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Election 2013: North Logan candidates talk city issues, goals

October 14th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Chelsea Hunter

NORTH LOGAN — With a turnout less than expected, 22 North Logan neighbors came out for Meet the Candidates night at the city library Wednesday. The city’s Youth Council led the discussion and asked questions of each candidate to get to know all of them a little better.

Candidate for Mayor: Lloyd Berentzen

Lloyd Berentzen

Berentzen has served the people of North Logan the past four years, and after deciding not to run for a second term, decided last minute to ask for support to run again.

“It has been a wonderful opportunity to serve you as Mayor for the past 4 years,”  said Berentzen. “If given your confidence once again, I will do my very best to ‘do the right thing’ without preconceived agendas or biases. I love our city, our community, our neighbors, and friends and I am committed to carrying on the strong sense of community that we enjoy.”

Berentzen has a bachelor’s degree in public health and a masters in business administration, is president of the Utah Public Health Association, and is the CEO and owner of Utah Business Dynamics. Previously he has served two terms as a council member as well as one term as mayor. He and his wife, Heather have lived here for 28 years and admit they have benefitted from raising their six children in such a wonderful and safe environment.

“North Logan has given a lot to us in terms of the things that we’ve been able to enjoy with our children, and the opportunities that have been there for them. It has been a blessing to have them be here and be associated with the right kind of people. That’s one of the things I’m most grateful for.”

Berentzen wants the community to continues to grow and develop. “I want to focus on the basics. I really think that the rule of local government is to focus on the basics of life. I would compare it to a public health scenario where you turn the faucet on every morning to clean and clear running water.”

He believes the biggest issue facing the community right now is the need for a new well. The aquifer is low, and has limited amounts of secondary water, and he believes it is a significant issue. Sewer costs are also a big issue that is coming up in the near future. The city is facing high costs for sewer that could be a potential nightmare, and Berentzen said there needs to be something done to prevent that.

“I think what we ought to do as a local government is focus on the basics,” he said. “And when I say basics, I’m talking about fire, and police, and water, roads, and infrastructure, whatever it is that helps us insure the safety and the integrity of our community.”


Candidate for Mayor: Chris Nelson

Brad Crookston

Chris Nelson has been a resident of North Logan with his wife, Elaine, for 24 years, where they’ve raised their four kids. He has served the community as chair of North Logan’s Planning commission, as well as being the North Logan state delegate for the Republican party. He has helped with the Pumpkin Walk, 24th of July parade, being a Boy Scouts merit badge counselor, religious service  and more. “Whether it’s serving on the planning commission, designing a pumpkin walk scene, developing trails, or helping with other community service projects, I simply enjoy living in North Logan and like to be of service.”

He said the reason he is running is because he has a commitment to community, and wanted to give the citizens a chance to have a selection in the process. When he was deciding to run, there was only one on the ballot, and he decided the citizens deserved to choose.

“I believe we need more citizen involvement in our community. I am very much passionate about that item. I know that we have people throughout the community that often times don’t get out and get involved. I am very committed to creating more involvement within the community,” Nelson said.

He believes there are a number of issues right now including sewer and water as the city continues to grow, and having development around the city for businesses and households. He says there are many issues with the road systems at 1600 East, 2500 North and other locations that need to be resolved. He also has issues with the current tax and revenue numbers and knows that if business goes down, the city will follow.

“If elected, I would focus on keeping taxes at a minimum while providing essential services. A vote for me is a vote to assure that our tax dollars are spent wisely, that we maintain fiscal responsibility, and that your ideas, interests, concerns, and voice is represented.”


City Council Candidate: Brad Crookston

Brad Crookston

Crookston has previously served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and has been able to work with the current City Council. He feels he has a lot to offer the city and hopes to promote the conservative principles he believes are so important, and knows he can make a positive impact in the community.

“I think the most important issue is keeping the city within its budget, and I think planning and zoning is very important; if we don’t plan properly in the city, we could end up with some scars in the city as far as developments that come in, and aren’t necessarily what we’d planned for.”

