Salt Lake County’s population has grown dramatically. Growth can be good, but we need a plan. The county has failed to provide a plan that balances the need for adequate housing, infrastructure, air quality, decreasing traffic, preserving open space and finally solving our homelessness crisis in Utah.
County government should work hand-in-hand with cities to understand development issues, forsee problems, and advocate on their behalf to ensure adequate infrastructure, open space preservation and needed improvements to their local communities.
As Mayor of Riverton, Trent has achieved real results in this area. He led a coalition of Mayors to create a visioning study to properly prepare for growth in the county. He saw that there was no plan for smart growth, so he created one. That is the type of vision we need in Salt Lake County.
Real leaders empower those around them. The county should empower our cities and local communities. Rather than collecting our taxes and using them for special projects, your funds should stay in your community.
Sadly, hundreds of millions of our sales tax dollars are controlled by a select few at the county level, resulting in far fewer opportunities for many cities. If adminstered locally, services would be more abundant, less costly, have more oversight and ultimately bring better value and service to residents.
Trent understands that problems will only be solved through bottom-up collaboration, not top-down direction and will ensure that every community will have a seat at the table. Empowering communities to do what works best for them, and have their voice heard. That is the type of innovation we need in Salt Lake County.
We just experienced one of the largest county tax increases in history last fall at the request of the county mayor and adoption of the county budget.
The Salt Lake County population has grown 5% in the last five years, while new property and sales tax collections have increased 20%. Unfortunately, expenses have grown over 30% in the same timeframe. Simply put, that's why taxes are going up -- the inability to reign in spending.
Trent has saved taxpayers millions of dollars by innovating in the city of Riverton. He saw that many of the services the county offered came at a higher cost, with lower service. He can bring the same discipline and innovative approach to the county. This is the type of leadership we need in Salt Lake County.
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