The Sierra Club
1.What do you consider your most important contribution in preserving and protecting our environment?
My most important contribution to our environment has been my unyielding fight for a well functioning mass transit system for Salt Lake City. I am pleased and very supportive of the Lt. Rail system being developed and expanded in the UTA system. Unfortunately over the past eight years the bus system in Salt Lake City has been systematically dismantled by cutting and reducing the bus lines and service to Salt Lake City.
When I came into office eight years ago I organized a bus committee. I have continued to speak out and advocate for a bus system that will serve the citizens and visitors of Salt Lake City. I have been successful in getting $1.5 million additional into the bus service for Salt Lake City and 5 additional bus lines for the City.
We must change our behavior. We must have viable, environmentally healthy options to which we can change to. How we move about in our daily routine greatly influences our view of the world. I am the only elected official, that I am aware of, that is speaking out and working proactively for a viable bus system for the public in Salt Lake City. As goes the City, so goes the State.
2. Mayor Anderson has been praised and criticized for taking positions on issues which go beyond the traditional limits of city government. The most important examples, of course, are in global climate change and the war in Iraq. Are you willing to speak out on any of these issues.
Concerns and awareness of the environment have become universal in the world. It is no longer a novel issue to know that global warming is crucial to our existence. An example is at one of my neighborhood meetings, my 86 year old neighbor Wanda responded when asked, "what is the most the important issue
Before you?" She said "I think this global warming is the most important. I don't know what it is exactly but I know it is really important." That was telling to me. It revealed the shift that has
taken place in the masses. Given the course we are on we are sure to face an impending doom if we do not change our course immediately.
It is time to bring it home. The next leader of Salt Lake must be able and willing to break down the elements of our global problems and implement remedies for change locally. I am interested in creating a tool box of life practices that individuals can get their arms around and use in their daily lives. Wanda's statement also revealed that the good people of our City are ready to learn what they can do to be part of the solution. My commitment is to implement a range of tools and inform neighbors what we can do to assimilate lifestyle changes that will move us away from the problems we have created.
There are issues that are of moral importance and being such are not mutually exclusive for world leaders to speak to. As an elected official and a citizen I have spoken out, demonstrated, given talks, submitted testimony at federal hearings and of course called my elected leaders to insure my voice is heard. I will continue to do so. I do not know what new issues will manifest themselves in the coming years. I do know that there is a lot to do right now. My primary attention will be about doing the business of the City; neighborhoods are my emphasis and will have my greatest attention. Neighborhoods are where we live. Quality of life issues come in many forms.
3. What is your style of leadership.
Over the past eight years on the City Council I have experienced that the Administrative and Legislative arms of government are meant for balance and fairness. I have seen how much can be done working collaboratively in respect and co operation. I deeply believe that if we can not or will not reach out to other elected officials, leaders, citizens and our neighbors all will be lost. The loss will be local and global.
4. On what issues do you agree and disagree with Mayor Anderson's substantive positions on environmental policies?
While I am not sure of all the substantive positions on environmental policies (all the positions) Mayor Anderson has taken on the environment I have been very supportive of the following: automobiles to natural gas, changing out light bulbs to compact fluorescents, opposition to the Legacy Highway, expanding alternative transportation and support of clean
energy sources. These are some that come to mind that I have supported. I have led the way on other environmental issues and have gotten them passed including: xeroscaping of yards, curb side green waste pick up, water conservation, bonding for open space preservation and local mass transit system.
5. What is your position on the Northwest Quadrant Master Plan?
The Northwest Quadrant is an area that is just waiting to be developed. I say to let it wait. I know it can be developed, the question is should it be developed. I believe this is a delicate eco system that may have areas that are developable. The environmental value needs to be the driving question in this master planning process since this is bird & wild life habitat and contributes to the wet lands survival.
6. What is your opinion of a canyon interconnect between Park City and the Cottonwood Canyons?
This has been talked about for many years. I am against the interconnect proposal.
7. Would it be your policy,to continue the strong and effective policies of the Department of Public Utilities? What changes in policy or personnel would you be likely to make?
The local environment and foothill preservation has had a
friend in Leroy Hooton for more than 30 years. His visionary policy for Salt Lake City and his practices of buying up water shed land in the local canyons and foothill has been stellar. Leroy is planning to retire very soon and will be missed. In his forward thinking he has systematically gleaned a strong replacement. I do not foresee drastic changes in the Public
Utilities Department. Because there will be a new director of Public Utilities when Leroy retires it will be important to make clear the goals and to continue on the course of a strong preservation and conservation policy for Salt lake City water.
8. What kinds of things can Salt Lake City government do to protect our environment?
The time is ripe to come together as environmental advocates, governmental entities, citizens, educational organizations and policy makers. We must coalesce and be united in our abilities to foster a real climate change in every day living. We are at a critical time in the world. It will take a strong, experienced leader that can bring and welcome all concerned to the table. The problem is complex; we need the best informed and those with an expertise to provide leadership and direction. As an experienced City Council member I will continue to be seeking partnership with the Sierra Club and other environmental groups to provide necessary information, ideas and leadership. The Sierra Club and others have worked hard and long for the environment. It is your time in the sun. What you have learned and advocated for so many years is desperately needed by us all.
Thank you for the chance to answer your questions.