Jeffrey Barnes answers the Smithfield Sun questionnaire for Smithfield City Council candidates.
Jeffrey H Barnes
Beginning with the most recent position, please list all public offices you have held (include positions on appointed boards or commissions).
I have been serving on the Smithfield City Tree Committee for the past year. The committee has been leading the development of the mack nature park in smithfield canyon. I have served for 15 years on the executive board of Trapper Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America and also for 15 years on the steering committee for the Utah Envirothon, utah high school’s competition in natural resources. I am currently serving as president of the Utah Section of the Society for Range Management.
If you ran for elected office but were not elected, please list those races (title and year of race).
I ran for City Council two years ago in 2009.
Why are you seeking to serve on the Smithfield City Council?
I think the Smithfield City Council needs diversity. My career in natural resources will be of benefit to this city. The knowledge, skills and abilities I have gained over the past 35 years working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service concerning soil, water, air, plants and animals will serve this city well. This is an area of knowledge lacking on the council. The top reason is I want to serve. As a servant to the residents of this city I will need to listen to the voice of the people and vote accordingly. I am open to new and creative ideas.
Describe your most important personal characteristics or traits as they relate to the office you seek.
As a scouter I live the principles of the scout oath and law, especially being honest and trustworthy. I am a busy person but I am also very organized and will make the time to serve, listen to the people and attend regular council meetings. I am passionate about Smithfield. With good information I feel I can make wise and important decisions as it relates to business of the City.
Please describe one to three accomplishments or contributions of which you are most proud. These examples should illustrate skills and capabilities you think apply to the office you are seeking. These accomplishments may have occurred at any time during your personal, professional or public life.
Working in the field of conservation and natural resources I am very proud of my accomplishments. Many years ago I helped create two programs for young people; 1-conservation field days for all valley 4th graders and 2-utah envirothon. The public school system wanted an outdoor school day to teach students about our natural resources. I became the lead person for our agency to help create hands on teaching methods in the field of soils. I did just that.
It has been a work in progress and has changed a lot since it began 25 years ago. In 2011 conservation field days is still alive and well with a wonderful success. If your children have ever brought home a soil profile in a tube, now you know who created that idea.
Two other men and myself back in 1987 organized and ran the first utah envirothon. The competition is nation wide but had never been done in Utah. We organized the first event and sent our first place team to the national event. We organized a group of people to serve as the utah steering committee and encouraged the utah association of conservation districts to be its number one sponsor. Again the Utah envirothon is alive and well today. In fact the Sky View High School team of 5 students won the state competition and represented the state at the national event in New Brunswick, Canada this past July.
Please describe the duties of the office you seek, in your own words. Which are the most important duties and why?
The Council is the law making & voting body of the city. All changes or updates to city ordinances, policies, procedures, etc come before the council. Subdivisions, zoning, and developments come before the council for approval. Tax decisions are made by the council.
Roads, signs, parks, etc are issues the council must address on a regular basis and listening to input from city residents and acting on important issues as they come before the council. The council must work with all city employees and department heads as well as the city manager, city recorder, and police chief. Information gathering from city employees is an important duty of all council members. The business of running a city is serious. All duties must be considered important. To choose which are the most important in my opinion is irrelevant.
What previous experience do you have running a business, managing employees or controlling a budget?
I work for the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service as a planner and work with many valley residents who call themselves farmers and ranchers. Our office manages hundreds of contracts with these people in the tune of millions of dollars. We are held accountable to every dollar we spend and why. The work involves working with other planners and engineers to manage our contracts. I am often asked by the supervisor to act as the office manager while he is away. I have been doing this work for 35 years.
What endorsements do you now have, or are you seeking?
I am seeking the endorsement of all citizens of Smithfield. I would like to be your personal city councilperson. One you can depend on.
What do you consider the most important issue facing our town today?
Development is the number one issue facing the city today. Smithfield is the best bedroom community to Logan today. It has easy access, has major schools and parks and is a beautiful place to live and raise a family. That’s why people want to live here. The people who do live here are good upright honest people. But, developments bring added costs to the city. They do not provide an income. Storm water management is an important issue facing the city which will cost money to implement. The Logan, Hyde Park and Smithfield Canal is another water issue facing the city today which will also cost money. Having said these things I think the most important issue facing us today is the fiscal, transparent, conservative management of the city budget.
What do you want to accomplish during the next 2 years?
I am not running for city council because I have a mission or agenda. I am running because I have a desire to serve and make wise decisions. The council will be making important decisions in the next 2 years which will have long term effects on both water issues mentioned in the previous question — the canal and storm water.