Spencer Rands' Platform
Spencer Rands is running for Orem City Council becuase he knows how important our neighborhoods are to us and our families. Spencer is commited to giving community members a voice on the city council.
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For our city government to be effective it is important that our city councilors understand the concerns and needs of the residents. For this to be possible councilors need to be accessible outside of city council meetings. They need to be prepared to listen and seek a real understanding of what is going on in the community.
Communication with residents is at the core of a city council’s responsibilities. Without input from Orem’s residents, they cannot represent your interests. With large projects, like our recreation center, we need to create forums for residents to not only share ideas but also concerns with projects. I intend to schedule meetings to be held with enough time for residents to review plans and express concerns. As your city councilman, I will work to ensure that your voice is heard on city council.
To ensure your voice is heard I will be accessible by phone, text, and Facebook before and after the election. If you would like to meet face to face just let me know.
Call or text me on my cell phone:
Message me on Facebook: facebook.com/VoteRands
You can also message me with the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Anyone who lives in Orem knows that traffic is a real issue. Most roads are as wide as they are going to get, which means we must be as efficient as possible with the roads we have. Ensuring that our traffic light systems are calibrated and running correctly is important. Also important is making sure road lines are clear and visible and that all road signs clearly indicate the appropriate actions. There is not one single big solution that will fix the problem but a combination of smaller ones like those mentioned here.
A lot of traffic is generated by UVU as it continues to grow. Much of the traffic is generated by students who live on the west side of I-15 but must drive to class each day. Over a year ago in June of 2018, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a state-of-the-art pedestrian bridge. The bridge would span from the west side of the I-15 directly to the UVU campus. The bridge will be covered, heated, and lite to ensure students can use it year-round regardless of the weather. This bridge will allow students to live on the west side and walk to UVU, reducing cars on the road. With funds from UVU and UTA already in place, this will be a huge step in the right direction. Unfortunately, the bridge that was supposed to open this August, hasn’t even started construction despite the groundbreaking ceremony a year ago. On city council I will put pressure on all associated parties, including the Union Pacific Railroad, to bring this project to fruition.
Keeping Orem Family City USA means making our streets safe for our kids and families. Families need to be able to safely walk to our beautiful parks without fear of being hit by cars. Some neighborhood arterials have become very busy and better markings and/or crosswalk lights are needed. Near the UVU campus, a very effective crosswalk lighting system called a HAWK Signal was installed. This has been great for UVU and I will work to make sure signals like these are put in place where needed to help our families stay safe.
I believe that one of the keys to keeping taxes low in Orem is economic growth. The best way to obtain economic growth is by making Orem business friendly, and we don’t need to give huge tax incentives to do this. We need to make sure that the process of starting a business and running a business in Orem is a smooth and efficient process.
When I moved to Las Vegas to build our Papa Murphy’s Franchises we had several jurisdictions we could put our first store in; Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, or Clark County. We were excited to roll up our sleeves and get to work on building our first store, so we decide to go with the City of Las Vegas. The mayor had publicly been pro-business and wanted Las Vegas to be more business-friendly. Her goal was to bring more jobs to the town, our new store would bring 15-20 new jobs to Las Vegas. We found a location and secured the lease, contingent upon getting city approval on the site.
This is where the rubber met the road and we discovered that being business friendly was easier said than done. After delivering the plans and waiting weeks to see if the city had any revisions, we finally got them back. Our building permits had been denied unless we were willing to make substantial changes. They wanted us to add more bathrooms to a take-out-only restaurant and add a $40,000 grease trap. These were the requirements of a large full-service sit-down restaurant they were requesting. To make a long story short, the city council had recently passed a new building code that had huge impacts on small businesses like ours. After months of communications, we finally got a meeting with a city councilor. When we met with her, she was surprised to find the new building code had affected us so negatively. In that meeting, the head of the building department was there and agreed that the grease traps and bathrooms were not needed for our operation but the “code was the code.” Several months later we finally got the building permit but only after the city ordered environmental studies to come to the same conclusion, our operation in no way needed the requested items. Our original building plans were approved but the whole project was delayed almost 8 months. That’s 8 months of jobs that residents could have had and 8 months of taxes the city could have collected.
When I first moved with my family to Orem, I was pleased to learn about UTOPIA’s incredibly fast broadband internet. Coming from Las Vegas, internet speeds this fast were not attainable in residential neighborhoods. I quickly learned that while I was fortunate to have such fast internet available in my neighborhood in Sunset Heights, most residents were not so lucky. It was frustrating to find so many residents had been and still are footing the bill for the infrastructure and for a service they can’t even use.
If elected I will continue to push for UTOPIA to follow through with its commitments to make fiber speed internet available to all Orem residents. Not only is it important to ensure that it's available to all, but it also needs to be done in a way that does not increase costs to Orem residents or increase the cities debt.
Whether we like it or not, Utah County is growing and Orem along with it. It’s important that we manage this growth in a responsible and intentional way. It’s also important that we have diverse types of housing and a full range of affordability levels. However, we do not want this growth to come at the cost of safe neighborhoods and streets. The growth should and can be managed in a way that keeps Orem “Family City USA”.
As we grow, high-density housing or apartment-style dwellings are becoming an ever-increasing issue in Orem. Between UVU and the population growth of Utah County, the demand for these types of housing is only going to increase. With that said, there is an appropriate way for the city to allow such housing to be built, but it must be well planned and in areas that make sense for our city and its neighborhoods.
What do I mean by areas the make sense? I mean areas that have the appropriate infrastructure in place prior to construction. Appropriate infrastructure means the roads must be large enough to handle the increased traffic and burden on the area. When large high-density housing is built, it adds significant amounts of cars to the road. Based on current traffic, some roads can handle this but most cannot. Particularly small single lane roads built in neighborhoods designed for single-family dwellings are not a good fit for these kinds of projects. This means that neighborhoods designed and built for single-family dwellings would not and should not be candidates for high-density housing projects.
While small single lane roads are clearly not the place for large high-density complexes, some large roads may not work either. Some of Orem’s larger roads are already overburdened and cannot handle the large amounts of traffic these complexes bring; however, other larger roads still have the capacity and would make ideal locations for such types of housing. If the infrastructure is in place and the roads have the capacity, we still need to make sure the site plans also make sense. For example, if an apartment building builds insufficient parking to meet its tenants’ needs, the result is extra cars spilling out into street parking and other parking areas becoming a burden on the surrounding area. These are just some of the things that need to be weighed and considered before approving any kind of large housing projects. When the impacts are not clear or may be significant, public meetings need to be held to ensure all stakeholders positions are considered and taken seriously. I firmly believe that if all the right elements are not in place, Orem City Council should say no to a project or zoning change.
Orem is a fantastic place to raise a family, and I believe it is very important that as we grow, we ensure that there continues to be affordable housing for young families. At the same time, we need to ensure that the beautiful and safe neighborhoods Orem has enjoyed for so many years are not compromised by overburdened roads and insufficient infrastructure. I am committed to making sure Orem grows responsibly, planned, and without hurting existing communities.
While the 2nd amendment in Utah is mostly affected at state-level politics I believe it is important to have a city council willing to protect it if needed. The right to bear arms is an essential right that I am very grateful we have here in America.
It is critical to make sure that Orem’s laws and ordinances do not infringe on our resident’s right to own firearms and to protect themselves and their families. I want to make sure Orem stays friendly to second amendment related businesses such as Gunnies, Get Some Guns & Ammo, Utah Airguns, and Ready Gunner. I will make sure Orem remains a 2nd Amendment friendly city.