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Showing posts from March, 2014

Jake Parkinson - Candidate for the Salt Lake County Assessor

First Meeting, 25 March 2014

Jake Parkinson is currently serving as the Appraisal Supervisor in Tooele County.  He has worked as an appraiser in public and private positions for about the last 10 years.  You can read more about his background on his website.

Mr. Parkinson's general position seems to be that the existing management structure in the Salt Lake County Assessor office has been around for too long (he cites that it has been in place for 18 years) and that this longevity is stifling change.

He, like Mr. Jacobs, cites that appraisals in new growth areas in Salt Lake County are currently of inconsistent quality.  While Mr. Jacobs feels that appraisers with regional expertise will fix the problem, Mr. Parkinson feels that revising the statistical model used to appraise homes is a better approach.  At the risk of oversimplifying, Mr. Parkinson believes that more trust in data will fix the appraisal issue while Mr. Jacobs believes that less trust in data will fix it.

Mr. Park…

Kevin Jacobs - Candidate for Salt Lake County Assessor

First Meeting, 25 March 2014

Kevin Jacobs and Jake Parkinson are both vying to be the Republican candidate for Salt Lake County Assessor.  A few months ago (September if my memory serves), the former county assessor, Lee Gardner resigned.  There were four names that were being considered and both Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Parkinson were on the short list.  Mr. Jacobs was appointed by the Republican party and has been serving there for the last 6-7 months.

Lee Gardner served in that position for 19 years preceding his resignation; Mr. Jacobs worked in the assessor's office during that entire time (23 years total).

I only had a few minutes to talk with Mr. Jacobs, and I'm planning on going to a second meet-the-candidates so that I can get more time with him.  However, here is what I was able to learn in those few minutes:

Mr. Jacobs believes he is the better pick due to his experience in the office.  Having worked in the largest county for the last 23 years including 7 months in the po…

Wanda Amann - Candidate for Salt Lake County Clerk

First Meeting, 25 March 2014

I met Wanda Amann at the same time as Steve Nelson and Jake Petersen.

I don't have a lot to say except that I am disappointed that this is the best the Republican party could come up with to challenge Sherrie Swensen.

Wanda is very new to politics and as far as I can tell worked very hard on the Romney campaign.  Other than that, she hasn't worked in the County Clerk's office or any other government position that would help her to understand what the job would entail.

She gave a short pitch about herself as a candidate which amounted to her stating that she was a Republican several times over and that she would bring innovation to an office that hasn't seen a change in over 20 years.  She (perhaps inaccurately) came off as reasoning that she deserved the position because she was not a democrat.

She half-heartedly mentioned that she felt there needed to be more automation in voting, but failed to describe what that meant.

Delegates at the …

Jake Petersen - Candidate for Salt Lake County Sheriff

First Meeting, 25 March 2014

I met Jake Petersen at the same meeting that I met Steve Nelson.  They both strongly endorse one another, and honestly, Steve's endorsement of Jake is what keeps my ears open.  I was very impressed with Steve, but I remain unsure about Jake.

For the most part, Jake comes off as a bit naive and idealistic.  Throughout the evening, he fell back onto stories of his childhood regarding hard work, e.g. his mother making him dig trenches, to outline his principals of small government, a more personalized police force, and more efficient use of funds.

There wasn't much discussion of what Jim Winder is doing "wrong" or what Jake could do better.  The only comparisons were offered by the delegates and they were all ad hominem in nature.

Mr. Petersen did express some ideas that I'd like to hear him elaborate on somewhere down the road.  The first he mentioned was that public in-person contact between officers and citizens needs to be increased.…

Steve Nelson - Candidate for Salt Lake County District Attorney

I've pondered how I'm going to organize all this information, and I've decided to have a post for each person that I meet.  Whenever I get more information about each person, I'll add it to the end of the corresponding post with the date attached.

First Meeting, 25 March 2014

I regret to say that my very first impression of Steve was that his picture looked a little "aristocratic".  When I went to the meeting, I thought I'd be hearing from someone that had a high opinion of himself, etc.

Boy, was I surprised.  Within a few seconds, I realized that I had just met a fervent, well-spoken, thoughtful, hard-working servant of the people.  He is currently employed by the SLC District Attorney's Office as the Unit Chief of Violent Felonies, having worked as a prosecutor overall for 11 years.  He is directly involved in a number of drug-endangered children initiatives and is endorsed by the Federated Brotherhood of Police Officers as well as the SLC Police Ass…

Caucus

Last Thursday, I did my civic duty by attending caucus.

My job, as I perceived it, was to sit with a few dozen politically-far-right citizens and vote for the ones that appeared to be the most open-minded and closest to center.  This has been difficult in past years since caucus typically attracts the most politically convicted among us; however, I hoped to find several atypical attendees due to President Thomas Monson's request that LDS church members attend caucus.

In our area, they announced the starting time as 6pm.  Caucus actually started at 7pm, so those of us who were told the incorrect time had a lot of time to get to know each other.  (By the way, Fort Herriman Middle School's band room is way better than I ever had!)

My first foray into the conversation was a bit of a microcosm for how the night was going to go for me.  The current Precinct Secretary said, "I wonder how the democratic caucus went."  Of course, I can't be sure whether she really wanted …