Tuesday election brings important issues to light

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    By DEON YOUD

    Five men entered this year’s Provo mayoral race, but after Tuesday, only two will be left running in November. Voters will select final candidates in today’s primary elections.

    Candidates in this year’s mayoral race are Jack Adkins, James W. Anderson, Lewis K. Billings, Salvador R. Melo, and Karl J. Thalman.

    Candidates are addressing housing issues in Provo as a major concern of this year’s election.

    Melo said the housing problem would end if more housing was available. He said an increase in apartment availability would force prices to drop.

    However, Thalman said Provo is running out of land for new development. He said Provo takes most of the pressure from both BYU and UVSC.

    Billings said he wants to see more owner-occupied homes throughout Provo.

    Adkins said the housing is a serious issue and the welfare of the students needs to be taken into account.

    Anderson and Melo agreed that BYU interferes too much with Provo housing issues.

    According to Anderson’s unofficial campaign manager, Anderson said BYU’s off-campus housing guidelines are too intrusive and force apartment managers to discriminate against some residents.

    Melo said BYU’s involvement with apartment complexes force higher prices.

    Candidates also agree that traffic is a major problem in Provo.

    Anderson wants to establish a commuter rail for Provo residents and encourage mall management to include a transportation center at the new mall.

    Both Anderson and Melo said Provo needs better bus systems.

    “We need to get more reliable and useful bus schedules in Provo,” Melo said.

    Thalman said traffic is number one on his agenda. He said as mayor he will use all his resources to work with the state to find solutions to this problem.

    Billings said traffic problems can be solved with better use of technology and land-use planning.

    Adkins said traffic considerations need to be addressed along with issues surrounding the new mall.

    Among the issues facing candidates this year is the candidates’ determination to create a better administration to what Provo has had in the past.

    Adkins said Provo is failing in its responsibility to the public. He said he wishes to educate the public about what is really going on in the city offices.

    Melo said he feels Provo’s government needs to protect the rights of all citizens. He said he doesn’t feel like the past administration has done that.

    A representative of Anderson said Anderson wants more openness in city government.

    Thalman said Provo needs to develop a better image during the next few years.

    “We need a new atmosphere. We’ve had problems that could have been handled better, smoother,” Thalman said.

    Billings said people deserve to be heard and said he will be available to discuss any issues with the people of Provo.

    Polls throughout the city will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Results of the election will be reported on Provo Access Cable channel 42.

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