Category: Campaign

Transparency

Transparency

Many people do not realize that elected city officials often receive compensation outside of their regular salaries. These individuals serve on boards that provide additional compensation for their time. Generally speaking, the compensation is fairly modest and reasonable. However, gathering the information to understand what our elected officials are be paid can be time consuming and tedious.

This lack of transparency has arguably led to some abuse of the system. Elected officials are able to increase their compensation through service on various boards, like the board of Heber Light & Power, under the cover of bureaucracy. For this reason, I disclose every dollar I receive in compensation under my bio on the city website; and to this date, I am the only elected city official to do so. I am, and will remain, committed to transparency.

See for yourself here.

Utah’s Freest City

Utah’s Freest City

In 2015, the Libertas Institute named Heber the freest city in Utah. The recognition was based on a study that evaluated the degree to which local governments respect individual liberty, private property, and free enterprise. Heber had very high scores in all three categories.

Our city has always valued individual liberty, and this value has been an underlying theme of my years in public service. Because I value the freedom of property owners, I opposed the recent effort to rezone parts of Heber. Because I value individual liberty, I have opposed needless regulations and taxes. From low taxes, to strong property rights–I will always protect the individual liberty of our residents.

Learn more about the study here.

Heber Light & Power

Heber Light & Power

As Chairman of the Board of Heber Light & Power, I have worked with the other Mayors and board members to bring about a positive change to the company.  The board has worked together with management to ensure the company’s integrity is preserved and that it is financially sound.   A vital part of this change came in the hiring of a new General Manager. I am happy to report that he has provided strong leadership and is moving the company forward to meet all the challenges that are inherent in the electric company business.

Heber Light and Power has also adopted a better rate structure system for residential and commercial customers. This change will help to prevent the subsidization of some customers by others. Another necessary change occurred in employee policies. We have gone through the personnel policies of the employees and have made (and will continue to make) appropriate cuts and changes to better serve the rate payers and to strengthen the company.

The board and management hired a new CFO.  The new CFO and the board have set up a strong security system to watch over the finances of the company.   We have moved from in house legal, to out sourcing our legal counsel.

Most importantly, as I promised, I personally made sure all the money from the insurance increase of the previous board members and city council members, was paid back in entirety.

Thanks to these changes and the dedication of the Heber Light & Power employees, services provided by Heber Light & Power have been recognized as being among the best in state.  The employees are knowledgeable, professional, and they take great pride in their work and in the company. All of these accomplishments and many more have been a team effort with the board and management working together.

Managing Growth

Managing Growth

If you ask any resident why Heber Valley is so special to them, they will probably tell you about beautiful mountain ranges, the open sky lines, the clear starry nights, and the good people of this valley. These are all things that make Heber Valley a special place to live and they can never be purchased or replaced.

With the rapid pace of new growth in Heber, it is easy to see how we could quickly lose the things we cannot replace.

Over the past few decades, Heber Valley has experienced unprecedented growth. The once small farming community of Heber that I grew up in is now covered with new homes and businesses.  As is their right, land owners are finding new uses for their land and existing properties.  The challenge with new land uses is knowing how to keep the identity of our small town and integrate it with the new growth.

Seeing firsthand the challenges new growth presents, I invited Envision Utah and Mountain Lands to give a presentation to the city council regarding strategies that can be incorporated to help us best manage our rapid growth and development.   Partnering with one of these groups would be very beneficial as Heber City does not have the staffing in place nor the expertise required to pull together the huge quantities of data that must be analyzed in order to create a community that we all enjoy living in and that is business-friendly. The city and the county must work together on these issues and prepare now for future growth.  The City will need impact fees and good planning advice to get ahead of this growth.  We must recognize that constant growth is here and will continue. We need to prepare now for the changes that will inevitably come so that we can maintain our beautiful community and allow Heber City to thrive during this process.

Growing Business

Growing Business

Businesses are the lifeblood of our economy in Heber City. I have been a small business owner in this valley for over 30 years and this experience helps me to better understand what businesses need in order to thrive.

Companies like to vet out cities like Heber; we are being vetted out all the time to see if coming to Heber is a viable option. Companies spend a lot of money collecting data and information to aid them in the decision-making process.  These data miners not only know how the residents are spending their money, but what credit cards they use.

Companies interested in moving to Heber or expanding a business that is here currently will look for land that is prepared.  They will also evaluate building availability, city amenities, services, culture of the city, and how quickly they can move through the city’s planning and permitting process.

To make our city more business-friendly and attractive to new and existing businesses, I asked the city to develop 38 acres of land at the airport industrial park. This development will not only provide more space for larger businesses, but it will also provide an incubator building for small businesses that are just starting out.

