but it’s worrisome that the school district is our single largest employer. We know that 14.9% of Grand County residents live below the poverty level; 534 multiple-person households receive food stamps and government assistance; 49.8% of our kids are on the free lunch program. We’re happy to live in our county, but it’s hard to afford a home in Castle Valley, averaging $200,000, or one in Moab, costing up to $400,000 when our median income hovers at $42,702. “Most everyone lives off unemployment and food stamps (wintertime, mostly) if they need it, and the food bank, if they need it.” Here, even minimum wage jobs (averaging $1500/mo) are at a premium and, more often than not, provide no benefits. In order to do better we must recognize the dangers of an over-governed, over-subsidized society. (Remember the government shutdown?) Currently, we are seeing the results of good objectives being perverted by bad means. Together, with hard work, we can become more self-reliant.

Grand County Council chairman Lynn Jackson has said he believes that the lack of local affordable housing and workforce housing is the most important issue facing the community. Do you agree?

Baird: Affordable housing will always require proactive community solutions. I helped draft the “2008 Affordable Housing Study” and the subsequent “Affordable Housing Plan.” These plans have successfully guided the Housing Authority in providing affordable housing options for a wide range of incomes. Affordable housing is not only a humanitarian endeavor, but a vital component to our economic development.

Call: Did not respond.

Do you support or oppose efforts that could pave the way for a new “Book Cliffs Highway” between Interstate 70 and the Uintah Basin?

Baird: I do not support building the Book Cliffs highway. We’ve already been told once that no Grand County public money would be put toward the study, and now our mineral lease funds are involved. This highway would lead right to the doorstep of oil shale and tar sands mines. Grand County would end up getting strip-mined and Vernal would get all the jobs.

Call: Did not respond.

What are your thoughts on the idea of Grand County joining the so-called Seven County Infrastructure Coalition?

Baird: The infrastructure coalition would be an unnecessary additional layer of government. Grand County already has the ability to enter into interlocal agreements without jeopardizing its sovereignty. We don’t need another independent political subdivision with the power to take our citizens’ private property. As the county attorney warns, we’d be “buying into a lawsuit.” This coalition was entirely crafted outside of Grand County and is clearly intended to serve outside interests.

Call: Utahns smile about our five national parks and more than two dozen national monuments and state recreation areas. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much say in the designation process. I support legislative measures that will, hopefully, give us a greater voice. Since our county has only 4-6% developable land available, I support Gov. Herbert and HB148. I’d like to see, as well, Grand County work with our neighboring counties to carefully plan for economic diversity and revenue building to improve our standard of living. I believe the SCIC is a step in the right direction.

What is your single biggest strength and weakness as a candidate?

Baird: One of my greatest strengths is that I do a tremendous amount of research on issues before making decisions. One of my greatest weaknesses has been not taking enough time for myself and getting burned out.

Call: If inexperience in public office could be considered a weakness, I suppose that might be mine. I believe, though, that it is a great strength. I am eager to learn and to serve and will give 100% to this beautiful place that has become my home.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

Baird: Many people don’t know about the wide variety of jobs that I’ve had; auto mechanic, scuba dive guide, river guide, luthier, stone mason, baker, etc.

Call: Did not respond.

What do you do for fun?

Baird: I enjoy my time off by spending time with my kids – backpacking, fishing and mountain biking.

Call: My passion is learning. I want to know as much as I can about everything around me. Especially about this great country and our founding documents. Yeah, I’m a ‘nerdette’…..learning is what I do for fun.

Grand County Council, District 3

Please introduce yourself. What is your name, where did you go to school, what do you do for a living and how long have you lived in Grand County?

Jaylyn Hawks: I am Jaylyn Hawks, married to Steve for 33 years; we have six children. My Bachelor’s degree is in liberal arts from Brigham Young University; my Master’s degree is in Sociology – also from BYU. I recently stepped down from my six-year position as executive director of Seekhaven (the local domestic violence shelter and resource center). In my current part-time position at Seekhaven, I do grant writing and community relations work. Originally from Salt Lake City, I’ve been proud to call Moab my hometown for the last 17 years.

Manuel Torres: I grew up in Monticello. I was raised by a widowed mother who lovingly cared for her 10 children. It was in her home that I learned to share, to compromise and to appreciate the blessing of family and life. I went to school in the San Juan School District and at the University of Utah, but learned many of my life lessons here in Moab. For the past 35 years, I have worked in the Masonry Business running my own company, “Torres Masonry, Inc.” I moved to Moab in 1971 and have lived and raised my family here ever since.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement.

