"As the mother of a twenty-three year old daughter with autism, I have learned the importance of giving a voice to those who are most vulnerable. It is in the advocacy for others that I have found my purpose. I want to be an example to other elected officials all over the valley on how to lead with honesty, integrity, accountability, transparency and respect." - Brooke D'Sousa
COMMUNITY VALUES AND PRIORITIES
Sandy has become a vibrant city that attracts people and businesses from all over. I am a supporter of business and its role in serving the needs of our community while helping to keep the tax rate low. It's important that we remain a city that continues to attract top companies and that we're also supporting our small local businesses. I believe Sandy has done a good job of this in the past, but new challenges exist that threaten our commercial space. I will work with the council, administration, and local chamber of commerce to see our local economy flourish.
SENSIBLE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Growth has a significant impact on all things, such as traffic, air quality, water supply, employment, housing, and recreation to name a few. But with awareness comes the opportunity to educate ourselves on the possible solutions so we may be proactive with our decisions and support the growth in a sensible way that best serves Sandy and maintains the quality of life we have all come to know and expect. My number one priority will always be to represent the people who call this city home. Any new development must be responsibly considered, taking into account the positive and negative effects to all stakeholders to reduce the unintended consequences of these important and lasting decisions.
TRAFFIC PLANNING AND ENFORCEMENT
Traffic congestion continues to be a problem for portions of our city. While our economic prosperity has positioned Sandy as a model to other cities, we need to be sure we address the undesirable byproducts of that success. As your Sandy City Council representative I will take a more proactive approach by ensuring new development has planned the proper ingress and egress to reduce congestion, utilize technology to better time traffic lights for maximum flow, and I will look to promote alternative means of transportation wherever possible. Additionally we must enforce our traffic laws, especially in residential areas where main neighborhood roads have become speedways amidst our children walking to and from school or riding their bikes in front of their homes. The safety of all Sandy residents is of the utmost importance.
If the water event that disbursed dangerous amounts of fluoride to our drinking water in 2019 taught us anything, its that Sandy's infrastructure has been ignored for too long and has become a public safety issue. While putting money towards the structures and facilities that deliver our utilities is not fun, it is necessary. I will prioritize budget spending to include appropriations for our failing infrastructure.
Sandy used to be a very well-managed city, and I would like to bring that back and see that continue into the future. I fully support maintaining the quality of life we currently enjoy, and will review all stated needs, but I also want to see the data that supports these requests and exhaust other avenues for additional funding (including making cuts where possible) before ever agreeing to a property tax increase. Tax increases hurt residents on fixed incomes and worsen housing affordability. I will work to create budgetary efficiency and cut waste by utilizing data to drive priorities within the confines of the base budget. Tax increases should be a measure of absolute last resort.
Our first responders, both police and fire departments, are central to maintaining the quality of life Sandy provides its residents. This is why I support competitive wages for our first responders so that we can attract and retain qualified public safety personnel, which becomes increasingly more important as our population continues to grow.
Sandy is unique in that it incorporates mountain living in an urban setting. The outdoor lifestyle is what initially attracted my husband and I to this area. The many parks and extensive trail system is what sets Sandy apart from other nearby cities, and their preservation has been a stated priority for Sandy residents. Land is becoming a scarce resource, therefore our parks and open spaces must be protected. We must also seek to acquire new open space as our population increases to give all residents a place for recreation.
Hellen Keller once said "Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much." To me, this quote sums up the power of community.
Sandy has created many opportunities for residents to become involved and engage with their government, and with each other. From the many citizens academies to the various committees and community coordinator positions, these offerings increase community participation, engagement and connection. I would like to see the city expand opportunities and offerings to further increase engagement in ways that are meaningful to the residents. For example, I want to bring back the community coordinators that this current administration has abandoned, and I would like to see a youth council created, to name a few.