Crookston’s ancestors were the first settlers in North Logan and he has been a life long citizen. He graduated from USU with a master’s degree in civil engineering and is an advocate of property owner rights. He started Crookston Custom Designs, a structural engineering company, and has designed numerous projects within the city.

“Today all of us have felt the impact of national policies, even in our city. While it is difficult, if not impossible for most of us to make a difference on the national level we can make a difference in our own communities.”


City Council Candidate: Nancy Potter

Nancy Potter

Nancy Potter was raised in North Logan. She has a deep love for the city and cares deeply about its future. She has served on the city council for six years and feels she has served the citizens well. “The reason I am running is because I have enjoyed my time I have spent with the city council, with mayor Berentzen, and with John Bailey. The council right now really seems to work well together, we work hard and are dedicated.”

One of the areas she’d really like to work on is the city center area, and this city’s economic development. She also wants to see projects finished that they have started in her last term. “I just really enjoy North Logan and hope that I can do the very best for the citizens who are here.”

She says the main issue facing the city right now is managing the budget. Having enough money to take care of things that the city and citizens want to see happen is crucial. It’s not easy, but if the city council works on getting some good businesses into the community that will help the budget.

“I think planning our city center area is going to be crucial, we need to have enough area for apartments and housing, but also the economic development. That is one of the big things that I am very concerned about and I hope that we can get the proper businesses that will bring in the best money for the city.”

She continues to stay involved by being on the police, parks, cemetery, and economic development committees.


City Council Candidate: Russell Goodwin

After enduring a long hot summer and water shortages, Goodwin proposed citywide irrigation water. He believes it can be done by capturing excess water in Swift Slough and pumping it to a collection pond at the library from there to a larger lake at Elk Ridge park, and then up to a reflecting pool at the Cemetery. From there the water is pumped to a small, eastside reservoir in Beef Hollow at approximately 5,400 feet. He said that this will facilitate the provision of irrigation water throughout the city.

“I’m running, as all the people here are, because of a deep commitment to our community. I think we all see the potentials, in my case specifically to work aggressively to get city-wide irrigation water.” It’s a challenge that the city faces, and they are threatened with losing their allotment of Bear River water he said. It may be a challenging project, but he claims it is doable, even if it will take a long time to complete.

Goodwin has lived in North Logan his whole life. He is single and resides in his mother’s home with her.

He believes the most important issue is secondary irrigation water. “If on the council, I would work to get secondary water throughout the city, that is something that is going to take a tremendous amount of lead time but needs to begin now. We are fortunate enough to live in North Logan, and one of those fortunate aspects is the topography, which directs all surplus water to a single port where we can collect it.”

He admits that the residents of North Logan are already benefitting greatly from the wisdom and vision of predecessors with the canals and secondary water. He said the project will complete and extend their legacy to all residents, but will also add a succession of green oases, urban fisheries, and blue gathering spaces that will not only flesh out their pioneer legacy, but will contribute greatly to an enhanced sense of place and a much stronger community identity.


City Council Candidate: John Bailey

John Bailey

“After having spent 12 years on the Cache County school board, when I decided to run four years ago, I wasn’t sure that was a good idea,” Bailey said. “I’d jokingly say to people  that I had the poor judgment to run for city council, and bad luck to get elected.”

Bailey has had a great experience serving on the city council the past four years and has appreciated living here so much that he wanted to give a little bit back, and has so much more to contribute if elected for another term, he said. He has been a resident of North Logan with his wife Ann for 40 years and has raised all of his five children there. Bailey was director of the Bear River Health Department from 1973-2004 and a physician specializing in preventative medicine. He is currently a member of the library board, Parks & Recreation committee and the Law Enforcement Council.

“I think the city needs to think about one thing at least as much or more than we have in the past. As we look at new development, traditionally developers have met up front costs themselves, and once the development is in place, the city inherits the maintenance, whether it’s roads, or other infrastructure. We may need to rethink that and have developers, and the developments bear the ongoing cost of that?”

His goals for the future if elected again would be to cultivate a diversified tax base, increase citizen participation and community cohesion, forge partnerships with private sector and neighboring public entities, and focus on programs and services best provided by local government.


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