I am Leslie Jones and I am a candidate for Mapleton City Council and I ask for YOUR trust and YOUR vote.

Mapleton is at a crossroads. Growth and change are coming. How we manage them will dictate the quality of life we pass on to our children. I feel a sense of urgency to get it right. I’m running for city council to lay the groundwork for growth patterns that can sustain our city budget, services, and sense of community.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  • Nurturing economic development in our city is critical for the long term financial sustainability of our community. The two most stable sources of city revenue come from property tax (37%) and sales tax (20%). This means 43% of our city revenue comes from sources that are not stable or sustainable (consider impact fees, construction related revenue, grants, etc)  We must create long term financial sustainability for our city that is not dependent on residential development by diversifying our ongoing sources of revenue. Growing the sales tax revenue bucket is essential. Forming an Economic Development Task Force comprised of residents and city administration to explore economic development options is a top priority. This task force will be nimble and responsive to whatever changes are made by the state legislature to our tax structure.
  • Plan ahead for small and medium-scale retail and commercial development to generate sales tax revenue. Without an expanded tax base, future city revenues will rely heavily on increases in property tax.
  • Engage resources in our community to develop an economic development plan and actively invite a diverse business base to invest in our community. We must be intentional about what we want our economic base to look like in our community.

PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Maintain adequate ratios of police officers to residents as well as adequate emergency response times.
  • Plan ahead to project costs for the new state retirement benefits to public safety personnel and prepare to absorb those costs.

TAXES

  • Engage with state and county policy makers as well as regional partners to evaluate how upcoming tax reform initiatives will impact Mapleton.

GROWTH

  • I support efforts by the current city administration in their pursuit of a Fiscal Sustainability Study. This study will assess the infrastructure and revenue needs of the city moving forward as we grow to our projected buildout of 30,000 residents. This study will give us data that will be crucial as we make budget decisions and approve residential and commercial projects while maintaining a high level of service to our residents
  • I support the efforts by the current city administration to invite all residents to weigh in on a revision to the General Development Plan. (Watch your utility newsletter for more details) Less than 10% of land in Mapleton has not been approved for development. We need ALL residents to weigh in on how this remaining land should be designated.

COMMUNITY

  • In the decade that I’ve lived in Mapleton, I have yet to talk with other residents that don’t express their love for the good people in our community. As our numbers grow, we must fight for and be intentional about how we weave our social fabric and build upon the traditions that have been established in a positive and inclusive manner. We must build on what unites us and not what divides us.
  • I’m committed to work on efforts to build and expand on ways to involve more residents in strengthening city traditions and building new ones. This includes but is not limited to forming an economic development committee, library sustainability committee, or any other community-wide effort that builds on the involvement of the great people of our city.