Hawks: I have served on numerous boards and committees, including the Grand County Homeless Coordinating Committee, HMK and Grand County Middle School Community Councils, Utah Domestic Violence Council, Grand County Domestic Violence Coalition and the Children’s Justice Center Board. I was co-producer and musical director of two original musical comedies that benefited the Star Hall renovation.

Torres: I have been involved in coaching many youth sports activities, including high school football and golf (for 19 years). I served on the county commission for a term and have served on many boards, including the hospital and recreation boards for the past eight years. I served on the State Building Board for eight years and I am presently serving on the State Privatization Board. Although these last two boards are state boards, the decisions we made there affect Grand County in many ways. My religious affiliations have given me opportunities to serve in many different capacities. I also served on the CEU Institutional Council for four years.

What are your main concerns regarding Grand County’s future?

Hawks: The most critical immediate concern is solving the affordable and workforce housing issue since this has ramifications for multiple economic and organizational structures in the community.

Torres: Keeping our lands as multiple use is extremely important to me so that we can all enjoy Grand County. We also need to work toward ensuring that people can afford to live here.

Grand County Council chairman Lynn Jackson has said he believes that the lack of local affordable housing and workforce housing is the most important issue facing the community. Do you agree?

Hawks: I agree. Grand County is on the same trajectory as other resort communities (Park City, Jackson Hole) where high real estate prices are the norm. Relying on the ‘market’ to fix the problem won’t work since there will always be wealthy individuals who are happy to pay a high price to have second or third homes in a stunning environment. The 2008 Moab City/Grand County collaborative Affordable Housing study gives an overview of the problem along with possible solutions. It will take the same kind of cooperation and collaboration that created the study to begin working on solutions – that and the political discipline to drive the process.

Torres: Affordable housing is important and we all need to be concerned with that, but with the average income at $21,000 per household and the average home costing $245,000, either our housing is over-inflated or our wages must rise to make the numbers come closer together.

Do you support or oppose efforts that could pave the way for a new “Book Cliffs Highway” between Interstate 70 and the Uintah Basin? 

Hawks: Before consenting to any new road or project, I would want to poll the residents, know where the funding for construction and maintenance would come from and see an in-depth study outlining the economic benefits and the environmental hazards (water and air) to Grand County residents.

Torres: The Book Cliffs road project has been an issue for the past 35 years. We were discussing it in the early 80s when I served on the county commission. Presently, we really don’t have a lot of input. When the State of Utah decides that it is going to be a necessity, because of economics, to construct the Book Cliffs road, I believe, we should be prepared to offer productive input. I do think that the day will come, and that the project will happen. I am in favor of it.

What are your thoughts on the idea of Grand County joining the so-called Seven County Infrastructure Coalition?

Hawks: I would be extremely cautious about binding our county to any agreement drafted with unclear language, for vague yet-to-be-determined projects, with uncertain benefits to our county and for the unreasonably long time period of 50 years. Coalitions make a stronger case with funding agencies. However, this same strength can be wielded by a coalition created for a specific case-by-case purpose, with an appropriately time-limited agreement. As for gaining a voice at the state and national levels, it is my understanding from both parties (in this non-partisan county) that the most effective way to gain a ‘voice’ is to practice partisan politics; this coalition would not fill that requirement. At this point in time, the county council should vote ‘no.’

Torres: I personally feel that the council should vote to join the coalition. I believe that by becoming part of the coalition, we will have a much stronger voice at the state and national level. Having served on many state boards, I have realized that this is one of Grand County’s weaknesses.

What is your single biggest strength and weakness as a candidate?

Hawks: My biggest strength is a deep belief that all voices deserve to have a fair hearing. Depending on who you ask, that may be my biggest weakness – it is harder to build a consensus when you give consideration to all the diverse voices, but the end result is worth the effort.

Torres: My biggest strength is knowing many senators and representatives of the state that will listen to my voice because of our friendship serving together on various committees. They know where I stand and how I work, and are comfortable with most of my views. My weakness is not sharing my innermost beliefs with others.

Tell us one thing that people might not know about you.

Hawks: I volunteered in a Chinese orphanage for infants with special needs.

