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Meet The Candidate - Amy Clark

Article Date: 
18 June, 2010 - 06:00

Amy Clark is a candidate for the County Council at Large A seat.  This is a two year seat that will replace Al Lundgren.  Clark gained an appreciation for a rural outdoor lifestyle growing up in Montana.  She attended BYU where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management and later her Master’s in Public Administration.  The Public Administration Master’s degree focuses on effective management of government services for the communities they serve.
Clark made her new home in Mountain Green when the area in which she previously lived began to be developed and loose its rural feel. She loves the beauty of Morgan and this valley.  Her desire to maintain this beautiful environment is one of her primary motivations for running.
Clark and her husband are the parents of five children, all boys.  Her husband is Greg Clark.  Greg is a descendant of the some of the original settlers of Morgan County.  Moving here provides an opportunity for her husband to reconnect with his family living in Morgan County.  
Clark has a diverse background.  For a time, she worked for Microsoft in their marketing department.  Later, she took a position at Utah Valley State College as the Assistant Director of the Ballroom Dance Team, and afterword, she became an Adjunct Professor teaching Fitness for Life at UVSC.  After that, Clark worked for the United Way for two years.
While she was working for the United Way, Clark served on the committee that organized the Atlantic Olympic Torch Relay through Salt Lake.  Clark organized all the volunteers and coordinated the process for selecting the runners.  This experience managing and interacting with volunteers has given Clark a keen appreciation of the volunteer spirit she sees in Morgan.
After leaving the United Way, Clark became Director of Existing Businesses at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, a private organization which worked to bring business to the state.  In this role she helped businesses find the funding and support they needed to grow. The organization was successful and later took responsibility for economic development throughout the state.
Clark then became a pharmaceutical representative, first for J&J and then for Astrazeneca.  At the end of last year Clark left this position to focus on her family, her education, and the community.  
Clark feels that she will bring a unique perspective to the county council.  She has experience in; economic development, volunteer management, public administration, as well as motherhood.  She feels that all of these experiences have added to her abilities and can be used to benefit the county as she serves on the council.
Clark has a great passion for the community of Morgan, and she is very motivated to keep the quality of life high in the county.  She emphasized that she comes to the position without a personal agenda.  She simply wants to do what is best for the county as a whole.  
Below are Clark’s responses to the questions posed to each of the interviewed candidates running for county council seats:
1.  Why are you running for county council?
“I thought it would be great to put my experience and education to work in a positive way., because I love this valley and the quality of life that is here and I am hoping we can keep that.  
The other reason that I thought I might be a good candidate is that I really don’t have an agenda.  I am truly running for the good of the area.  There is not some alternative reason.
Rather, I would love to offer the services that I can - to help our community. I really believe the council is meant to represent the community, and that’s one of the reasons I like the At Large position: because it is for the whole county...
…I am a female, which it is nice to have diversity on the council.  To have another female would be great…  There are not any other females that are running, so I think that is a good positive thing.”
2. If elected, what would you like to accomplish?
Clark indicated plans to use her experience in economic development to help bring more businesses into the county.  She sees a strong business foundation as a way to reduce the tax burden on existing residents.  
She also said, “One thing that is important for the residents of the county to understand is that when we shop outside the county we are robbing ourselves of potential additional county services.”  Clark observed that shopping occurring outside the county funds these other county’s services rather than Morgan’s.
3. What do you think are the major issues facing the county?
“Growth and the finances that are required to support that growth…[and] the water issues that go along with that.”
4. What changes would you like to see in the county?
“Adding on to what the council is already doing.  I think they are doing a great job with changing a lot of the ordinances to try to control the growth… I would like to continue.  
Night sky ordinances and ridge line ordinances would be possibly beneficial… I love it here.  There is not a lot I would like to see changed.  I would like to see Morgan County stay as it is… [what] I would like to see, which again might help revenues, is possibly a little bit more advertising or marketing… I go on a lot of community type websites… I can find things, but I have never seen any of the events that happen in Morgan there, like Morgala Days… I think it would be great to do a marketing facelift to draw tourists in that may buy things.”
5. What is your opinion on the county attempting to bring new businesses into the county?  How would you attract these businesses?
