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Jan Lee, former House District 51 representative, to run for seat in November election

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - Jan Lee attended grade school in Sandy before leaving town to work in finance and in several state government positions. She returned to Sandy four years ago, hoping to utilize her experience to help the city and community. After former Sandy City Councilor Lois Coleman announced her retirement, three local residents fought to replace her — newly appointed councilor Scott Horsfall, Mary Dickinson and Jan Lee.

A former representative for House District 51, Lee was disappointed by the council's decision to appoint Horsfall, so now she's taking that decision to the people.

In November, Lee intends to run against Horsfall in the Sandy City Council election.

With her former work in the House, sitting on several cities' budget committees and consulting on issues of land and water conservation, Lee feels her experience makes her the perfect person for the role of city councilor.

If elected, she sees the fact that she wouldn't have to "learn (everything) as a new person, but knowing the terminology going in" as a benefit to the community as well as the council.

"Given my past government experience, I think it's a good fit," Lee told The Post. "Coming back to Sandy, I've seen a lot of the changes that have been made, and I'm impressed with some of them. ... (And) now that I'm retiring next year, I'll have a lot of time to commit."

Lee cited the Pleasant Street Master Plan and Sandy Community Campus projects as points of pride, and good cultural economic development. She said she would love to have a more walkable Sandy — a goal of the master plan, which intends to expand the downtown core toward Pleasant Street.

"All of those efforts require carefully planned infrastructure, attention to transportation and acknowledged community support and careful financial oversight," Lee said when seeking appointment to the the position 2 City Council seat late last month. "I would like to be a part of the team that brings these projects to fruition."

Economically, whether she's elected or not, Lee hopes the council will also address the city's cost-prohibitive rental market.

"We definitely need to do something about affordable housing," Lee explained. "I think the city has some land itself that could be (developed). They have some land up in Sandy Heights that they were going to sell that they could use for low-income housing."

Part of addressing that, she added, is connected to available income in the city. "I think we're still seeing our kids move to other places because there aren't family-wage jobs."

Other points of interest for Lee, regardless of income, include creating an accessible emergency health facility in Sandy and exploring other revenue sources for the city.

Of the latter, Lee said: "I think the city could look at other options for revenue in the budget process."

"One thing I suggested (in my interview with Council) was we really need to look at energy in our pipelines."

Lee referred to a procedure used in Portland to harness untapped hydropower by replacing old water piping with pipes lined with turbines, which would pump energy to a generator and provide additional energy to the city. Lee actually worked with the city of Portland on the project in the past, and said this would be a simple solution to provide extra money for city programs.

"It would be an easy source of revenue," Lee said.

Regardless if she is elected in November, the Sandy native said she'll "certainly be involved in the community in any efforts."

"I would appreciate having the opportunity to work with the council and city staff in structuring the city's future," Lee wrote in her initial application when she sought position 2 seat. "I support the measured growth that is occurring with council guidance and the open process with which the council welcomes the community."

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