Provo’s leaders change, but their vision for the city does not

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The new chair and vice-chair of the Provo City Council say they will move forward with the council’s vision for the city, including a possible tax increase and definite downtown development.

The Provo City Council’s selection of council member Gary Winterton as chairman and Kay Van Buren as vice-chairman will keep budget issues as high priority items. Both men are members of the budget committee, and Winterton cited retirement rates as concerns that might mean a tax increase.

“We’re looking for ways to make our budget sustainable. We don’t like to raise taxes, nobody likes taxes, but we’ve got to make ourselves sustainable. … That’s one of the real challenges that we face,” Winterton said.

Downtown development is also one of the city’s top priorities, said Van Buren, and Winterton compared the viability of Provo to Salt Lake City.

“The best place to eat and go to activities in Salt Lake — is Provo,” said Winterton, referring to something he’d read in a local magazine. “And quite honestly our music scene down here in Provo is becoming very, very popular and impressive, not only in Provo, but outside of our community.”

The chairmen said that cooperation among council members and the mayor will help the city achieve these objectives.

“We have a great working relationship with all of the council members,” said Winterton. “We feel like the relationship is there, that we’re not out (trying) to go with our own agendas, (that) we are here for the betterment of Provo City.

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