Three candidates are vying for an open spot on the Stansbury Greenbelt Service Agency, while another four are competing for a single slot on the Stansbury Recreation Service Agency.
Only two candidates in each race will advance to the general election, based upon the top vote getters in each primary election on Aug. 13. The candidates who advance will then compete for a spot on the Stansbury Service Agency board in the general election this November.
Running for the Stansbury Greenbelt positions are Michael Griffeth, Kasey Nobles and Stephen Nelson. The four candidates for the Stansbury Recreation positions are Brian Endicott, Jacob Zollinger, Devon Hansen, and Randall Hinton.
The candidates were asked to provide written answers to questions about issues important to Stansbury Park residents, with a 150-word limit to respond. The responses from each candidate, ordered randomly, are included below. The responses were edited for length, spelling and grammar.
Nobles did not return a request for comment by deadline Thursday morning.
What does the Stansbury Service Agency need to do to improve Stansbury Lake, both the water and the shoreline? What needs to be done differently in the management of the lake?
Hinton: I believe the agency has done many things to make the lake more attractive to the fishermen, as well as boaters and swimmers. There are still more things that need to be done with a lot of hard work from all of us.
Endicott: I believe that the Stansbury Service Agency is doing a good job of taking care of the lake and the shoreline. I encourage them to keep working at it. They have few employees to manage the lake, parks, and golf course. If we could increase the number of employees then we could increase the management and overall improvement of the lake.
Griffeth: I have been impressed with the work that has been done recently to improve the shoreline around the clubhouse and the work on the weeds. This large man-made lake will always have “issues”. There needs to be continuous study into solving the problems. We have had some successful ideas in the past but as the population grows, other ideas are needed. Perhaps deepening the lake could help with the weed growth. It is important that every household that lives on the lake take responsibility for their shoreline.
Hansen: Stansbury Lake’s water quality, use, resident protection and its future is one of the most critical and controversial questions facing the Service Agency. There are a number of issues regarding the lake such as resident and non-resident use and resident ownership rights. The Service Agency’s authority may be somewhat limited based upon the original agreement between Tooele County and Terracor. The residents of Stansbury Park have the right to know the details of that legal agreement. Once the terms of this agreement are known and legally recognized, the critical and emotional questions regarding the lake can be determined. The Service Agency needs to take the responsibility to work with Tooele County to determine the extent and impact of legal agreements between the two parties. Until that time, we need to protect this beautiful resource and enjoy the lake, the golf course, clubhouse, swimming pool and parks.
Nelson: My experiences at the lake have been positive. The times I’ve been on the water, I’ve been surprised that more people aren’t out there. However, along the shoreline and right near the clubhouse, the area can get crowded at peak times. Other easily-accessed entry points could be useful. For example, to my knowledge, there are no easy or official access points on the southern or western parts of the lake. This concentrates all public access at the clubhouse or along the northern section. If an objective is to increase usage, other access points might be in order, if they are feasible. That said, the access points we do have (such as the parks on Delgada) should be maintained in such a manner that they’re pleasant and easy to use. My observations are that the grass in those points seems to be unusually yellow.
Zollinger: I know the board has been addressing the issue of cleaning up the lake. I support them and what they have done up to this point and look forward to assisting them in investigating other options. I feel the lake is more usable to the community than before. My only concern that I feel needs to be addressed is the large numbers of geese. This needs to be addressed yearly.
What other amenities does Stansbury Park need for its residents? Are any demographics in the community not being served well by the existing offerings?
Hansen: The Service Agency could take an active role in expanding arts and music. A community of our size could have for example an art fair featuring some of the local artists. Display items may include things such as paintings, sculpture, photography, quilting, fly tying, woodworking, etc. We have a number of very talented musicians living in this community. A music festival would be an activity that would be well received.
Additional activities for the older generation would benefit those important members of our community.
There are proposals being considered for additional amenities in our community. Each should be looked at closely to see that there is a need for these new facilities. It is easy to spend tax dollars to build new facilities, but before allocating financial, it needs to be shown that there is a need and that they will be used.
Hinton: We live in a quiet, golf cart, biker, jogger, friendly paradise. The fountains, trees, parks, observatory, pool, golf course, and businesses all compliment each other and provide a wonderful experience for all our residents. There needs to be a balance in growth and we should come together in making these decisions as a community. We need to have the county looking out for our interests as well as the other entities in the area.
