The questions by Save Mulligans are in blue and my responses are below each question.
1. What are your views on open space in general, and how do those views apply to open space in South Jordan?
As growth in the Salt Lake Valley continues to explode, it is vital to everyone that we find various ways to preserve open space. South Jordan’s land is a limited resource and we need more open space that allows for recreation and rejuvenation. Historically, South Jordan has done a great job of preserving land along the Jordan River; unfortunately, in recent years developments have been allowed to creep closer and closer to the Jordan River threatening to destroy the natural beauty of this area.
Some of the first city council meetings I attended were because of the city’s initial attempt to shut down Mulligans. While I am not an avid golfer, I recognize the beauty of the area and the need to preserve Mulligans in order to preserve the open space that it provides. It was at one of those first city council meetings that I attended, that I met Julie Holbrook and gladly went home with a Save Mulligans yard sign, which allowed me to educate my neighbors concerning the threats to Mulligans.
I recognize and understand that once we allow development of our open spaces we can never reclaim that space. South Jordan needs to continue its efforts to preserve the open space along the Jordan River. Various consultants have offered their views and visions on what they feel the South Jordan Parkway should become. However, it should be the residents of South Jordan that determine what happens in their own backyard.
I also feel it is critical that South Jordan’s parks, trails, and open spaces reflect the surveyed needs of our residents. Before we build new parks or enhance existing parks, we need to analyze how our current parks are being used and how we can improve the design so they will be a greater asset to the community.
Recognizing the importance of parks, trails, and open space my wife and I started Friends of Welby Park in an effort to educate Salt Lake County and South Jordan leaders about designing Welby Park based on sound principles that will make Welby park a beautiful, safe, creative place that will enhance South Jordan’s parks and open space.
If elected, I will work to provide and preserve quality parks, trails, and open spaces throughout South Jordan.
2. What do you know about the Mulligans Master Plan, formerly Staples Plan B? What is your opinion of the proposed plan?
My understanding of the Mulligans Master Plan is that it puts Mulligans in danger of no longer being Mulligans. The master plan for Mulligans intends to change the identity of Mulligans. The Staples Group even wanted to rename Mulligans and rebrand its identity. While the city did put a stop to changing Mulligans name, unfortunately they did not put a stop to changing its identity.
I believe expanding the miniature golf area is a questionable business decision when it has been stated that surrounding cities will be adding new miniature golf courses to their cities. Furthermore, the removal of the batting cages will only remove one more group of users from Mulligans, while also hurting the local high school teams that use the batting cages for practice. I understand that the batting cages are getting harder to maintain and replacement parts are harder to find, but instead of removing the batting cages the City should explore replacing the batting cages with newer equipment. The addition of a park between the driving range and the Jordan River trail is also another questionable feature of the plan. Having golfed enough to know that driving range balls do not stay in the driving range, even with high fences (which would only add visual pollution to this area), this park would not be in harmony with the types of parks residents of South Jordan are requesting. The plan also calls for a new trailhead; however, this new trailhead would be better achieved by the City partnering with the corporate business center South of Mulligans as people already use the business center parking lot and are creating their own trail heads to access the Jordan River Parkway Trail.
I am against the Mulligans Master Plan and believe the city should first complete the many deferred maintenance projects and increase its advertising of Mulligans to the entire Salt Lake Valley, before they implement any development plans.
If I had been on the city council, when the plan came before the City Council I would have voted against this plan.
3. The Mulligans Master Plan will be funded by incurring debt through bonds on Mulligans through the Mulligans Enterprise Fund with estimates of the cost between $6-12 million. What is your opinion of this funding plan?
I am against the city incurring debt to implement the Mulligans Master Plan. I believe that Mulligans should use its own profits to make needed maintenance improvements that are now required due to the city’s deferred maintenance.
4. What ideas do you have for the management of Mulligans and for keeping activities affordable for families?
As the city continues to state that Mulligans should run as a business, then the city needs to allow Mulligans to function as a business. I recognize that I am not a golf expert and do not have all the solutions to managing Mulligans as a profitable, yet affordable business; therefore, I would rely upon and encourage the city to listen to those business experts that are willing to offer their time to preserve Mulligans. I believe that Mulligans provides unique recreational opportunities for our residents and that any management decisions that are made should ensure that Mulligans retains its unique identity.
5. How will you interact with the citizens of South Jordan?
I will continue to work to foster a healthy, open dialogue to engage residents in the decisions that shape South Jordan. I recognize that when city leaders are willing to work with residents, that together we can create positive solutions to the issues facing the city. While working on Friends of Welby Park, my wife and I realized that Salt Lake County and South Jordan were not allowing the voices of residents to be heard so we organized our own successful open house to give the residents of South Jordan a voice. I will continue to work in the same manner as city councilman. I will reach out to residents so they know they can contact me, and I will work with groups and individuals who are willing to work towards solutions that improve our city.
6. What are your qualifications to serve as mayor or on the city council?
Over the past few years, I have followed the issues concerning our city. I have attended city council meetings and open houses concerning: transportation, trails, parks & open space, and growth. I love South Jordan and want to help ensure that the city will continue to be a family-friendly city with flourishing businesses and recreational opportunities. Professionally, I am a General Manager in the steel industry. I have also served as the President of the Utah Steel Fabricators Association (USFA) and I am currently serving as a USFA board member. I have also served on various community committees. Through my experience, I strongly feel that our community should have a greater voice in the decisions that are being made.
Please contact me and let me know your opinions and views concerning Mulligans, Open Space, and other issue that are facing our city.