Torres: I delight in stimulating people’s minds by the questions I ask them.

What do you do for fun?

Hawks: I hike, bike, read and sing in a rock band.

Torres: We have a cabin in the La Sal Mountains, and I love to go there to relax, to hunt, to fish and to spend time with my family and friends. Golfing is also one of my favorite pastimes, I just don’t seem to do it as much as I would like.

Grand County Council, At-Large

Please introduce yourself. What is your name, where did you go to school, what do you do for a living and how long have you lived in Grand County?

Mary McGann: Hi, my name is Mary Mullen McGann. I am a Moabite, through and through. My parents moved here in 1957 during the Uranium Boom. I graduated from Grand County High School in 1970. I attended the University of Idaho, graduating in 1974 with an elementary education degree. I started my teaching career in Idaho, returned to Moab in 1980 and began teaching for Grand County School District and I’ve been here ever since. I will retire this year after 33 years service.

Jim Nyland: My name is Jim Nyland, I graduated from Grand County High School. I retired as the Grand County Sheriff after 32 years. I have lived in Grand County for the last 60 years.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement.

McGann: I’ve served Grand County as a teacher and a foster parent. I founded a successful nonprofit for children and served as president of both Grand County Education Association and the League of Women Voters. I owned and ran a successful business.

Nyland: I have been involved in public service for the last 36 years, four of those years as a county council member. I have been involved in several community organizations throughout my public service career.

What are your main concerns regarding Grand County’s future?

McGann: Some important issues the county faces are rebuilding our sewer plant, solving the affordable housing crisis and protecting our CIB monies. Moab City officials have been working on plans to upgrade or rebuild the Wastewater Treatment Plant (sewer), although any type of construction is still three to four years away. The sewer plant is already working at full capacity; my concern is three to four years is too long to wait.

Nyland: In my opinion, Grand County has three areas that we should focus on: economic development, environmental sustainability, lifestyle enrichment.

Grand County Council chairman Lynn Jackson has said he believes that the lack of local affordable housing and workforce housing is the most important issue facing the community. Do you agree?

McGann: Affordable housing is a complicated issue. Balancing the rights of property owners and the need for affordable housing is difficult. This will be one of my top priorities when you elect me. As your county council representative, I will research what other communities have done to successfully solve this problem. I will listen to the people in Grand County for their ideas. Grand County is blessed with an award-winning nonprofit (Community Rebuilds) that is using creative solutions on this issue.

Nyland: I have been involved with the housing authority working to create ways to provide self-help homes, affordable apartment complexes for low-income residents.

Do you support or oppose efforts that could pave the way for a new “Book Cliffs Highway” between Interstate 70 and the Uintah Basin? 

McGann: The Book Cliffs Highway is aimed at getting oil out of the basin in Uintah County. Oil companies don’t need our help. The six top global oil companies last year earned more than $82 billion, and received $21.6 billion in government subsidies. Grand County does not need to subsidize oil companies by building a highway. Our tax and CIB money should stay here.

Nyland: I support a route from Uintah County to Interstate 70 only if there is an economic value for Grand County. Feasibility and economic studies are only being conducted at this time. I have always, during my public service, been honest to all residents, listening to all views and finding a balance for the citizens of Grand County.

What are your thoughts on the idea of Grand County joining the so-called Seven County Infrastructure Coalition?

McGann: I oppose joining the coalition as the agreement is presently written. We will not gain a greater voice at the state and national levels by joining. By staying out, we will preserve our bargaining and minimize our exposure to liability. If we join, our county loses our right to veto, if a planned coalition project will cross into our county. By not being a member we maintain our veto right.

Nyland: Grand County should be involved in the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition. We should investigate the coalition to see how it could benefit Grand County. It’s always better to be at the table from the beginning of any issue. Grand County would not lose its sovereignty or its political voice. More voices on issues are always heard more than one standing alone. No decisions should be made to negatively effect the natural beauty of our county and we should continue to promote tourism, recreation and a diverse economy.

What is your single biggest strength and weakness as a candidate?

McGann: My biggest strength is my respect for all people, regardless their philosophy or circumstances. As a teacher I work with students from all walks of life. I cherish all of them, and I communicate easily with their parents in a respectful open-minded manner whatever their philosophy. My greatest weakness is overextending myself.

Nyland: Did not respond.

Tell us one thing that people might not know about you.

McGann: People may not know that I enjoy studying and discussing different philosophies.

