State of Utah House of Representatives, the race for House District 22 remains firmly centered in Magna

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

Sarge House District 22 candidate.

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).

Marilee Roose candidate

Marilee Roose Utah House District 22 Candidate

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: 

www.marileeroose.com/candidate2012/

Additional information on her campaign and positions at Vote Utah:

http://vote-ut.org/Intro.aspx?State=UT&Id=UTRooseMarilee

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.

This entry was posted in Kearns News, Magna News, West Valley City News, •SLCo/Utah News. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to State of Utah House of Representatives, the race for House District 22 remains firmly centered in Magna

  1. W Gregory says:

    Sue Duckworth has been a great legislator for Magna. She did not “take over” for her husband she has been elected twice and face a strong Republican challenger two years ago. Sue is a normal person not a politican, which can get some of the more partisan types riled up. She is not concerned about party or appearances, she just listens to her constituents and trys to represent them. While many legislators seem to think their effctiveness is based on how many pages of new law they can get passed, Sue has shown she will fight for Magna when needed, but not try to expand government for self agrandizement. She fought to eliminate the police fee and protect the Magna Township. I think we are lucky to have a representative in District 22 and not a politician!

    • Dan Powers says:

      Thank you for your feedback. I did reach out to her and her campaign, unfortunately I cannot present a side that I was not given any access to. As far as her “taking over”, please visit her campaign website, I merely quoted what was there. I am always interested in presenting the full story. I would also be happy to conduct a follow up story, but I cannot force anyone to automatically grant an interview. Every person, or in this case every candidate has the option to grant or not grant an interview in order for me to report the whole story. That is true in the case of every single potential story I work on. I can’t in good conscience entirely ignore a story just because a single person chooses to not grant an interview. I certainly do my best to fairly represent the story as I am able to. The best part is that people are able to make their voices heard with their votes tomorrow on election day.

  2. W Gregory says:

    It is to Sue’s detriment that she failed to respond, but I don’t see anywhere on her website that says she took over. I really appreciate the coverage of the local race. No one else has even bothered to cover District 22 so thank you. I do feel as though your article needs some clarification. Sue was not appointed, she has been elected twice. District 22 has picked her to be the representative, we will see if tomorrow makes it three times.

  3. Dan Powers says:

    That is a fair point, and I concede that someone could miss that she was elected, it was what was posted on her website last week when I submitted the story at our print deadline. I see that wording is no longer there. I certainly could have been less neutral with some of her previous comments in other interviews, but as I said before presenting a fair story is important to me and the Oquirrh Times. Circumstances in news are never ideal for perfection, even local news is a fluid affair. Last week’s paper was the last to be released prior to tomorrow’s election, it was important to the editor and myself that we at least get the the story out before the election. We go to print on Wednesdays in order to be available (in print) on Thursdays every week. A task that is more difficult than it might seem. As such the election results should make it to print this week. The staff at the paper now is a fraction what it once was, in that light we do the best we can.

  4. W Gregory says:

    Thank you for covering the local election, despite all of those challanges.

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