Smart growth and a fresh perspective are key issues for many of the candidates running for Providence City Council.
Four seats are open in the upcoming council election. Three of these seats are the standard four-year terms, but one is a two-year seat. Of the eleven candidates on the ballot, none are incumbents.
This fourth seat is available because a city council member passed away shortly after the 2016 election. State code mandates that vacant seats in these situations be filled with an appointee until the soonest election.
The primary election on Aug. 13 will narrow the field of eight four-year candidates down to six and the field of three two-year candidates down to two. Providence is conducting its election by mail and sent out ballots this week. For questions about ballots, call the Providence City offices at 435-752-9441.
Here is a look at the eleven candidates in the election and the issues that matter to them.
Rowan Cecil has lived in Providence for 11 years and served on the planning commission for six. He earned a master’s degree in engineering and taught at both the State Oil Company of Indonesia and Utah Valley State College. He has also worked as a chief engineer making loans to mineral producing entities and as an appraiser.
Cecil said key issues for him in this election include making sure the recently developed city plan is followed, ensuring the city has enough water, taking care of roads and addressing the issue of overpaying Logan city for sewage treatment.
Don W. Calderwood
Don Calderwood has lived in the same neighborhood and home in Providence for 40 years. He is an honorably discharged veteran with several academic and technical degree. Additionally, he has run multiple businesses. Previously, he served as both a City Council member and mayor in Providence.
According to Calderwood, he is running because the city needs to slow down, reevaluate its direction, control its spending and listen to the citizens.
Laura Banda has owned land in Providence for 13 years and lived in the city full-time for three years. She wants to bring a fresh perspective to the council and represent the views of younger voters and those who are new to the city. Banda holds two master’s degrees and has worked in school administration for 20 years.
Banda said her primary reason for running is to be involved with a wonderful community and to represent citizen voices. For her, key election issues include maintaining the uniqueness of Providence and planning for organized growth. One way she wants to do this is by preserving the make-up and densities of current neighborhoods.
Jeanell S. Sealy
Jeanell S. Sealy has lived in Providence with her family for six years and has lived in the Cache Valley 12 years. She attended Utah State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. She is a stay-at-home parent and is involved in volunteer work at her local school.
Sealy is running because she believes there needs to be a voice for families on the city council. Key issues for her in the election are making sure the city has a plan moving forward to maintain the quality of life for current residents before focusing on growth. She also wants to ensure measures are taken to prevent unnecessary legal actions in the city.
Brent D. Speth
Brent D. Speth and his wife, Coreen Hammond, built their first home in Providence in 1971. He previously served on the city council in the 90s and has since worked for the city for 13 years as a building inspector, zoning code enforcer and public works inspector. Currently, he is the president of the Spring Creek Irrigation Company
Speth is running because he is concerned with some of the city’s current operations. This includes both preserving water for the irrigation company and giving the city as much water as possible. He also wants to maintain previously established building zones in order to protect single-family areas from high-density and bring fiber optics to Providence.
Blair Martin moved to Providence four years ago and teaches as an adjunct professor at Utah State University. He holds masters degrees in business administration, mechanical engineering and material science.
Martin has been attending city council meetings for the past year and wants to support the city in healthy growth. Transparent city planning and growth are key issues to him. Additionally, he would like to diversify the activities and events in the city by doing things like providing more options for youth sports.
Jon Mock and his family have lived in Providence for the past 18 years. Mock is a registered nurse. He has served on the Providence panning commission as both a committee member and the chair.
Key issues for Mock include making Providence a desirable place to live by focusing on things like calm streets that encourage pedestrians and cyclists, well-maintained parks, quiet neighborhoods and a thriving business community. It is important to him to support sensible planning the provides for growth while minimizing the impacts on current residents.
Frank Montoya, Jr.
Frank Montoya moved to Providence two and half years ago after retiring from his 25-year career in the FBI. He previously spent four years in the Army following his graduation from Brigham Young University.
Montoya decided to run because he is concerned about developmental issues in the city. He said he is not opposed to growth, but that high density seems drastic to him. Other key issues for include keeping promises made to homeowners, planning for the future of the city, addressing infrastructure needs and listening to the voice of the people.
Carrie Kirk earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Utah State University. Before she had children, she taught school and then took 14 years off to raise her family. She now works part-time teaching special needs seminary classes at Bear River High School.
Kirk is running because she decided the best way to improve her community was to get involved. Key issues for Kirk include a long-term plan for multi-purpose parks. She said it important to her to provide voters a candidate option who is not coming into office with a personal agenda, a previous grudge or a conflict of interest.
Joshua Paulsen is originally from Salt Lake City and has lived in Providence for four years. He has an undergraduate degree in business and marketing and a master’s degree in business administration. He has worked in higher education for approximately 20 years in administrative positions. Paulsen has also served on the city’s planning and zoning commission for the past few months.
Paulsen said he and the residents who encouraged him to run feel there needs to be a change in the city council. He said it needs to be more connected with residents and better respond to their needs and wants. Key issues for him include fiscal responsibility, smart growth, avoiding unnecessary legal fees and working collaboratively with residents.
Ralph Daniels is a 14-year resident of Providence and currently serves as the Spring Creek water master. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. He volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, CASA, and visits the homes of children who in the court system because of child abuse cases.
Daniels is running because he is dissatisfied with the present City Council. He disagrees with their treatment of Spring Creek Water Company. Key issues for him in this election include the budget and ensuring that citizens are listened to, whether or not the council agrees with them. He said if he is elected, he wants people to contact him with their concerns.