Suzette Sorensen Bulloch
How long have you lived in Iron County?:
What a polite way to ask my age – since I am a lifelong resident. :) On May 26, I will have lived in Iron County for 43 years. That makes me old enough to have great life experience, but young enough to dig in, work hard, and get the job done for Iron County.
What do you see as your top priorities if you are elected?:
- Quickly and thoroughly reviewing my assignments so that I will be ready to get to work! I’m technologically savvy, not afraid to ask questions directly from the source, and I will do my own research, as evidenced thus far by my efforts since my decision to file for County Commissioner “B”. I believe in being proactive, having established office hours, and getting to know each individual employee. By fostering a team spirit and a unified front, the citizens of Iron County will collectively be better served.
- Ensuring fiscal responsibility and transparency at all levels of County government. As the budgetary guidelines will have already been established by the outgoing commission, one can only hope that sufficient consideration will have been given to each line item during the budget process and that active participation was sought directly from each elected official and department head to guarantee an attitude of “buy-in” and accountability.
- Dealing with the issues. Just like laundry and dirty dishes, the issues of taxes, infrastructure, and water will always be around. And, let’s not forget about our little, furry and protected friends. Unfortunately, quick and simple answers are not reality, but finding the best possible solutions for our “here and now” needs to be an actuality.
Why are you running for this office?:
This is a perfect opportunity for me to serve the citizens of Iron County. With the talents and abilities that I possess, I want to help improve the lives of others. This is such a crucial time for so many people. Status quo is no longer acceptable. Many important decisions are going to need to be made, which will in turn, affect the lives and prosperity of our citizens. It all comes down to how our tax dollars will be spent or saved as decided in the budget process. With my extensive knowledge of government accounting and a proven track record of honesty, integrity, and cost saving measures on a municipal level, I just couldn’t sit back and not be involved in trying to make a difference.
What is your professional background?:
My professional background has been varied between 8 years in the private sector and 15 years in government, giving me the unique balance necessary to serve as a County Commissioner “B”. In reviewing the current assignments for this position, my work experience fell right in line with many of those responsibilities which would provide me with established relationships and trust. For example:
Tourism -- I worked for 2 years at the Utah Shakespearean Festival and 5 ½ years at Brian Head Resort;
Justice Court – I worked for 6 years in the Fifth District Court system as a Deputy Court Clerk;
Liaison to the Treasurer – I worked for 5 years as the Brian Head Town Treasurer; and
Liaison to the Assessor – In October I will have 2 years with the Assessor’s Office as I am currently a Deputy Assessor.
What is the last book you read?:
Not counting my son’s nightly “book in the bag”, the last book I finished was Richard Paul Evans’ The Carousel. I had just started the first book The Brothers in Chris Stewart’s series The Great and Terrible prior to filing for candidacy. Needless to say, that’s been put aside for now.
What would you like to improve about the management of Iron County?:
The lines of communication with our citizens and staff need to be enhanced to create transparent government. Since I am a current Iron County employee, I would want to ensure that I would still have direct access to the property record system, etc. so that I could better serve land owners and have their information readily available to answer questions and address their concerns. Leadership is the willingness to accept responsibility for results. By setting the example of excellent customer service at a Commission level, nothing less should then be expected from the other departments.
What is your position on federal funding for prairie dog control in Iron County?:
I know that many individuals in the County are fearful of federal funding and the “strings” that are attached, imagined or real. For us, as a County, to automatically say no to all federal funding is irresponsible, especially if it will save our local tax dollars to be utilized more prudently. But by not saying no, doesn’t mean we always say yes, either. Each opportunity for federal money needs to carefully be considered. Some may say that to accept federal assistance is against principal. However, I submit to you that my core and fundamental belief is evidenced by epistles of local leaders seeking government support. Should we not make use of the means which have been provided for us?
What do you believe is the best solution for Iron County's energy needs?:
Based on my discussions with our economic development personnel, and supported by their overall research, our best solutions for renewable energy sources would be 1) solar, 2) geothermal, and 3) wind.
What is your vision for providing water in Iron County in the coming years?:
With Utah being the second most arid state, our need for water is always at the forefront. Efforts towards conservation and development of new sources must always be on our agenda. Our shares of water are in vain if there is no water to share. We need to better harness mountain run-off. Impounding this flow could capture this water for more benefit, for a longer period of time, and could have multifaceted uses.
What is the county's role regarding property rights?:
Government has an important role in the economy to define, establish, and enforce property rights, which are the foundation for all of our other rights. It is a double-edged sword, especially in a market society, where many may in one breath say that government needs to do something, and in the next declare their desire for total lack of involvement.
What is your plan for management of county tax dollars?:
Our tax base is set by the State at a guaranteed level to provide for the needs of our populace. New money is derived from new growth, which in turn increases the guaranteed tax base. One may think of it like a scale. The tax rate is adjusted each year, either higher or lower depending on the decrease or the increase in property value, to keep the balance.
We can think of our tax dollars like a large pizza, sufficient in size to feed us all. It’s up to us to choose our toppings and the price we want to pay for dinner. We shouldn’t be of the opinion to just order the “deluxe” and let people pick off what they don’t like. But would we be satisfied to only eat “cheese”? And do we really understand that by lowering our tax base we are decreasing the size of our pizza, but still having to feed the same amount of people? Are we prepared to go hungry?
We will always be able to deliver a balanced budget as it is required by the State Auditor. We need to begin thinking “outside” the box and look for cost saving measures which could free-up funding from one area to the next. Likewise, we need to be aware of fund balance appropriation or rather, “dipping into savings” to cover expenses.
What would you like to see more of in Iron County?:
Typically, one would give the standard answer of increased retail, restaurants, and recreational venues. However, given the present economic down turn, at this point in time I would have to say a secured job market for our populace and a sense of stability. In less prosperous times, more than ever, we need to be focused on community unity and acts of service, whether small or large. Even if we are not able to do “great” things, we should not let it stop us from trying to do something. As we focus on the problems of others, our own problems seem less serious. May we remember the great heritage of Iron County and realize, that like those first pioneers, that by working together we will be able to build a better tomorrow.
What principles of good government will you follow to help you in your decisions?:
I am committed to public interest over self-interest and will continue to seek your input, as a delegate and neighborhood representative, to ensure that we have a local government by the people, for the people. Rest assured, at the end of the day, someone will be unhappy as we can’t please all of the people, all of the time. However, let us agree to disagree, knowing that my decisions will be just and equitable, for the better good, and based on solid principal.
Why should we vote for you?:
A vote for me is a vote for you. You will be my primary focus. You are my agenda. You will be utilized. Together, we can make a difference!
What is the best way for people to learn more about you?:
If you have any questions or concerns that I can answer, please call me at 435-590-2854 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information is also available at suzettesbulloch.blogspot.com