What separates me
I’ve had a fabulous week getting to know many of you. It’s great to talk issues and find out what matters most to you.
As we’ve spent time together, I’ve heard you say how the candidates share similar views on the key issues. And I think that’s probably right. We tend to agree on states rights — local control is paramount. We’re on the same page regarding open and transparent governance — the more information shared the better. And all of us want a more fiscally disciplined Washington — the out-of-control spending must stop.
I’d like to share a few ways I’m different and where I separate myself from the other candidates. I’m running on my record of achievement.
1. Experienced — Prior to my eight years as the mayor of Provo, I cut my teeth in the business world. I’ve grown a small business into an international company that’s known for building some of the best gun ranges and training facilities for law enforcement. As we grew to tens of millions in revenue, we hired hundreds of employees. I understand what makes our economy grow and what it’s like to make a payroll. I’m not afraid to make hard decisions.
2. Creative Problem Solver — While other cities go into debt and bond for road maintenance, a few years ago we came up with a way to triple our budget dedicated to roads while decreasing the amount of money our citizens were paying. Provo is the only city in the state to do this. We showed that when conservative principles and innovation combine, taxpayers win.
The history of iProvo is well known. It was a $39.5 million dollar decision which was coming due for city residents. I was able to negotiate a deal that brought in Google Fiber to take over the network, invest the much-needed $20 million to upgrade it, provide basic internet access to every household in the city for seven years, and get the city out of the internet business.
3. Proven Fiscal Conservative — When I was elected, I faced a deficit of $5.5 million. I had to make hard decisions and cut Provo’s budget by 8%. In the end, I was the one that had to look 30 employees in the eye, one at a time, and tell them their job was being eliminated. As hard as that was, we were better for it. We surveyed our residents and they said their satisfaction with the city was higher than ever. That’s doing more with less.
We have to make tough financial decisions every day in Provo as we manage an annual budget of roughly 200 million dollars. In the process, I work closely with council members, the public, employees, and city leadership to make sure we get it right. I have proven that I can find and eliminate waste.
Two terms later, we have fewer city employees per capita than we did when I started and we’re still delivering great value. 94% of the people in Provo approve of the job I’ve done.
These are just a few examples of how I think I separate myself in a crowded field. As we meet, I’d like to also share with you how we gave our employees choices on insurance, how Rock Canyon was saved, why Provo citizens are so engaged in their local government, and how I’ve stood up to the toughest lobbyists and done the right thing in the face of enormous pressure.
I want to bring this proven experience and approach to bear while representing you in Washington.