Nyland: Did not respond.

What do you do for fun?

McGann: I enjoy a wide variety of activities: nurturing my family, feeding my friends a delicious dinner, an evening of lively conversation, camping in our mountains and along our rivers, curling up with a good book.

Nyland: I am an avid outdoorsman, I like to golf, bowl, hunt, fish, tour the back country, cross country ski and snowmobile. I enjoy the beautiful county we have, whether it is in the desert or mountain terrain. Most of all I like to spend time with my family. I appreciate the residents of Grand County for the many years of support they have given me. Please vote by mail-in ballot.

Grand County Clerk/ Auditor

Tell us about yourself.

Zacharia Levine: My name is Zacharia Levine, and I look forward to serving the citizens of Grand County as the next clerk/ auditor. I hold a B.S. in industrial engineering from UC Berkeley and an M.S. in City & Regional Planning from the University of Utah. Currently, I conduct research for the U while earning a PhD, maintain several personal training clients at South Town Gym and MRAC, and assist my wife at our business, The Rave’N Image. I have lived in Moab for eight years.

Diana Carroll: I am Diana Carroll, proud to be a lifelong resident of Grand County. I have raised my family here, attended local schools and now have grandchildren in school here. I have served my community on many boards and committees throughout the years. I am the current Grand County Clerk/Auditor seeking a third term in that position. For the past 16 years, I have worked in the clerk/ auditor’s office and have a working knowledge of all the statutory obligations of the office.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement? Why do you want this job?

Levine: I co-founded a community development group in Africa. We created youth resource centers and small businesses. In Moab, I have worked or volunteered for many non-profits, including: Splore, WabiSabi, Multicultural Center, and our school district. I am running for clerk/ auditor for three reasons. First, democracy implies choice. It has been many years since residents have had a choice for clerk/ auditor. Second, I was raised to see public service as a civic responsibility. Third, I have the professional experience to effectively lead this office. I have worked as a systems engineer, corporate consultant and investment manager. I can manage large, complex budgets and deal with various compliance issues. I value good communication and teamwork – these are the foundations of success.

Carroll: My first experience in governmental accounting came from an eight-year term on the Grand County Recreation Special Service District serving as the treasurer. I resigned that position when I went to work for Grand County in 1998, leaving the district with well over $1 million dollars in the fund balance. Other very important organizations I have been or am currently involved with are: Utah Association of Counties, current Board of Directors, 2013 Utah Clerk of the Year Award; Utah Association of Clerks and Auditors, current past president and have served four years of affiliate leadership; Utah Local Government Trust, Risk Management Committee; Southeast Utah Community Development Corporation, current Board of Trustees.

How do you feel about the county’s recent switch to a vote-by-mail system? 

Levine: Personally, I am content voting by mail. Many residents, however, have expressed concern for potential improprieties mail-in voting introduces (e.g. registration, counting, anonymity, etc.), and the lack of information released by the clerk/ auditor’s office pertaining to this abrupt change. I also want to know why this has been the most expensive election when we were told mail-in voting would save money. Most importantly, if you don’t receive a ballot this week, call the office at 259-1321.

Carroll: Recent legislative changes in Utah code have allowed election officials the opportunity to conduct county elections by-mail. This year seven counties in Utah, including Grand, chose to conduct their elections by-mail. The 2014 Grand County Primary Election resulted in 52 percent voter turnout, compared to 10 percent in the last primary election. The clerk’s office has conducted a very thorough voter outreach which corrected the voter registration record of over 1,200 voters. Each year more and more voters request absentee ballots. A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune provides similar statistics showing that trend. For more information, the link to the article is http://m.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobile3/58481150-219/mail-voting-election-county.html.csp

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider whether Utah and other states can ban same-sex marriage. If the court strikes down the bans, would you direct your office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

Levine: Weddings provide a significant revenue source for Grand County. Couples travel here from all over the world to marry. If state/ federal law permits same-sex marriage, I will issue licenses accordingly and gladly collect the fee.

Carroll: Absolutely.

The Grand County Clerk’s Office has the power to recover late fees from oil and gas wastewater treatment facilities that don’t pay their monitoring fees in a timely manner. But those “produced water” facilities can dodge late fees, provided that they don’t turn in their monthly activity reports to the clerk’s office. What steps should the county take to fill in that loophole, and to improve the clerk’s ability to collect those fees?

