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Seven want seats on Providence council

September 11th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Cecily Kiss

PROVIDENCE — A primary election is being held in Providence to reduce the number of candidates for council from seven to four on Tuesday, Sept.15. General elections will be held on Nov. 3 and the city will be electing two four-year term council members as well as a mayor. The candidates for council members are diverse in aspects of opinion, goals, and age but all are looking to improve the city.

Don W. Calderwood believes that necessary public services should be balanced to the needs of the entire community with the respect for both present and future residents of Providence. “I have a background of taking something that’s not running smooth and making it run smooth,” Calderwood said. He believes that as an elected official he must be a good neighbor to the entire community at large and show respect to the core values that preserve and protect what a neighbor should be. “I believe wherever you are in Providence you are my neighbor, and I believe in always being a good neighbor,” Calderwood said. Calderwood was an educator, productivity consultant, a proposal and manufacturing manager at Thiokol, and a general manager at an engineering firm in Minnesota before he retired. Calderwood is also a veteran of the U.S. Army. He and his wife have been residents of Providence for nearly 30 years.

Carrie Kirk, 32, is the youngest of the candidates and says “I am a young, clear thinker. I like to look at problems and find solutions, I like to think of solutions that others haven’t proposed before.” she is a mother of three and plans to vote in the best interest of children and families. Kirk has a master’s degree in instructional technology from Utah State University as well as a bachelor’s degree in elementary education also from Utah State University. Kirk is an entrepreneur at heart and has started several small businesses with her husband including a graphic design business and a mortgage office. “I don’t think Providence is broken, and I’m not looking to fix it,” Kirk said. She sees Providence as a thriving community and believes in responsible well planned development.

Dee Barnes has served the community for over 18 years, including his time serving as the public works director, and believes his familiarity with all aspects of the city is an advantage over his competition. His main platform is the water issue “I’d like to have all the shares available for the water system,” he said. Barnes is looking to add to and improve upon the water projects currently underway.

Ralph Call has lived in Utah for 11 years and plans to live in Providence for the rest of his life with his wife Nola whom he’s been married to for 40 years and has nine children with. Call is looking to preserve the quality of life, freedoms and property rights he knows in Providence. He is unhappy with the carelessness in which long-term decisions are made and is looking to change that. He currently owns and operates two college student apartments, is the CEO of two manufacturing companies and a holding company, and is involved with the business Pioneer Builders Inc. that is a real estate sales and property management company. Call has a master’s degree in business administration as well as a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Kathy Baker served for the previous four years on the Providence city council. She has lived in Providence for 48 years. She is currently the security director for the Utah State University Research Foundation and has been in the position for over 20 years. She believes she is fully cognizant of Providence budgets, policies, and land use regulations.

Dale Astle is a 64-year-old retired commercial banker. He retired in 2007 as vice president over commercial loans. He has lived in Providence for 57 years and has been involved in service to Providence as part of the planning commission, a volunteer and as a city councilman. “I believe that I understand the issues facing Providence in the future and can provide intelligent input to solve the issues faced by our city,” Astle said.

Wendy Robinson Simmons was on the city council from 2000-2004 and said “I know exactly what I’m in for, I’ve been on the board, I know what to expect.” she was in charge of the safety of the town and successfully ran a mock trial for emergency preparedness in her previous term. Simmons plans to have a hands-on approach this time around and to interact with the people of Providence “You manage a city by wandering around, meeting your neighbors, neighborhoods are the pulse of the nation.”

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