Cemetery district among hot issues in North Logan election

NORTH LOGAN – The Youth Council held a meet-the-candidates night Wednesday, where citizens had the opportunity to ask questions and mingle with those running for City Council in the general election Nov. 3. Lloyd Berentzen, current councilman and unopposed candidate for mayor, started off the night. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to run,” he said. “I actually wish that it was not an unopposed situation. There have been a lot of folks that have said, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if there was somebody else?’ And I have to agree 100 percent.” When asked how he responds to criticism, Berentzen said before doing anything, he pauses and takes a moment to think about the issues so that he can come to a satisfactory conclusion. He said he believes heavily in community participation and knows that it’s the citizen’s job to criticize him. “I just want you to know that from my standpoint, it’s an opportunity and it gives me, hopefully, a sense of satisfaction being able to serve in this capacity,” Berentzen said. “I think that is a selfish motive on my behalf, but I hope that I can be of some benefit as we go forward. If I am successful, I will certainly do everything I possibly can to try to behave in a satisfactory and professional manner for the community that we have here. And to protect it and continue it, in what I think is really a legacy of how we’ve been able to live and enjoy our lives here.” The four candidates running for the two open council seats were asked questions from North Logan residents. Responding to whether or not they would support a cemetery district, John Bailey said he thinks that it’s probably a good idea and that he would. “If people love the city as much as I do, they probably want to hang around here whether they’re living or dead,” he said. Alan Collins said that when it comes to increasing taxes to form a cemetery district, hard questions need to be asked. Taxation needs to go to the people and they can decide whether or not to fund it, he said. Lucy Peterson-Watkins said she would support creating a cemetery district; however, it’s going to be a hard task and won’t be immediate. She said it will have to happen because it’s inevitable, but the city shouldn’t do it until it’s the right time. Nancy Potter said she is on the cemetery committee and knows a lot about this issue. If they create the cemetery district, they will have to create a new tax. She said $11,000 leaves the city each year and goes to Hyde Park because part of North Logan is in their cemetery district. So, it’s something that needs to happen, but the city shouldn’t rush it, she said. The candidates were also asked how they would maintain North Logan’s rural atmosphere, which is the residents’ No. 1 desire, according to a survey completed last year. Potter said the city needs to have a good plan, so that when developers come in, they can keep a rural feel. She said the city already has a good master plan that just needs to be enforced. Bailey said that as many people as possible need to know each other and care about each other in order for North Logan to maintain a rural feel. Residents also need to be involved in the public process, he said. Collins said, “They say it’s inevitable that (the city) is going to grow. That it’s going to get crowded. That all these things are going to happen. You know what, I don’t believe that that’s true.” By changing some of the city’s policies and letting residents be more free with their land by not requiring them to build curbs, gutters and sidewalks in order to build another home on their property, North Logan will maintain its rural feel, he said. Peterson-Watkins said she looks at the city differently because she left. It takes a lot of time to keep things rural. North Logan has the highest percentage of park space in Utah, she said. “What North Logan will look like then, is what we accomplish now,” she said.

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