Levine: Extractive industries have the potential to greatly increase county revenue. But if we allow companies to operate inside our borders without paying their monitoring and late fees, something is amiss. I’m confused as to how a company could end up over $90,000 in arrears without a stopgap measure being implemented. As the chief financial officer for Grand County, the clerk/ auditor should obviously take control of this situation. And not only for “produced water” facilities, but for all companies operating within our borders. I understand that monthly reporting is not required of our own county departments either. Frequent communication and reporting are essential for tracking money, creating efficiency and ensuring top-level financial performance. I look forward to collaborating with the current staff and council to create more transparency in this regard.

Carroll: The Grand County Planning Commission is currently in the process of amending Ordinance 490 regarding Production of Water Disposal & Recycling Facilities. The amendment of Section 3.2 of the Land Use Code, use-specific standards will address reporting obligations of these facilities. As for recovery of late fees, the Grand County Land Use Code and Fee Schedule Ordinance allows for legal proceedings to occur for those who fail to comply.

What is your single biggest strength and weakness as a candidate?

Levine: My biggest challenge is name recognition. My biggest strength is the diverse set of skills and professional experiences I will bring to the office.

Carroll: Experience is my single most strength as a candidate for the office of the clerk/ auditor. The complexity of the office requires a wide variety of expertise. While I have developed an excellent team of employees who manage the daily operations of the office, I still maintain a very hands-on approach to financial management and procedural decisions. Delegating some of the technical responsibilities to others is a weak spot of mine. The workload has improved with the addition of staff in the clerk’s office.

Tell us one thing that people might not know about you.

Levine: I had the opportunity to play professional soccer in England, but chose to attend university.

Carroll: The one thing people may not know about me is what I do for fun.

What do you do for fun?

Levine: I spend time with my beautiful wife and son, mountain bike, raft, ski and cook (a lot).

Carroll: Fun for me is anything I can do outdoors that includes my family. I love to watch my grandkids participate in sports and activities, gardening, Lake Powell, quilting, and my greatest stress relief of all, kick-boxing class.

Grand County Treasurer

Please introduce yourself. What is your name, where did you go to school, what do you do for a living and how long have you lived in Grand County?

Chris Kauffman: I’m Chris Kauffman. I graduated from Grand County High in 1995 and was a Sterling Scholar winner. I graduated with honors from college in 1999 and have lived in Moab my entire life. I’m a full-time employee for the Utah Department of Workforce Services and run my own business.

Debbie Littlefield: I am Debbie Mabery Littlefield, an unaffiliated candidate running for Grand County Treasurer. I moved to Moab as a child in 1961, when my father (Slim Mabery) took the chief ranger position at Arches NP. After graduating from Grand County High School, I attended Utah State University and the University of Utah, studying archaeology, English and mathematics. My first position with the county was in 1999 as the Children’s Justice Center office manager; in 2003 I became the chief deputy treasurer under retiring incumbent Peggy Taylor.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement. 

Kauffman: As a public servant for the State, I spend most of my day helping Utahns in need. I am responsible every day for the accurate distribution of public funds, verifying and accounting for financial information and applying state and federal policy. I served on the Moab Farmers’ Market Steering Committee for seven years and was instrumental in the market’s revitalization. During college, I ran a local summer camp and spent time mentoring at-risk youth. Through my business, Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm, I’ve hosted numerous youth groups for hands-on learning projects and donated hundreds of pounds of produce to the local food bank.

Littlefield: Public service other than with Grand County has been with the USDA Forest Service as resource clerk, and the Bureau of Land Management as administrative assistant. In high school, I was a member of the Spanish Club and a charter member of two Leo Clubs, a teenage organization started by Lions Club International.

Please tell us why you’re interested in serving as Grand County Treasurer.

Kauffman: I currently help Utahns across the state, but I want to work with our local community more directly. For the past 12 years I have been responsible for all of the record-keeping, accounting and taxes for my business. I’m excited about putting these and other skills to work in order to make improvements for our county.

Littlefield: I love my current position as chief deputy treasurer, and wish to continue serving the residents of Grand County as their elected treasurer. It is my unparalleled years of daily experience in the office that most qualifies me for the position. I have brought many upgrades to the office, including reprogramming our accounting system to automatically generate reports required by the Utah State Tax Commission, the county’s annual independent auditors, and the Utah Money Management Council. From my view, it is a privilege to serve this community and I hope to continue serving it as the newly elected treasurer. I am the best candidate for the position. I have the experience that matters.

