The election season has begun, and we have two serious contenders this year. (One BYU student who has no chance). Those two men are Steve Turley and Coy Porter.
Steve Turley has been on the City Council for 3 1/2 years now. He is often the odd-man out, and is responsible for more 6-1 votes than any other member of the council. Most of the council's work is on zoning and developments. He is very consistent in voting for the cause of developers, realtors and a "landlord friendly" view of property rights. He is not the neighborhood-friendly candidate. He has been at odds with the Mayor multiple times, and has been an "expensive" member of our Council. You might ask what I'm talking about...
Remember the dispatch incident where a young man called 911 and they couldn't find him, since he called on a cell phone. Turley anxiously politicized that event, and did a great job of making sure our cities failures were well publicized to the media. For good or for bad, he did a great job of making sure the lawyers for the young man's family had all the ammunition they needed to push for an expensive settlement. Simply put, he cost us money, and I'm not talking about the meager salary received by Council Members.
He does have one thing I have to respect him for, which is voting against I-Provo. Under our current business model, where the state restricts our city to being a wholesaler, I-Provo is going to be a perpetual problem. I'm not sure we had a realistic business model in the first place. Turley does tend to be a friend of our park system, and has pushed in his own way for a new Rec Center. He did lead the budget committee in their updating of City Impact fees for new development, which included, for the first time a park impact fee to expand Provo's park system. Perhaps for the Joaquin Neighborhood, his most concerning votes have been the many votes he cast against funding NHS purchase rehab projects. He also voted against our wishes to change the "title" of 200 North to a residential street-vs its current, more intensive label.
His opponent this year is Coy Porter, our former Fire Chief. Coy has lived in Provo for 45 years, and is no stranger to our city, and its government. His father was actually a member of the City Council years ago. Coy is definitely Turley's opposite in terms of his support for neighborhoods, and revitalization. He wasn't on the council when i-Provo so I can't give you a comparison there. He does have a solid record of being able to work as a team player within the City, and will likely be more effective in leading instead of just opposing. His previous position has given him experience at the budget process, and management. His platform includes support for NHS and the city's programs encouraging owner occupancy. He lives in the Franklin Neighborhood, one of our fellow Pioneer neighborhoods.
I encourage you to ask them questions, learn more and really evaluate these two men. Find out which one really matches your views about the future of our city. I have given you my very condensed description of the race--now you need to make a decision. The primary, which is on September 11th, will eliminate one of the three people who has filed.