Spanish Fork City Council
Deep Roots and Homegrown Values
Kevin has deep and unusual roots in Spanish Fork. While most kids were talking about school or telling corny jokes around the dinner table, Kevin's family discussed city budget issues and other city projects. Kevin's dad was City Manager for 40 years. "I inherited from my parents a deep love for Spanish Fork and constant searching for ways to make it even better. It's more than home to me, it's part of who I am."
Kevin and his wife Angela want to keep Spanish Fork a great hometown where their four kids can one day live and raise a family. Kevin is kind of a data nerd, whose education and job as Senior Business Intelligence Analyst at Nu Skin, have made him an expert at gathering pertinent data and analyzing that data to make good decisions.
He currently serves on the Planning Commission, where he was elected by his fellow Commissioners to serve as Chair. As a Commissioner, he does his best to listen, be fair and work towards solutions that are beneficial to everyone involved.
"Spanish Fork is not only a place people want to move to, but more importantly, it's a place people want to stay."
Growth and Housing Costs
Growth is something that affects everyone that lives here, for the bad and the good. Increased population has brought us a much wider variety of restaurants, shopping, medical care, employment, and education options. On the other hand, we deal with more traffic, an increased strain on our infrastructure and public safety, and less open space. The increased tax base helps us keep taxes low and still provide a lot of services and recreational opportunities to citizens, but having lived here all my life, it feels more crowded, busy and less rural. Most of our growth is internal. We want our children to have an affordable place to live and our aging parents to be able to downsize, but more people, whether from internal or external growth, means more demand for housing.
More demand means higher housing costs. We’ve seen home prices skyrocket throughout most of Utah, including Spanish Fork. My wife and I regularly ask ourselves how our children will ever be able to afford a home of their own if prices continue going up. Obviously there's no one thing that can be done to fix this issue, but while on the Planning Commission we have worked with city staff to try and find solutions that work in Spanish Fork. One important change we made was to the ordinance on accessory dwelling units and basement apartments, allowing basement apartments in all residential zones. This increased the rental inventory within the city and provided more options for families looking for a temporary place to live.
We need a variety of options, decreasing density the closer we get to established neighborhoods. We need to make sure that property rights on both sides of the equation are considered. Most of all we need to make sure that anything approved appropriately fits in the area where it is proposed, aesthetically, with traffic, and other factors affecting the surrounding area.
Serving on the City's Planning Commission for the past four years will allow me to hit the ground running when it comes to the issue of growth. I know and understand the General Plan, the city's municipal code and I understand the importance of making sure increased density is only allowed in locations where it has been planned for. It's also important we preserve as much open space as possible to help maintain the small town feel we have all come to love and enjoy.
I learned from my dad when I was young that the city revenue is tax dollars paid by the people who live, shop and work here. It isn’t the City’s money, elected officials are stewards of that money; it belongs to the residents of Spanish Fork. One of the most important responsibilities of the City Council is reviewing and approving the city's annual budget.
I believe that we must prioritize the core functions of government like infrastructure and Public Safety before talking about the amenities, but recognize that quality of life issues are also important budget items. One of my spending priorities will always be Public Safety and I will work to make sure our emergency first responders always have the tools they need to keep themselves and us safe.