What are some of the key issues or challenges that the treasurer’s office deals with on a regular basis? What would you do differently in the future?

Kauffman: As the office that bills and collects real property taxes, the treasurer provides important customer service. I will continue the office’s reputation for respectful and patient interactions with county residents. Unfortunately, for the past several years our treasurer’s office has fallen behind other counties in the services and information provided online. Improvements have been made in recent weeks, but these are updates that other counties have had for years. I won’t let us fall behind the times.

Littlefield: Two issues we face are the inability to use credit/debit cards to make tax payments in the office, and having property tax information available online for property owners and mortgage companies. I have been very involved upgrading the services for the convenience of residents. I will be sure that we continue that track into the future using all available technology to have accurate data and information available, at the same time safeguarding that information.

What are your top priorities or goals?

Kauffman: As treasurer, I intend to take advantage of opportunities to increase efficiency and save taxpayer dollars, including letting taxpayers choose an electronic tax notice, promoting electronic payments, using check scanners and allowing greater access to tax information online. We can save paper, postage and staff time by allowing taxpayers to choose to go paperless. Many will decide to stick with a paper bill and paying by check. I will make sure everyone receives excellent customer service whether in-person, online or by-mail.

Littlefield: My top priorities/ goals are to make the items mentioned in Answer #4 realities as soon as possible.

What is your single biggest strength and weakness as a candidate?

Kauffman: My biggest strength is that I have the energy, skills and drive to modernize services and bring an open, professional attitude to the office. My biggest weakness is that I have not worked in the county treasurer’s office; however, I am well prepared to be treasurer. I’ve job-shadowed with the Summit County Treasurer, researched state code and studied the Utah Association of Counties guidebook for elected officials. I’ve met with the clerk/ auditor, assessor, recorder, attorney, council chair and council administrator to discuss how each position interacts with the treasurer. To learn more, call me at 259-6467 or visit kauffmanfortreasurer.org.

Littlefield: My greatest strength for becoming treasurer is that I have worked alongside incumbent Treasurer Peggy Taylor for the past 11½ years and have been taught every aspect of the treasurer’s position. Some say that my meticulous attention to detail is a weakness; however I see it also as a strength in accurately working with numbers.

Tell us one thing that people might not know about you.

Kauffman: I love scuba diving but don’t get to go very often.

Littlefield: I love researching state code until I understand answers to questions. Another thing most people do not know about me is I am one of four women who participated in the first skinny tire bicycle racing event held in Moab in the 1980s.

What do you do for fun?

Kauffman: I enjoy working on my eight-acre farm, building Lego castles with my 2-year-old son, rafting, four-wheeling, camping and spending time with family.

Littlefield: For fun I go camping, kayaking, hiking, scuba-diving, take photographs, do quilting, attend live performances and travel in our amazing United States.

Utah State House of Representatives, District 69

Please introduce yourself. What is your name, where did you go to school, what do you do for a living and where do you live?

Bill Labrum, Republican: I’m Bill Labrum. I’m married to Lynette Peatross from Duchesne, Utah. I have four children and 15 grandchildren. I attended school at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah and Utah State University in Logan. I’m a local business owner and a new car dealer in Roosevelt.

Brad King, Democrat: I am Brad King. I was raised in Price, Utah where my Father was a professor at College of Eastern Utah and my mother taught elementary school in the Carbon School District. I went to Carbon County Schools, was active in athletics, music, speech and other extracurricular activities. I graduated from Carbon High with honors and attended CEU for a year before serving an LDS mission in Japan. After the mission I graduated from CEU and BYU Cum Laude in Elementary Education. I married Tami Imai of Helper and taught school in Las Vegas, Nevada. I was offered a job at CEU and spent the next 33 years helping young people reach their educational goals. I received my MS in education administration in 1984. Tami and I raised our 3 children, Skyler, Kitani and Hunter. Skyler and Hunter along with his wife, Britni are attending University in Pullman, Washington and Cedar City, Utah. Kitani is an RN, living in Spanish Fork with her husband, Jeff, who is a paramedic firefighter in Provo.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement.

Labrum: I’ve been involved in my local Republican Party for several years and actively involved in my county precinct. I served on the regional council for wildlife, fish and game. I’ve been involved in our economic development committees throughout my city and county. I enjoy most serving in community sporting committees and booster clubs, and volunteer at my local church.

