District 22 :: Farmington, Kaysville, Fruit Heights, most of Layton and part of North Centerville.
A sidewalk. That’s my answer to a question I hear frequently: "How did you get started in politics?" Our children walked to school along a busy street with no sidewalk. A group of us parents got together to petition the Farmington City council, and I was selected as a spokesman. That led to running successfully for City Council, then Mayor.
I’ve found that solutions to public problems tend to yield themselves to this time tested formula:
1. Gain knowledge of the issues;
2. Involve stakeholders;
3. Bring legislators and officials to the table; and
4. Find entrepreneurial ways to get it done.
Progress usually appears incrementally, although occasionally you’ll experience a sudden breakthrough. Government doesn’t tend to move quickly. It takes patience and hard work to get good legislation passed. Legislative work is far more like sculpture than a drawing: you have to chisel the art from the stone, chip by chip, blow by blow, and not everyone sees the intended outcome.
Public service is a phenomenal personal challenge. You have to be willing to stand alone; to explain and justify every vote, and every position. You have to keep your cool when people disagree with you, sometimes very disagreeably – even when they ascribe unethical and selfish motives to your work.
The bottom line for me is that serving the people in my district in the Senate is a distinct honor and privilege, and I try to remember that – and them - as I go about my work.