The two candidates for Sandy mayor — challenger Stan Pulliam and incumbent Bill King — couldn't be more different.
Pulliam has the pressed shirt and polished delivery of someone who has rehearsed for this election for a very long time.
King has the grease stains and tempered approach of someone who's been in the trenches for an equally long time.
Deciding between these two candidates poses a real dilemma, because we've concluded that both have a sincere love of their community and aspirations for its success now and into the future.
So who to endorse in this election? Let's break it down.
Both candidates acknowledge Sandy is heading toward gridlock as Highway 26 traffic increases as it cuts a path through town. Both candidates are willing to put all options for a long-term solution on the table, including an exploration of a bypass. In the short term, both candidates favor an extension of Bell Street (at the high school) to an intersection with 362nd Avenue, which could take presure off the Bluff Road intersection at Proctor Boulevard.
Pulliam wants the city to adopt a collaborative relationship with existing businesses and new ventures. King says the city is already working collaboratively, as evidenced by the hiring of an economic development director and development of a "how to open a business in Sandy" packet.
SANDY COMMUNITY CAMPUS:
Both Pulliam and King are skeptical about the breadth and expense of the overall project to redevelop the former Cedar Ridge Middle School campus into a city-operated aquatic center, community center and athletics venue with an approximate cost of $72 million. Both are concerned about the potential for saddling residents with another huge expense. Pulliam is further concerned about the potential of putting the city and private business in direct competition. The common thread is that both candidates are taking a cautious look at this redevelopment.
Pulliam is committed to taking the city through a master plan update, providing a road map forward for the next 10 to 15 years. And Pulliam is also convinced that the city government doesn't do enough to support community groups as they weave the fabric of the town's quality of life. King, meanwhile, demonstrates a thorough understanding of the major issues facing the city, from the need for an improved sewage treatment plant to changing technologies and how they might influence the SandyNet municipal internet service. And King is proud of the city's behind-the-scene's support of community events.
Pulliam comes across as a common sense candidate with reasonable solutions to problems. But in many ways, the common sense solutions are already under consideration or well-handled within the existing city government.
There are too many good things happening right now within city government — Sandy Style, SandyNet, Sandy Area Metro (SAM) public transportation, policing, planning and community events — to suggest an absence of vision or ambition.
So we find it difficult to fault King's stewardship of this community, even though he is the less outgoing of the two candidates.
In this case, there needs to be something more tangible than Pulliam's assertions that Sandy needs new leadership.
Given these things, The Post enthusiastically endorses Bill King for another term as Sandy mayor. We do recommend that he step up his game in his next term. There are no other issues more important to Sandy's livability than the topics of traffic congestion and continued city growth. From King's pulpit, he can be the driving force that steers the conversation. And Sandy residents can't afford to wait for another election to get this conversation started.
Re-elect Mayor Bill King