In the next 5 months Layton City could see almost a total change of leadership. There are no incumbents in the Council race and no incumbents in the Mayoral race. That means out of six positions there could be a change of four and possibly 5 five. What will it bring? I don’t really know. I feel like there are three decisions possible on most issues. There are some decisions which are just wrong and doesn’t take a lot of thought. There are those that are right and are easy to make. Then there are several in the middle which could go either way in a heartbeat.
Today I’d like to talk about the middle ones. The ones that aren’t really right or wrong. They are what we want as a city. Each elected person will be elected by people who expect them to vote like they would. While that’s probable, it is not always possible.
If elected, let me give you my take. I’ve been around this city for over fifty years. More than half of those years were spent working as a city employee. I have worked with the Mayor and council many times for many years. I believe the most successful leaders were those who looked beyond today and instead of seeing what it is, they saw what it would become. This is where I believe lies my greatest quality. When we built the amphitheater, we had to do it little by little. There was always a project going for 25 years to make it better. Those who have lived through it can verify it. Look what we had and what we have today, and we still aren’t done. Look at our ball parks. We built Ellison Park which has become a gem in the county. We have another 40 acres next to it to build even more athletic fields. This was done with the future in mind. We knew with our growth what we had wasn’t enough. Thirty years ago, we had no gyms except the Armory. Now we have 13 full size basketball courts by partnering with the Davis School District. Instead of just renting, we are actual owners of these facilities with a cost savings of 50% to city residents.
We are now faced with many issues resulting from the tremendous growth we have seen and will continue to see as Layton grows. Fire Station 4 is badly needed. At issue is the funding. Hopefully the funding decision will be postponed until the city leadership has been established after the election. Roads need to be improved and traffic patterns altered. This involves cooperation with UDOT on some roads and city construction improvements on others. Build-out population for Layton City is projected to be approximately 120,000. Where are all of these families going to live? What kind of housing developments do we want to have in our city? How can we manage development? What is the best way to work with developers so they will see the vision we want for our city? Do we need to initiate city guidelines to developers so we can provide quality housing that will be beautiful now and 20 years into the future? How can we maintain enough green space to make our city aesthetically pleasing and functional? These are the hard questions. The solutions to these questions take excellent management by city leaders who aren’t afraid to look to the future.
As a councilman, I know I will continue to look for opportunities to see Layton grow in a forward-thinking manner. I’m not a wishy, washy person. If you hear me say something, you can count on it. My vote as a council member may not be the popular one, but it will be what I think is right and best for all of the citizens of Layton. Sorry for the length, but I love this town and when I get going, well I get a little carried away.
Thanks for your time, Dave Thomas for Layton City Council