“One of the first things I would try to do is to get us back as a member of the Economic Development Agency of Utah… Once you pay a membership fee they start working for you.  They try to help you in attracting businesses and they help tout the values of what your community is like…
We were ranked number one in the healthy living survey… I think that is one thing that we should tout...  I really think we need a ‘Buy Morgan County’ campaign to help support our local businesses.”
6. How do you feel about the growth in the county?
“I think it is inevitable. I think it is just key that we put keys in place to control it how we want it.”
7. How do you feel about the quality of life in the county? What would you propose to enhance it?
“I think Morgan County is one of the best kept secrets in Utah.”  Clark commented on how well Morgan County was rated in the health survey, and she also observed that the only low area in the survey was in clinical care, because there is only one facility in the county.  She believes a facility like an Instacare would be a good addition.
8. Morgan County revenues have declined in the past few years.  Do you think county budgets are too generous and need to be trimmed?  Do you think the county should raise property taxes? Do you believe services should be diminished or that services should be expanded?
Clark expressed that she feels the budgets are appropriate for the current needs of the county.  She is opposed to raising taxes.  She sees economic development as key for the county to provide better services for county residents.
9. Morgan County is non-partisan.  Should it continue this way or change to a partisan system?
She is in favor of the non-partisan approach in Morgan County.
10. How do you picture Morgan County in five years from now and 20 years from now?
“I hope it is a lot the same.  I would love to see some recreation enhancements, possibly some trails that connect the whole community... again, with some commercial development along those key corridors, but I really hope it doesn’t change much.”
11. Recently, the county participated in Envision Morgan and other public input planning meetings.  Some respondents favored clustering development into specific areas with the remaining spaces undeveloped.  What is your vision for future development of the county?
Clark is in favor of the clustering approach in order to keep open spaces in the county.  She would also like to see the county capitalize on traffic over Trappers Loop.
12. Where do you stand on the issue of a Special Service District?
“I don’t think now is the time to do it.”
13. Where do you stand on the Aquatic Center?
Clark said that she would love to see an aquatic center for her children, but she is more concerned about the fact that most lose money.  She thinks the county should carefully consider where to locate this center to maximize attendance.  
She also sees an approach toward a broader community recreation center as a way to provide more diverse services for more residents.  She believes alternative approaches would need to be considered, such as a public/private partnership or an endowment fund.
14.  Is the Morgan School District giving children the quality of education they should have?
“I think they do a great job.  There is a 95% graduation rate from Morgan...  It is one of the highest in the state.  I think they are doing an excellent job.”
15. In the past, citizens have often only become involved after a decision is made by the council.  What would you do to get people involved sooner?
Clark believes the county should utilize a wider range of communication devices.  She particularly believes the county should invest in an improved website and better online communication.  She applauds the steps taken by the county and believes more yet should be done.
16. What do you see as some of the positive actions that the Morgan County government has taken?
Clark believes that the actions taken to update ordinances and control growth have been beneficial.  She also thinks that the work to put the county records on-line have been good.  
17. Knowing the diversity of issues faced by the council; legal issues, land management, personnel, public works, etc., what skills do you bring to help the county with these issues?
Clark said that she believes that her background in education, economic development, sales, marketing, volunteer coordination, fund raising, and technology, provide a great foundation for addressing the diversity of issues that come before the council.
18. How would you vote if the majority of the constituents in your district favored one decision, but you personally favored a different decision?
“It depends,” Clark comments.  She then adds that she believes voters want someone who will make the tough decisions when required.  She continues by saying she would put her constituents’ interest over any personal one.
19. What is your position on the road bond?
Clark is supportive of the road bond and believes it was a good decision.
20. Do you have time to serve in this role?
Clark said that, if elected, she is willing to dedicate all of the time that the position requires to serve the community.
Clark reiterated that she has no specific agenda items to push.  She has no relatives working for the county to create a conflict of interest, and she highlighted that her focus would be to make the best decisions to maintain Morgan County’s quality of life.
For more information about Amy Clark, you can visit her Facebook page under the group name, “Amy Clark For Morgan County Council,” or visit her website at www.AmyClark4Council.org