Griffeth: I have always felt that a rec center would be beneficial. That should include a pool that can be used by the schools for competition as well basketball courts and other amenities. That may require bonding for which some residents are against bit I think it would help engender a sense of community. There also needs to be more walking/biking trails connecting the different areas of the park. Additional tax revenue from commercial and retail businesses would be beneficial.
Endicott: Stansbury Park currently provides all of the necessary amenities and is working to add additional amenities such as a recreation center that will be a huge benefit to our community. Personally, I would love to see a splash pad added if at some point it becomes feasible. I am not aware of any demographics in the community that are being underserved. However, if there are any and if I become a board member, I would encourage the underserved to reach out to me so that I could make better informed decisions on their behalf.
Zollinger: I would like to see Stansbury have more lighting on streets and major intersections. To make our parks and greenbelts more available we need more picnic table and facilities that will encourage the residents of Stansbury Park to use these areas. These areas should be made available to our youth’s sports for practices.
Nelson: I think we could use park benches—places to sit and relax, enjoy a cool summer evening. Every time I jog in Stansbury Park, I’m amazed that we don’t have any kind of dedicated trail for joggers or cyclists. I’m also surprised, given the number of dog owners, that we don’t have a dedicated dog park. I do support the master plan’s proposed splashpad, as well as the plans to remove the tennis courts to make room for a bigger pool. I’m not sure if we have enough public basketball courts. The danger with this question is that yes, of course there are tons of things we could add. But will they get used, and who is going to pay for them? It may be better to ensure that our existing facilities are best-of-class, and promote their usage, before collecting funds from residents to build new facilities.
What are your thoughts on the service agency’s draft master plan? What should the focus of long-term planning be in Stansbury Park?
Griffeth: The current iteration of the master plan is a good place to start. No one knows the direction that the growth will come but a master plan can help guide that growth. Public input is essential. The ideas of the many can help direct the decisions of the board. I would love to see Stansbury Park more independent and growth will fuel that ability. The proposed area of Stansbury Park is significantly larger than the current park and so we have the chance to improve our infrastructure if the planning is done in advance of the growth.
Zollinger: After glancing over the master plan I am impressed with the items that have been addressed and agreed upon. We need to keep in mind the potential of incorporating and making decisions that will benefit the community. We always need to be looking for ways to improve so our children’s children can experience Stansbury as we did.
Nelson: I view the master plan in a positive light, and applaud the current board for its efforts in assembling the document. Unfortunately, I’ve seen many well-thought-out plans go by the wayside. As with everything, it’s all in the execution. It will be important for the board governance process to ensure that progress is made on the plan. That will likely prove much more difficult that creating the plan. My feelings are that larger parks and recreation facilities are better than smaller ones. These attract more people than smaller parks, which often seem empty when I drive by them. Obtaining larger parks can be difficult, as it (naturally) requires larger pieces of land. Big plots don’t just happen. They must be purposefully acquired. Stansbury Park should ensure that large, cornerstone areas are set aside for parks. Each can offer a different attraction than another, to attract a different population segment.
Hinton: There are some great points in the master plan of Stansbury Park. We need to maintain what is here and focus on the growth that is already upon us. The five to 20 year improvement plan has worthy projects that will allow Stansbury Park to grow with class. I would love to see neighbors and our community as a whole come together and ensure that’s Stansbury Park is an enjoyable, safe, and clean place to live. Please give Neil (Smart) and Glenn (Oscarson) big hugs every time you see them and thank them for their years of service!
Endicott: The master plan sets good goals and direction for the coming 20 years. It helps the board to have a direction to work towards. The focus should continue to be to keep Stansbury Park a safe and clean community that we can not only be proud of now, but that we can leave for future generations.
Hansen: The Stansbury Park Master plan’s introduction contains this phrase, “More than 410 households in Stansbury Park also deserve thanks for their response to the parks and trails needs assessment survey and for their input and support for these important community resources.”
The current agency members should be complimented for seeking and including residents input as this plan has been implemented. The plan is well done, and implementing the plan over the next years will be important. The county has the ability to override any plan we have in place. It is critical that we get the county’s support on the plan. I have the background and experience to work with the county to protect our community.
In 20 years, the Tooele Valley will be filled with homes which will have a great impact upon Stansbury Park. I have the experience necessary to help prepare for this growth and the impact.