King: I served for 12 years in the Utah State Legislature. 10 of the 12 years I was in legislative leadership. My final year I was the minority leader. I have been a youth coach for basketball and soccer. I have volunteered as a reading tutor at an elementary school and I was a Boy Scout Leader for many years.

What are your top priorities?

Labrum: My vision and priorities for our counties is to help create more jobs, more opportunities for our local citizens and a stronger local economy. You can count on me to support policies and laws that keep taxes lower. You can count on me to remove hurdles to natural resources development and focus on new jobs in energy. I really believe that a thriving economy and good-paying jobs are key to creating opportunities in eastern Utah.

King: My top priorities are protecting public education, rural job development and rural highway safety. I will work to bring attention and funding to these areas. 

What are the biggest issues facing your district?

Labrum: Energy development jobs; taking control of drugs and recognizing the issues they create in our economy and our way of life; bringing new industry development into Eastern Utah; continuing to support public education funding and opportunity; fighting for lower taxes and less government involvement.

King: The biggest issues facing district 69 are diversification of our rural economies without destroying what is special about the wonderful area in which we all live. We must also stand up to protect our area from decision makers that do not understand our issues, whether those decision makers are from Washington or Salt Lake City. I will represent district 69 and stand up to make sure that our issues are understood.

Tell us one thing that people might not know about you.

Labrum: I’m a big fan of TV’s hit reality show “Survivor,” and I applied to be on the show a few years back.

King: I attended College of Eastern Utah on academic and track scholarships.

What do you do for fun?

Labrum: I love hunting, fishing and riding ATVs with my family. I enjoy boating with my family and love to travel.

King: I am a huge Utah Jazz fan. I love to take college courses from the Teaching Company and I have recently taken up photography.

Utah State House of Representatives, District 70

Please introduce yourself. What is your name, where did you go to school, what do you do for a living and where do you live?

R. Glenn Stoneman, Constitution Party: My name is Glenn Stoneman, I live in Richfield. I work in the construction industry with an excavation company.

Describe any previous public service or community involvement.

Currently, I am president of the “Compani,” a community organization that produces two programs in Sevier County: The Easter “Convenio,” a non-denominational celebration of Easter through music and the spoken word, and “A Field of Stars,” a patriotic musical about the founding of our country.

I have been involved in Boy Scouts of America for the past 18 years as a Cub Master, Scout Master, Varsity Team Coach and currently as Scout Committee Chair for our local unit. I have received the District Award of Merit as a Scout leader.

What are your top priorities? What are the biggest issues facing your district?

A big issue facing our district is federal control of public lands. We live in a beautiful area of the country, but we have little local or state control with regards to how those lands are managed. Public lands managed by the federal government cannot be taxed and so the federal government offers a program called PILT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes).The problem is that it is getting harder and harder to get the money appropriated each year in Washington. Counties in Utah depend on that money for a substantial portion of their yearly budgets. Our public lands “managed” by the federal government are being poorly managed. Areas where there is going to be a prescribed burn can’t have trees harvested because no Environmental Impact Study has been done. It seems counterproductive to destroy timber that can be responsibly harvested and taxed but instead it just disappears in a puff of smoke. We need to have federal land turned over to state control so at the very least it can be better managed and provide jobs and tax revenue. The national parks in Utah should still be managed by the federal government, but the rest should be turned over to Utah to control.

Another issue that I feel strongly about is Common Core. We have excellent teachers in Utah, but the deeper we get entangled into Common Core the more our teachers hands will be tied as to what they can and can’t teach. Utah should leave Common Core and the chains that come with it.

What do you do for fun?

I love camping, the outdoors and teaching the U.S. Constitution.

Anything else you’d like to say?

This year you do have a conservative choice. Thank you for taking the time to read about me; I would appreciate your vote. Please visit my website, StonemanForUtah70.com.

Utah State House of Representatives, District 70

Kalen Jones, Democrat: My name is Kalen Jones and I’m running to ensure that the citizens of District 70 are represented by a responsive and tireless advocate.

I have lived in Grand County for over 20 years with my wife, Susie; own With Gaia Design, a Moab based architecture firm; have volunteered for numerous local non-profit organizations, and currently serve on the Grand County Planning Commission and the winter search and rescue team. My vision for District 70 and Utah includes education that prepares all students for success, responsible stewardship of our land, and access to affordable medical care.