Opposition to Rezoning

Opposition to Rezoning

One of the most important issues we face is the protection of your rights as an American Citizen.  I have worked hard to ensure that these individual liberties remain intact.  Last year when the City Council tried to pass a form based code that would significantly restrict private property rights, I personally went door to door to families and businesses informing and warning them of how this code was going to take away their rights and change our City to be like a socialistic European city.  I encouraged citizens to come to the public hearing to express their opinions. I wrote a letter in the Wave and tried to explain to the public what the council was doing.  If the citizens had not shown up, certain members of the city council would have passed the form based code. This is the power you have as citizens when you knit together and express your views to your elected officials. If you look back at the actions taken by council members at that time, it becomes clear who actually supported this legislation. I would encourage you to look at what Council member Potter did in particular as she is also running for office, or perhaps more accurately, what she did not do to stop this legislation before it came to a vote.

Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness

Natural disasters like the devastating Hurricane Harvey in Texas show us the importance of always being prepared for an emergency. Utah is earthquake country and Heber City would be greatly affected should a large earthquake occur in this area. I have worked with city and county employees and officials to create a plan for our valley in the event of a large earthquake or other natural disaster. I have also encouraged individual citizens to learn the skills necessary to care for themselves and their loved ones should we be faced with such a calamity. Over the last 3 years, I have been a strong proponent of the Community Emergency Response Team or CERT training program. I sincerely believe every capable citizen should attend the CERT training program to be prepared for natural disasters.  We had over 40 people complete that training last year. I have personally completed the course and have asked members of the city council to take the course as well. I am hopeful that they will take my advice and obtain the proper training to help them better understand how to deal with a natural disaster in the City. I feel one of the key roles of a mayor is to promote the safety of the citizens they serve.

Airport Expansion

Airport Expansion

I do not support the expansion of the airport. My feelings have never changed on what kind of airport I would like to see the city have from the time my Uncle Russell had his P-51 Mustang out there. I want the airport to continue to house small aircraft like my uncle Russell’s P-51 Mustang, not commercial jets.

Unfortunately, recent actions by city council members like Councilwoman Potter have entered the City into a perpetual agreement with the FAA that will eventually lead to airport expansion. I did not support the City Council’s vote to purchase the Maverick property. I told members of the council that it was only a recommendation from the FAA to buy the property and that the city did not have to purchase the property.  The vote by certain City Council Members to purchase the Maverick property came at great cost to Heber City.  When this purchase was made, not only did the city lose over $150,000 in sales tax a year from the loss of the Maverick station, but it entered the city into a perpetual agreement with the FAA and opened the door for The FAA to force the city to go to a C2 airport.  Despite claims to the contrary, there were no safety or property density issues with the property and the gas tanks would have been buried underground. I would not have voted for the purchase of the Maverick property, like Council Member Potter.

Transportation

Transportation

Transportation issues like the traffic on Main Street are a major concern to all of us. I have been working with UDOT to see what we can do together to solve this problem in the long run, but also what we can do in the short term until the by-pass road is built.  I personally met with the UDOT commissioners and spent half a day with them as we took a bus tour of main street and the rest of the valley. They became keenly aware of the traffic problems on Main Street as well as other transportation problems in Heber City. The commissioners expressed their appreciation for what the city and county are doing to prepare the way for the Western Bypass.

Mayoral Campaign

Mayoral Campaign

I am Alan McDonald and I am pleased and honored to announce my candidacy for another term as Mayor of Heber City. During my terms as a Heber City Council member and Mayor of Heber, I gained an understanding of the complexities of city government including its capabilities and limitations. I built a strong working relationship with city employees, county officials and the citizens of Heber.

One of the roles of a Mayor is to be an advocate for the people of the city. There are many issues that will come before us in the next four years. Transportation issues, like Main street, are a major concern. I have been working with UDOT to solve this problem. Another is ensuring our community’s safety. I support our local police, and I will ensure the Police Department has the resources they need to continue to keep us safe.

One of the most important issues we face is protecting your rights as American Citizens. I have worked hard to ensure that our individual liberties remain intact. Last year when the City Council tried to pass a form based code that would significantly restrict private property rights, I personally went door to door to families and businesses informing and warning them of how this code was going to take away their rights. I encouraged citizens to come to the public hearing to express their opinions.

Heber is where I grew up, where I went to school, where I was married, raised my family and have been self-employed as a business owner for over 35 years. This is where I have lived my life and I am part of the rich heritage of Heber City. I consider myself fortunate to have lived and worked in Heber City. I know the people, I know what this city is, I know what it has been, and I know what it can become.

These are some of the reasons why I offer my candidacy for Mayor of Heber City. I have a lifetime of experience in this beautiful valley and I will put that experience to work for you. I look forward to a positive campaign, meeting new citizens and continuing the wonderful relationships I’ve developed with those who are not so new, and serving the Citizens of Heber.

Yours truly,

Alan