When You Vote for Dirk, You Can Expect:
STRONG MAYORAL GOVERNMENT
West Jordan is now the fourth largest city in Utah, closing in on the third. Our growth rate compels us to move forward to a different kind of city planning and leadership. As we transition from a manager-council government to a mayor-council government, aka "Strong Mayor", our new mayor will be responsible to the people and will have veto power over the West Jordan City Council. I feel strongly that choosing this path with the right mayor will ensure another layer of protection for the people of West Jordan.
I am in favor of this change, and have been since before I was on the council, while our current mayor fought against it. When elected, I will evaluate all services, departments, and financial data to identify the best path for sustainable success. I will use my thirty years of business experience, twenty years of civic experience, and past four years as a current West Jordan City Council member to make decisions that benefit all West Jordan residents.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This is not the re-election of the existing councilor mayor. This is a new position where we effectively elect the CEO of the city. Our new mayor is the executive of the city, no longer part of the Council. As Mayor/CEO I will lead West Jordan in partnerships and alliances with city, county, state and federal governments-with which I have already built relationships-to benefit all of West Jordan.
As mayor, I will oversee that the monthly and quarterly cash reconciliation financial update reports are provided to the council and made public. These reports include Surplus Balances, General Fund, Redevelopment Agencies, Building Authority, Capital Support, Road Capital, Parks Capital, Building Capital, Water Fund, Sewer Fund, Solid Waste Fund, Storm Water Fund, Street Light Fund, Information Technology Fund, Payroll Fund, and Economical Development.
With this detailed information, we can better research budgets and make proper decisions. When important decisions need to be made, our options are restricted to the information provided. There is insufficient transparency among the West Jordan City departments. We will do better under my leadership as mayor.
I will make sure financial information is provided to the city council members so problems can be examined from all angles to find viable and innovative solutions, as well as cost-cutting measures as appropriate.
Businesses help bring in critical revenue to help residents avoid carrying heavy tax burdens alone. Business growth has to be managed clearly and intelligently to best meet the needs of both West Jordan businesses and residents. I understand this since I have had my own electrical contracting business for thirty years along with my twenty years of civic service. I understand the needs of both businesses and government.
As a councilman, I was awarded the 2018 "100% Business Friendly Voting Record" by the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce. The current mayor received 14% and another mayoral candidate in this election was 29%.
With the latest, enormous, 33% water rate increase, as well as the nearly 20% property tax increase, the West Jordan business climate is challenging. I voted against both of these increases. These water rate increases were after a 17% increase in 2018 and a 10% increase this year. Keep in mind that businesses are usually hit with much higher percentages, larger fees, and receive no discount on property market value assessments as residents do. These increases make it less enticing for businesses to come to West Jordan.
A company in West Jordan revealed to me that they were scheduled for a large project. The water rate and property tax increases resulted in a six-figure expense for this company, thus they were unable to expand in West Jordan with the project going elsewhere. According to the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce, this growth would have doubled the number of employees for this company. Here alone West Jordan lost about 700 potential jobs.
Another company in West Jordan expanded into Salt Lake City, which provided a low-cost alternative to its existing West Jordan location. I am hearing about other companies that have left, or plan to leave when their lease is up. Some have lost major projects because of these substantial rate increases. I will work on reducing water rates and taxes to welcome economic development in West Jordan.
When businesses are thriving, the city is thriving as well. Learn how my opponents have voted on these very issues. Vote for someone who cares about West Jordan's citizens, small and large businesses alike, and incoming new businesses that help spread the tax base.
MANAGEMENT OF GROWTH & INFRASTRUCTURE
Managing growth and infrastructure at a sustainable rate requires great planning and foresight. Growth must be managed or it will manage us. That means housing developments must be held back until the infrastructure is at least at the planning stage. All types of housing are needed, but I am particularly concerned about affordable housing, and I will work to manage the growth at a sustainable rate.
Another glaring problem for West Jordan citizens is traffic issues. The East-West traffic flow will get an additional lane each way on 9000 South from 700 West to Redwood Road in the next year. North-South traffic flow has gotten a reprieve with UDOT upgrading Bangerter with fewer lights. But we need to work toward a long term solution.
Answers can be found in the Western Growth Coalition, of which I have been a member for ten years. This coalition includes cities, unincorporated areas, surrounding mayors, council members, businesses, chambers of commerce, Utah League of City and Towns, Wasatch Front Regional Council, UDOT, all utilities, and private citizens. Our goal is to formulate a plan this year to resolve some of these traffic issues.
Another effective collaborative group is the Salt Lake County Council of Governments (COG), with which I have been associated for four years. We need to work closely with COG, which is charged with coordinating property purchases for future roads in the county. We can find funding and approval for these future projects.
Taking care of the citizens of West Jordan is one of the most important items that city leaders can address. We have fire and police force that is well-trained, effective, and responds in a timely manner to protect our citizens.
In 2018, I voted yes to increase the budget for police and fire departments. The city hired five additional police officers in the last year. I believe we still need more police officers for a more timely response. The fire department hired nine additional fire officers in the last year and their response time is better than the average national time of five minutes.
We need to closely follow response times, technological breakthroughs of tools/equipment, and training/qualifications of personnel. This should be consistently monitored to provide safety and protection for the people of West Jordan.
One of the differences between my opponents and me is not whether we pay for police and fire, but how we pay for it. I feel that these costs should be paid for with economic development and cutting costs in other areas of the budget rather than tax increases.
I believe strongly in our responsibility as leaders to limit taxes and fees where we can for the West Jordan residents and businesses. We should closely evaluate every proposed dollar of spending, and we should reduce costs and improve procedures, so our funds will reach their full efficiency. In the last two years at city council meetings, only a few cost-cutting measures have been implemented.
Unless changes are made, taxes and fees will continue to rise at unreasonable rates. West Jordan needs a transparent mayor they can trust. As mayor, I will make those changes by looking for better ways to utilize every dollar that represents our taxpayers' burden. Individuals, families, and businesses of West Jordan have to be financially to survive and so should our city! Please check the voting records of all three candidates running for mayor. It will be clear that I am the candidate who works to keep costs under control.
Back in 2017, West Jordan City Council approved the building of an art facility, and earmarked money in the fund and received a $2,000,000 grant from Salt Lake County to construct the facility. There was even a groundbreaking ceremony. The fences have come down and the project has been stopped. Now our grant with Salt Lake County may be lost. We will have to reapply for the grant with no guarantee that we will secure it again.
As mayor, I will see projects through so money and planning will not be wasted.
REASONABLE WATER RATES
With the public outcry about recent water rate increasings, West Jordan City is sending out the information to the public.
Line 1, Gross revenues, is how much money is received after the city bills the customers.
Line 2, Operating expenses, is what the city has to pay to get the water to your house, including the charge to Jordan Valley Water Conservancy for the water itself.
Line 3, Net revenue, is what is left after the city pays all of the expenses.
Line 4, Debt service, are current responsibilities for paying off bonds (used to build water tanks).
Line 5, Debt coverage ratio, is the ratio of revenue over debt. The state minimum for this ratio is 1.25.
We didn't need such large water increases, which is why I didn't vote for the huge water rate increase of 33%. Unfortunately, it passed anyway.
There is no reason for these increases and the burden this is putting on citizens and businesses alike.