Eight candidates are running for Provo Mayor, offering a variety of promises to Provo residents.
The election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 15, and will be conducted primarily through mail-in ballots. Ballots must be postmarked by August 14 in order to be counted. Provo residents can vote in person at the Provo City Recreation Center (320 West 500 North) from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
More information regarding the election can be found at voteprovo.com.
Sherrie Hall Everett
Sherrie Hall Everett served on the City Council for four years. Everett also served on other boards, dealing with people who need medical care and affordable housing, as well as the Transportation and Mobility Advisory Council.
“We have strong neighborhoods,” Everett said. “Provo has some very important discussions about when is the right time to build a city center and an airport terminal.”
Everett plans to strengthen neighborhoods and have a balanced mix of housing to allow opportunity for growth for future generations.
“Provo’s motto is ‘Welcome Home,'” Everett said. “(The BYU students) need to feel included and need to experience things students enjoy in our community to make your experience here wonderful.”
For more information on Everett’s campaign, visit her website.
John Fenley was raised in Provo and is the founder of ProVolt Makerspace, which encourages and facilitates entrepreneurship. Fenley attended Utah Valley University and the University of Utah and is an entrepreneur. Fenley said he enjoys robotics and helping others develop their own ideas. He considers himself a futurist and said he believes the current Provo government should be rebooted.
He said he will focus on disincorporating Provo and simplifying government processes and functions. Fenley said he would also like to stop enforcing city ordinances and would work to “wind down city departments in preparation for a sale to a private party, or for transfer to the county.”
Fenley said BYU students would be immediately benefitted by lifting parking restrictions on public streets near BYU and by scrapping zoning ordinances that limit the number of unrelated people occupying a home.
For more information on John Fenley’s campaign, visit his website.
Michelle Kaufusi, born and raised in Provo, is a BYU alumna and has served on the Provo School Board for six years. Kaufusi additionally serves on the Provo City’s Citizens Advisory Board, and Utah High School Athletic Association. She attributes her work ethic and drive as the deciding factors in her decision to work as a public servant.
Kaufusi said her goal as Provo’s mayor is to keep her community strong. She wants Provo’s residents to be involved in the development of the community, and for the community to grow economically in benefit of Provo’s citizens.
“Many BYU students will want to remain in Provo. We want you here and want a strong economy to have high-paying jobs for you after you graduate,” Kaufusi said.
She also considers herself an advocate for BYU students and wants to engage regularly with students in Provo to fit their needs and provide for their safety.
“I think it is great when students feel involved … they deserve to be heard,” Kaufusi said.
Michelle Kaufusi’s website can be found here.
Odell Miner said his qualifications come from his experience serving as Provo City Commissioner from 1974–78. Miner was responsible for the city budget and made decisions concerning water and streets.
Miner’s top five priorities, if elected as mayor, are public safety, engagement and involvement with residents, operating within a city budget, protecting freedoms and quality of life, and strengthening the Provo community.
Miner said he encourages the public to be engaged and needs the public opinion to help with parking, transportation and other topics.
“Working on keeping (BYU students’) restaurants, entertainment and retailing in Provo, too much of it is going away, which (tempts students) to not be in Provo,” Miner said.
Eric Speckhard plans to increase economic development downtown and in the East Bay area, particularly in the west area of Provo, with the $80 million Provo mall renovation.
The second issue Speckhard plans to address is parking, especially for the Provo City Convention Center by building a parking structure.
According to Speckhard, the homelessness percentage is increasing, and Speckhard said he plans to create a long-lasting solution.
Speckhard plans to help BYU students by talking to homeowners, BYU students and city utility people to figure out a solution for housing.
“I really think we need to sit and have a discussion, and it’s going to be a give and take,” Speckhard said.
For more information, visit Speckhard’s website.
Howard Stone is a BYU alumnus, holds a master’s degree in public administration and worked in the computer software industry for over 20 years. Stone supports smaller government on a federal and local level and wants to bring the community closer together both culturally and economically.
Stone could not be contacted for further information through email or phone call.
Speaking to the Daily Herald, Stone said he would like to hire a new economic developer to better develop the west side of Provo and to reduce housing costs in order to cut down on homelessness and substance abuse.
Stone said he would ask BYU to ban cars for freshman students living on campus and said the decision could help improve parking near campus.
For more information, visit Stone’s website.
BYU alumnus Larry Walters has worked as a community handyman in Ferron, Utah, and served as city manager in Salem. Walters has spent his career training public servants and government officials worldwide.
Walters said the Provo community and the city government are both responsible for strengthening the community. He said neighborhoods should play a bigger part in making local decisions regarding housing. He said the city should work on balancing its budget and target spending to achieve results that benefit Provo’s citizens.
“We know what we’re spending now, but we’re not always sure what we’ll get for the money we spend,” Walter said. “We need to make sure what we spend is targeted on the priorities and goals established by the City Council.”
Walters said BYU students, along with UVU and other students, have been marginalized and treated badly. Walters said he would like to form a strong relationship with universities in order to improve student housing, neighborhood safety and parking issues, as well as encourage students to remain in Provo.
“Provo is home for (my family), and I think it’s true for this large group of students who are here to study and build their careers if we made (Provo) more inviting, more affordable and more responsive to their needs,” Walters said.
Kevin Wing has worked in the food industry for 12 years, and in that time he said he saw changes that need to happen in Provo.
Wing plans to address the parking issue, but his biggest focus is on teen suicide. Wing said teen suicide rates increase every year.
Wing said he wants Provo to be a self-reliant city and plans to build a 15,000-seat arena that will host concerts, rodeos and quilting shows to create tax revenue. The money will be used to help people with disabilities, those with PTSD, troubled youths and anyone who needs helps.
“We’re going to try to get mental health under control and start taking care people,” Wing said.
Wing said he anticipates building an arena will create more jobs and internship programs.
“I just want to help everybody,” Wing said.