Utah is struggling to adequately support our schools. I will work with the legislature to address the critical issues of excessive class size and inadequate funding. Supporting education in Utah means preparing our students for college, trade school, and their future jobs. We need to attract and retain great
teachers by validating and rewarding successful teaching practices with increased pay. Utah’s hopes for attracting business and maintaining good jobs depend on the health of our schools; strong economic growth is directly tied to the quality of our public education.

Our future economic growth and quality of life depend on clean air and water, and an environment that continues to attract people and businesses to Utah. If Utah is to assume increased control of land within its borders we must first demonstrate that we can better steward those resources we already manage. The growing air quality issues, and one-sided focus on development demonstrate that a more balanced approach is needed. While energy development will remain an important component of our state’s economy, it must not be at the expense of our heath. We must preserve the beauty and integrity of the lands so many Utahns enjoy in a variety of ways.

The Affordable Care Act has flaws, and it is here to stay. It is time to for Utah to abandon ideological posturing and productively participate in fixing our medical system. Without expanding Medicaid in Utah, a significant number of Utahns will go without the coverage required to receive adequate health care. I support expanding healthcare access, making medical treatment affordable, and creating accountability in decision-making process over healthcare policy. 

Please support me in providing the education our students deserve, finding viable and balanced solutions to managing our lands, and improving access to affordable medicine.

Utah State House of Representatives, District 70

Kay McIff, Republican: Thanks to the Moab Sun News for its interest in the candidates and the upcoming election. The outcome this year and two years from now will likely define America’s direction for many years to come.

It remains my overarching objective to bring a balanced and reasoned approach to state government. Education of the youth ranks at the top of my priorities. It was my personal ticket to opportunity and is still the most effective way to address poverty, criminal behavior and other societal ills. Utah’s public policy should foster strong schools, strong families, safe neighborhoods and fiscal responsibility.

We have been blessed with an extraordinarily beautiful landscape. It too must be protected, while being used in a responsible manner. There is room for reasonable compromises. In the natural resource area, we are faced with increasing demands on limited water resources. It will test our imagination, ingenuity and commitment to mange this resource in a manner that will serve long-range objectives.

You asked about my experience. It has been my great privilege to serve in all three branches of government. I served for many years as presiding Judge in Utah’s Sixth District Court, as a member of the Utah Judicial Council, and as Chair of the Board of Utah’s District Court Judges. Prior to the judicial appointment, I practicing law in Richfield and served multiple terms as an elected or appointed county attorney. Service in the executive branch also included Chair of Southern Utah University’s Board of Trustees, and subsequently as a member of the Utah State Board of Regents. I am a graduate of Utah State University and the University of Utah where I received a Juris Doctorate degree. My wife, Renee, and I live in Richfield and have five children and twelve grandchildren. As a legislator, I chair the House Judiciary Committee and also serve on Revenue and Taxation, Political Subdivisions and Higher Education Committees.

On a personal note, I love where we live and the things that are close by – the mountains, hunting, fishing, a day in the saddle, good friends and family. My pledge to you is to be conservative with our resources while investing in Utah’s bright future. We rank near the top of everyone’s list. Balance and common sense must remain at the core of our analysis and decision making.

The Moab Sun News invited candidates for county and state offices to answer a series of questions about issues that affect Grand County and the State of Utah. This voter guide profiles candidates who are running for three seats on the Grand County Council, as well as candidates for Grand County Clerk/ Auditor, Grand County Treasurer and two Utah State House of Representatives districts.

By-Mail Registration Deadline

Voter registration forms must be postmarked at least 30 days before an election in order to be eligible to vote in the upcoming election.

In-Person & Online Registration Deadline

You may register in-person at the Grand County Clerk’s Office up to eight days before the election. The clerk’s office is located inside the Grand County Courthouse at 125 E. Center St. in Moab. You may register online at https://secure.utah.gov/voterreg/index.html up to seven days before the election. You will not be eligible to participate in early voting, but you will be able to vote on election day.

Ballots will be mailed out on October 7, 2014.

If someone thinks he or she should receive a ballot and does not, that person should contact the clerk’s office at 435-259-1321. It may be that the clerk’s office has the correct residence, but not the correct mailing address. If voters will be out of town, “Official Election Mail” will not be forwarded.