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WINTER Wear: An avocet wades in the Bear River to look for a tasty snack. The bird's black-and-white winter plumage heralds the onset of cold weather. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, November 11, 2005

On journalists during wartime (for Veterans Day):

"[I]n the news media that covered the war both overseas and domestically, journalists also were willing to cooperate and do their
part. The public did not see journalists (and journalists did not see themselves) as being against the team. Journalists were part of the team. Some, such as roving correspondent Ernie Pyle, repeatedly visited combat zones even though they did not have to do so, and they paid with their lives."

--Michael S. Sweeney, press historian, 2001 (from "Secrets of Victory," about censorship during WWII)


VOTERS' GUIDE: Smithfield council candidates compare platforms

By Kathryn Kemp

October 22, 2005 | SMITHFIELD -- The race for mayor and city council in Smithfield is winding up, and the Smithfield Chamber of Commerce decided it was time for the community to hear what the candidates had to say.

A Meet the Candidates night was held Thursday night at the Birch Creek Golf Course to give the four candidates for city council and the candidates for mayor time to share their visions. Running unopposed for mayor is Chad Downs, and running for the two open city council seats are Chris Daines, Janice Mikkelsen, Kris Monson, and Dennis Watkins. Mikkelsen and Monson are both currently on the council and are hoping for re-election.

Candidates had a few minutes to introduce themselves and talk about why they wanted to be on the city council, and then answer a few questions.

Dennis Watkins has been a resident of Smithfield for 34 years. He has wanted to run for several years, and this year he is finally able to seek office. He owns the Denny's Stationary stores in Smithfield and Logan, and would like to provide a different kind of perspective to the council. He feels it is important that they have a good balance on the council, and would like to provide the businessman's approach. One of Watkins' major goals is to improve communication between the city and the citizens.

"There's a real feeling that we don't have any input," he said. His goal is to give them that input. Watkins says this is his way of saying thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over the years to make Smithfield what it is. "The city's been good to me and I appreciate that."

Janice Mikkelsen is a current city council member who has lived in Smithfield for 26 years. She says she is proud of the progress that has been made in the four years that she has been on the council. A new fire station has been built, an ambulance service was established, and she helped in the "retooling" of the city master plan. "I really would like to continue to serve over the next four years," she said.

If re-elected, Mikkelsen would like to make sure that the new library and city office complex get completed. She wants to keep development from going to far up into the foothills, and continue to expand communication with the citizens. "I can honestly say I've tried very hard to listen to the input of the citizens."

Kris Monson was unable to attend the meeting because she was out of town, but her daughter Marci Monson provided a statement from Monson. Monson is also currently a member of the city council, and she has also worked with the city's youth council, and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Monson would like to continue building the new library, and including the old library as part of the plans. "I feel we need to keep our beautiful, old buildings as they are part of our heritage," she said. She would like to keep watch over development both on the west side of town where people want to keep its "country feel", and on the east side up in the foothills. Monson says that she has gained a great education from working on the city council and says, "I would like to put the knowledge I have into the next four years and feel I can be even more productive right from the start."

Chris Daines was also unavailable and Dean Martineau read a statement for him. Daines has lived in Smithfield for over eight years, and is an attorney with his own practice. He has past experience in government working on the Nibley planning commission and the Smithfield Board of Adjustments. Martineau said that he finds Daines to be "very honorable, very approachable, and very capable." When Daines is presented with an issue, he says before he votes he will consider three questions: 1) Will this action promote liberty? 2) Will this action promote civility? 3) Will this action promote simplicity? "It the answers to all three questions is 'yes' then I will probably vote for the measure. If the answer to all three is 'no' then I will probably vote against." He says the principles are listed in order of importance, and will rarely ever have some answered no and some yes. "By asking these questions, I hope to maintain some consistency in decisions over time," he said.

Chad E. Downs is the candidate who is running unopposed for mayor of Smithfield. Downs was out of town teaching for USU, and also asked that a statement be read for him. He promised that he will cut back his time at the university in order to devote the time he needs to spend as mayor. He says that any decisions or recommendations that come from the mayor's office will have two questions in mind; is it good for the citizens, and is it affordable?

Downs believes that the citizens will find him available and approachable. "The high quality of life today in Smithfield City is evidence of strong current and past citizen leadership, and I hope to build upon that foundation."

Elections will be held Nov. 8.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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