Mayoral candidates visit
Pair of valley politicians compete for student vote, answer questions
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 13:11
Logan city mayoral candidates arrived on Wednesday at the Eccles Conference Center to answer questions from USU students.
The debate was sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha — the political science honor society — USU College Democrats, College Republicans and the Government Relations Council. Questions were asked from a panel made of Student Advocate Vice President Daryn Frischknecht, Utah Public Radio news coordinator Matt Jensen and USU political science professor Damon Cann.
Questions ranged from topics about the new water treatment center, parking, air quality, the downtown economy and traffic congestion. The candidates were given 90 seconds on their first answer and 30 seconds for a rebuttal answer.
“People say, ‘Gee, a third term, why?’” said Logan mayor Randy Watts. “Accountability. The bottom line is I have a list of things that I’ve been ingrained into that I want to see done.”
Watts has served as mayor for eight years. Previously, he owned and operated J.R. Construction for 14 years, was vice-president of Sunshine Terrace Board of Directors and was a member of the USU Board of Trustees.
“If it’s (not) broken, why change it?” Watts said.
County councilman and mayoral candidate Craig Petersen doesn’t think the city is broken. He wants to make it more efficient.
“It’s not broken,” Petersen said. “It’s whether we’re getting the maximum number of miles out of our vehicles.”
Petersen has been on the city council for 18 years and recently retired as a professor at USU. He served as the president’s chief of staff and vice-provost.
When asked what the most pressing issue facing Logan was, they both answered with the new water treatment facility. The Environmental Protection Agency has required the city to change its water system — a project estimated to cost $111 million.
“I’m running for third term because I’m in the throat of this discussion with senators and the governor,” Watts said. “We might get $70 million from state. This is the biggest single impact that this valley will see as far as dollars and it will affect every resident. It will be costly no matter how we do it.”
Petersen agreed the treatment facility is the number one issue facing the city and the valley.