Kress Staheli f0r washington city council

Kress Staheli is prepared and ready for a second term on the Council where he intends to continue being an advocate and a voice for ALL residents of Washington City. 

putting Washington city first.

Get to know more about kress:

Why Are You Running For City Council?

I’m running because I believe we can do better. I served on the planning commission and a term on the council before choosing to take a break so others could serve, hopeful Washington City was on course. However, since then I’ve witnessed budgets enlarged, citizens’ voices over an off-ramp and zone changes dismissed, flooding issues remain unresolved, and government roll forward unchecked. It’s time to get back to representing the people of Washington City and putting their concerns first. It’s time to plan for the future and balance growth with the best interest of citizens at heart. It’s time we do better for Washington City.

Do you have any experience in local government?

I served on the Planning Commission from 2010 to 2012, greatly learning about the public process in the course. I was elected and served a term on the City Council from 2012 to 2016. I didn’t run for re-election at the time. The experience gained in dedicated service then, has uniquely positioned me to effectively serve now.

What is your profession?

I’m a small business owner. I have owned and operated a Farmers Insurance Agency for 20 years, helping people protect what’s important to them. I’ve been very blessed to have a career that provides flexibility to serve and give back to the community. I work with great people and am glad to be there for them when the unexpected happens or a tragedy occurs.

Do you make a living in any way that could benefit you by being elected?

No.

Do you have a college degree?

I graduated from Southern Utah University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Accounting. This degree has been valuable over the years as I understand how to read and interpret Financial Statements and Reports. It is also helpful for setting, approving, and overseeing the Washington City Budget, a critical role of the council.

How have you served your country and community?

I carried on a family tradition of military service, following my father and older brother, as a soldier in the Utah Army National Guard. I served for 8 years with local Field Artillery and Military Intelligence Units. I dedicated 2 years to church service as a missionary in France. I’ve been a church youth group leader and scout leader for many years, helping young people develop good morals and values that will serve them throughout their lives. I’ve volunteered many hours to coaching and mentoring youth in sports in a way that has made them better in their sport and in life.

Do you have a criminal record?

No.

Have you ever filed bankruptcy?

No.

In your opinion, what is the proper role of municipal government?

The City is working best when you don’t notice it. Municipal government is designed to organize essential services to citizens in the most efficient way possible. It should not take away freedoms or be burdensome in any way. We are fortunate that Washington City provides adequate police and fire services, as well as water, sewer, power, roads, parks and recreation. These services should be provided with utmost prudence and care of taxpayers’ dollars.  

What is the role of the City Council?

The City Council is the governing or legislative branch of municipal government. The Council sets the priorities and oversees staff as they carry out Council directives. The Council sets and approves the budget. Much of the Council’s time is spent on ordinances, particularly those dealing with “land-use”, the way the city develops. This is done within the guidelines of the City Code https://www.sterlingcodifiers.com/codebook/index.php?book_id=657 and General Plan https://washingtoncity.org/development/generalplan. My experience on the Planning Commission and the Council has helped me understand this process well. Being away for a few years has reminded me of just how important and valuable receiving and responding to public input is in this process.

Do you believe the city should implement policies to slow the growth in our city?

Growth is good for the city, but it should be managed and considerate of those already established. The General Plan is our City’s document that guides future growth. It’s important for residents to be familiar with this document so they know how growth could affect them. Every so often the city will update this plan, and that time is a great opportunity for residents to share input. The council can be much more responsive to concerns at this phase than at the zoning or plating phases, when a developer has already vested time and money based on the General Plan guidelines. 

If Elected, What Is A Project You Believe Would Be Beneficial For The Community?

Veterans Park at the heart of downtown is a priority for me. It is a gathering place for residents of all neighborhoods in our city, and often the first impression for visitors. Our downtown look and feel around Veterans Park should embrace our rich heritage and provide a unique place that current and future generations can enjoy. Recreational Arts and Parks or RAP Tax revenue would be an ideal way to fund these improvements.

https://portal.washco.utah.gov/rap/

Have you read through the 2019-2020 city budget and do you have any concerns with it?

I have read this years’ budget https://washingtoncity.org/government/budget. In fact I was the only non elected or staff resident in attendance at the recent City Council Meeting when they opened the meeting for Public Comment about the budget which took effect July 1st, 2019. The obvious concern is that this fiscal year budget is almost 30% higher than the previous years’. When looking closer a main reason for that is a long list of Capital Projects. This will make for a very busy year with several street, sewer, power, storm drain and other projects. I am always concerned with properly funding and staffing Firefighters at each of our stations. I have concerns anytime I see loans from an Enterprise Funds (Sewer in this case) to the General Fund. I am interested to see how the Fleet Management approach works for the city.

What should the city do to promote affordable housing?

Proper Land Use Designations https://www.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?webmap=e3b4d8adecae462fac6fa80883584816  in the General Plan which allows for higher density zoning in appropriate areas can help. Filling in established neighborhoods rather than sprawl can also make a difference. One way to revitalize older areas would be to reduce or eliminate impact fees on new single family, owner occupied, residential homes there. 

What should the city do to promote higher wages?

We must let industry know that Washington City is “Open for Business”, and then replace any red tape with the red carpet in attracting businesses. We have some excellent opportunities to create an environment to attract industry near the airport and along the Southern Parkway. We also need to establish and build a great relationship with Dixie State University to support and grow tech https://www.ksl.com/article/46585685/tech-salaries-are-a-lot-higher-than-the-utah-average , hospitality, tourism, healthcare and other career opportunities. 

What is your opinion about the Main Street or MilePost 11 Interchange and Off-ramp?

In my opinion, another solution, perhaps an expanded frontage road and overpass, lengthened on and off ramps at Exit 10, or widened lanes at the intersection of Telegraph and Green Springs, could have been explored more fully rather than jumping right to a new freeway off-ramp on Main Street. My understanding is the Council of the last 4 years initiated an Environmental Study https://www.mp11.org/ in 2017 for the off ramp to be there, and that action has funneled into a situation where UDOT has now collaborated with Washington City and accepted the project. What I’ve heard now is that it is a UDOT decision, and it is on their list to build. I’m not sure anything can be done to stop it at this point. We may only be able to work with UDOT to get the least intrusive design. It remains to be seen just how much traffic relief to the Telegraph and Green Springs interchange this will offer. It also remains to be seen how it will impact Downtown and the quality of life of those who live there. Certainly the impact to some living there will be severe.

What is a pressing issue currently facing Washington City?

Flooding. https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/07/14/mgk-homes-flood-power-goes-out-as-significant-rainfall-hits-washington-city/#.XRz04-hKiUk “100 year” floods seem to be an annual event each July with the Monsoon storms. Curb and gutter, and storm drains on Main Street are uncomfortable, but necessary steps in the right direction. Detention basins above the freeway must also be expanded and improved to keep the water from flowing into homes below.

What other issues are on your mind?

With the exponential growth resulting in new elementary, intermediate, middle and high schools in the Washington Fields, our children’s safety is a top priority. With a mix of subdivisions and farm fields, many roads have no sidewalks, and children on foot, bike or bus will compete with traffic to get to and from school. The Police, Fire, and Streets Departments will all need to work together to do all they can to keep them safe. https://www.washk12.org/student-services/safety-emergency/student-safety 

Want to ask a question?

“Kress represents the people of Washington City. I fully support his election to the Washington City Council.”

Brady Miller

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Primary Election August 13
 
General Election November 5
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