This year three separate candidates remain in the running for the single office that Magna can elect to represent Magna outside of Magna, Utah State House of Representatives Seat 22. A longtime Magna resident Susan “Sue” Duckworth, a Democrat, currently occupies seat 22 since 1 January 2009, according to her website. Neither Duckworth nor her campaign responded to requests for an interview.
The Oquirrh Times was able to conduct interviews with both write in candidate Sarge Froehl of the “reform” party, and Marilee Roose of the Constitution Party of Utah.
Sarge (Froehle), write in candidate “Sarge”
Sarge is a retired Army Master Sergeant who has been most recently involved with the Magna Concerned Citizens (Tea Party). He was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota (about 50 miles east of Grand Forks, North Dakota and 60 miles south of the Canadian Border). His last Active Duty assignment brought him to Fort Douglas in 1984, with sixth Army Headquarters. He moved to Magna and decided to remain after his retirement. He owns one of the few remaining horse properties in Magna and continues to work on his own land following retirement in 1986 from active military service.
His platform includes accountability and representation of the people in government. He feels that the state legislature should be making better use of their time.
An example of needless legislation according to him was House Bill 219 (Feb. 2011), that establishes the ‘John M. Browning designed M1911 automatic pistol as the state firearm of Utah. Legislation as this Sarge referred to as “fluff” and a “waste of the legislature’s time.” He feels there are more pressing issues that should be the priority for the elected representatives. He points out that his belief is the state legislature should be capped at a certain number of pieces of legislation during each annual session, effectively forcing the legislators to focus on the most important issues during any given session.
Another major point for his campaign is having an open, ethical, and accountable government. In March of 2011, House Bill 477 was passed and signed into law – excluding Utah State government records from GRAMA (Government Records Access and Management Act). This closes off public access to standard government records, which by itself certainly raises questions. The passing of this bill has raised question among citizens and voters alike about why State Government needs to shield voters from seeing what is going on in the government.
He also cites the fact that within the State of Utah, there is no provision in the state constitution or in State Law to allow the citizens to recall elected officials who no longer have the confidence of their constituents to execute their respective elected office. He believes that having a recall provision of some sort is necessary to protect the citizens from out of control government, and is a basic protection of citizen’s individual rights.
He wants to bring in legal controls to prevent elected officials from receiving “free” pensions and retirement benefits at the expense of the taxpayer.
He also believes that there should be term limits on all elected offices to prevent career politicians from becoming entrenched, preventing families from maintaining decades of control over political office. Throughout Utah history, this has been a problem as well as a concern of voters.
Sarge brings an uncommon perspective, originally from somewhere else and choosing Magna as his permanent home. His children and grandchildren graduated from Cyprus since he has relocated and become part of Magna in the 1980’s – proving that a person is not required to have grown up entirely in Magna to care about Magna.
Sarge’s campaign website is located at: www.sargeforthepeople.com
Also see his work with Represent Me Utah www.representmeutah.org
Marilee Roose is running as the Constitution candidate also for District 22. She is an eleven year resident of Magna. Though she is comparatively new to Magna, she already considers it her home. She has previously been a small business owner and worked as a Dean of Students at a former private school (Kimber Academy, a K-12 school in Sandy).
The main parts of her platform consist of a smaller more efficient government by reducing spending and making a concerted effort to work with constituents to provide the representation they elected her for. Her primary motivations for running are twofold. First, to provide voters with a choice, as the Republican candidate pulled out of the race. Second, to demonstrate to citizens that there are more than two parties able to put forward good candidates who will work to represent voters. In large part, she wants to show people that “here [in Magna] we are normal people.” She feels strongly that an important part of the democratic process is for ordinary citizens to participate in government.
Roose would like to see government simplified. She recalled a conversation with outgoing Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, in which Shurtleff conveyed ‘it is possible to find anyone to be breaking the law because the legal code is so complicated and contradictory.’ She feels that the average citizen should not require attorneys to review every single decision before it is made.
She is concerned about recent issues on the horizon, which have the potential to have negative impacts on the community.
Marilee sees the current rate of spending by the state government as a major problem. “If I am elected I will be willing to examine every program for efficiency and budget restraints. There can be no ‘sacred cows’, there is too much wasteful spending by government.” She emphasized that “dealing with all fiscal matters, we need to balance the needs of people with what makes sense for government to spend.” She explained she understands that the government’s entire budget, tax revenue, comes to the government through the hard work of individual citizens. That money should be used in ways to provide necessary services, improving the quality of life, as well as being there to help in the cases of need.
Increasing taxes on businesses only causes businesses to in-turn to pass those increases on to consumers. She also believes that neither businesses nor people should receive special tax breaks. In short, her perspective is that tax revenue should be spent with great care.
She, like most parents in Utah, sees education as one of the highest priorities. She has been an educator but disagrees with the notion better education is only available if more money is spent. She feels that much of the money spent on education is wasted in layers of bureaucracy, with less funding than is needed in the classroom. She feels that the public education system is over-focused on testing metrics instead of ‘skill’ and ‘results’ oriented training. “The current state education requirements prevent teachers from being able to be creative in teaching. They are forced to teach to tests instead of concepts.” She would like to see discretion given to local schools, putting the power back in the hands of the teachers and parents adequately providing job skills and well rounded knowledge to students.
Roose believes that she can provide better access to her constituents by being flexible with her schedule. When asked about what separates her from the other candidates, she cited “statesmanship.” Expounding she feels that specifically her experience working at a private school, helping students and parents work with the administrators and teachers built the skills needed, to bring ordinary citizens and legislators together to accomplish their goals and maintain good government.
The Marilee Roose Campaign website is at:
Additional information on her campaign and positions at Vote Utah:
As a result of the 2010 Census, Utah went through the process of redistricting. This process added an additional U.S. Congressional seat (Utah increased from 3 to 4). A number of changes happened on the State and Local level as well. The west side of Salt Lake County has seen a significant increase in population. This has resulted in changes in districts throughout the state. For more information on the results of this process, please visit the official Redistrict Utah website at www.redistrictutah.com for more information including an interactive map that allows you to see the precise boundaries.
The current representative, Susan Duckworth, states on her campaign website that she essentially took over from her husband Carl Duckworth (D) after he was diagnosed with cancer. Carl had previously held the office since 1999. She was elected to the office during the 2008 election, and was re-elected to a second term following that first term. Utah House District Seat 22 has remained inside the Duckworth household since 1999, a fact that concerned both candidates interviewed for this article. As noted before, neither Susan Duckworth nor her campaign responded to the request for an interview.