City Council candidates offer diverse opinions on homelessness, community growth

SALT LAKE CITY — As voters enter the final week to turn in primary election ballots, several Salt Lake City Council candidates have focused on infrastructure, community development and homelessness as key issues in their respective neighborhoods.

A primary election is set for Tuesday, with the top two candidates from each race advancing to the Nov. 7 general election.

District 1

Councilman James Rogers, who was was first elected in 2013, is seeking re-election amid challenges from Arnold Jones and David Atkin.

Rogers, 39, has pointed to investment in the Utah State Fairpark and the creation of the northwest quadrant development master plan as a model for business and development-oriented growth.

Rogers is a business advocate and has emphasized that District 1— which includes the Rose Park, Jordan Meadows, West Point and Fairpark neighborhoods — is the “gateway to downtown” for visitors to the city and should reflecting modern planning.

Jones, 52, said he wants to focus on downtown development, as well as strengthening relationships between law enforcement and residents. Also, “homelessness is a huge issue,” he said.

The owner of a car restoration shop, Atkin’s plan for downtown Salt Lake’s homeless problem centers on refocusing shelters and resource centers into a place where officials can educate homeless Utahns and help get them off the streets.

Atkin, 54, says on his campaign website that shelters will no longer get “local, state and federal funding just to help these people live.”

District 3

Phil Carroll, Laura Cushman, Brian Fukushima, Jeffrey Garbett and Chris Wharton are vying for the District 3 seat being vacated by two-term Councilman Sam Penfold. The district includes the Capitol Hill and Greater Avenues neighborhoods.

Wharton, 39, a civil rights attorney and LGBT rights activist, said the city’s homeless problem should be dealt with…

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