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Salt Lake County Council At-Large Council A

About the Council The legislative body has a nine-member Council with three council members elected at-large and six elected by district. Council members from districts are elected for four-year staggered terms in partisan elections. At-large council terms are six years. Council districts are reapportioned after each census. The legislative Council's authority includes: The power to consider and adopt ordinances, rules, and regulations. Consider and adopt an administrative code, policies, and procedures. Adopt rules governing the activities, meetings, and organization of the Council. Establish and adopt a budget, set and levy taxes, and establish fees. Fix the salaries of county officers and employees. Supervise internal audits and investigations. Conduct quasi-judicial hearings including serving as the Board of Equalization and final board of review regarding planning and zoning. Advise and consent to appointments by the executive branch. Override vetoes of the Executive by two-thirds vote. Supervise the conduct of county officers in accordance with state statute. Reapportion districts after each census. Divide the County into precincts and other districts as provided by law. Fill vacancies. Grant franchises. Provide for the development of County resources. Perform other legislative acts.

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    Shireen Ghorbani

  • Laurie Stringham

How will the current pandemic affect county finances and taxation, including budget cuts and plans for new voting machines?

As the county’s population swells, how will you deal with issues of growth, including housing density, affordable housing and transportation? Do you believe Olympia Hills should move forward?

How would you plan on addressing air quality issues in the county, including transparency and environmental protections associated with the Inland Port?

How would you strengthen the social safety net with respect to mental health, homelessness, addiction and domestic violence?

Have you signed the Pledge for Election integrity?

In a word, dramatically. The county relies heavily on sales tax proceeds to fund several programs, and as of June 2020, the projected cuts to the county budget are around $78 million. But there is good news. The county received $203 million in CARES Act funding. Many of the costs the county has and will spend to respond to the coronavirus will be reimbursable by using the dollars provided by this act.

Every department, division, and office in Salt Lake County worked diligently to make the necessary cuts to the budget without having to cut jobs. The Clerk’s office was no exception. Our highly respected County Clerk’s office cut a few hundred new voting machines to make sure their employees kept their jobs. Expanding voting rights and ensuring that every citizen who can vote has easy access to voting is one of my top priorities.
We are in the midst of not only a housing shortage but a housing affordability crisis as well. I see more and more homes packed with multiple generations because they've been priced out of the housing market. While younger people often have good jobs, paying rent and saving for a home is barely manageable in our current housing market. Our growth must be planned, thoughtful and smart. Large housing units miles away from mass transit and disparate piecemeal developments going up in remote areas away from grocery stores, schools and utility services aren’t the answer. Luxury dwellings along mass transit without consideration for units affordable to families don’t serve our communities well either. I voted in favor of Olympia Hills for the same reasons I mentioned above. A plan with residential and commercial opportunities and with requirements for open space and trails is an improvement over disjointed and disconnected developments we have seen approved by cities for far too long.
Unfortunately, the county has little to no jurisdiction over the Inland Port Board or the decisions the legislature has made to regulate it. But that doesn’t mean we cannot make our voices heard. I’m pushing for air quality monitoring before, after and during the operation of the port to understand better the effect it will have on our air quality. I work as an Associate Director of Facilities Management at the University of Utah. A large part of my job is working with campus entities to achieve more sustainable energy options and reduce the carbon footprint of the campus, an area more populated than many of our cities within Salt Lake County. During the COVID-19 crisis, the county is no different than many other workplaces, requiring employees to work from home. The reduction of vehicles on our streets has made a significant impact on our air quality. As we get closer to finding a reliable vaccine, we should also be making working from home an option for those who choose to make it.
The short answer - better fund services for individuals facing these issues. Studies show early investments in programs and support services for people suffering from mental health issues, homelessness, addiction and domestic violence cost hundreds of millions of dollars less than the alternative – cycling through the criminal justice system. Funding successful, data-driven programs that work toward alternatives to incarceration is the answer. I want to see more private and public sector groups working together to supply long-term housing. I believe that access to healthcare is a right, not a luxury. When individuals, regardless of race, socioeconomic status or geographic location, can access affordable healthcare, we know that the overall quality of life improves. Right now, there is a ten-year gap in the life expectancy between a child born on the east bench and a child born in Glendale. This is unacceptable. II’m focused on healthcare, access to stable housing and reducing hunger.
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