We live in a secretive society where much of the business of the day is conducted behind closed doors. It’s difficult for a newcomer to break in because the seasoned politicians control the playing field. The game is rigged in their favor. They vet themselves by carrying water for one another. You have to be a Made MAN in a Mafia sense. There’s a negative stigma attached with the term politician because the vast majority of them are in it for self interest. Let’s face it. Humans are always fallible. When humans are given a little bit of power, there is temptation to abuse it. Most people don’t even realize the corruption that is happening before it’s too late. As Count My Vote gains traction, we won’t even be able to gather in a forum like this.
We seldom elect principled people anymore, who selflessly come forward to serve for no gain and then resign. No, we have career politicians who have personal agendas that take priority over the common good. Look closely at them. They have served multiple terms in many capacities, taking their turn waiting for an opening, promoting themselves all the way to the top. Our Lawyers and judges bring us also into submission. It’s an incestuous neverending cycle of the same gadfly’s returning year after year. Occasionally we get one of ours through the door, but they quickly roll them over. We lose again. We lost this game a100 years ago when our grandfathers quit paying attention. In the spirit of our beloved Fore Father George Washington, who stepped down after 2 terms of office, running for a 5th term in any political office is incredulous regardless of who that person is. This is why he resigned. I submit the vetting process has gone awry. We’ve been brainwashed to think that politicians know what is best for us. While in reality, the goodness of UTAH County is reflected in this room by all of us who cherish our faith in God, families, & liberty. Goodness is a reflection of all the people who live and contribute in our county, not by any elected officials alone. That is what makes Utah County such a remarkable, flourishing community. I’m a self made man and I’m a man of my word. I’m taking No MONEY for this campaign. What you see is what you get. I’m here, because I care to take a stand. I pledge you my honor in this important stewardship. I’m ready to make a difference and serve as your commissioner! I humbly ask for your vote of confidence. I’m Howard Stone, at your service.
Why I am running for County Commissioner
I believe that a public servant-one running for or holding a political office-has to be the servant of the people and not the other way around. I have found that the longer individuals remain in office, the more their relationships and interpersonal skills involving employees and the public take on an attitude of superiority. This diminishes their ability to relate to and communicate with others.
I am running for County Commissioner because I believe in free, honest speech and the concept that we are in this together. I see a need for honest, hardworking, forthright political leaders. I believe our government needs to have people who are in office for the right reasons, not for a Profession. I believe that integrity should be a key personality trait for a politician. A commissioner should be a manager and a leader. The concept of leading involves setting an example and leading from the front. Individuals will follow a leader who respects them and is looking out for their best good.
I consider myself a true patriot. During my military career I put my life on the line in service to our great nation. I had tremendous responsibility delegated unto me. I was trusted with the lives of other men to keep them safe in dangerous environments. After my military service and LDS mission, I completed a Master's Degree in Public Administration at the Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU. I always been a man of integrity and honesty and believe that anyone who has worked with me will echo these words.
In my business career, I led project implementation teams, and directed corporate operations with multi-million dollar budgets. Organizations followed my leadership because they trusted my judgment. Over the last 20 years I have been involved with the county commission, law enforcement, and other municipal offices. Through this long experience I have gained an immense perspective of the county organization and operations. I have been able to cultivate intimate relationships with county employees at all levels. Through these experiences, I have also developed relationships with many key stakeholders in the business community.
Out of Control Incumbent running for 5th TERM
it's not in my personality to stand idly by and say nothing. If I see wrong doing or patterns of bad government, I will speak up! Observing what was happening within the County Commission, I got involved as your candidate for this office. I could not simply sit on my hands and expect someone else to stand up and take the torch. That is not my way and is why I have chosen to run for commissioner. I believe in the proper role of government. I am not taking any money or financial support for this campaign. I am self funded!
Lack of Oversight - not "Minding the Store"
Ask a county employee, or check the public record, they will both attest, the incumbent commissioner has been absent, detached, and unavailable for important business. He has not be a person much for details over the 4 TERMS he has been in office. During his first 2 terms there was an embezzlement of $3,300,000 Million dollars $$$. The scandal was broke by State auditor Kent Brock, a delegate this year, from the Payson area. The incumbent is taking credit for this discovery, but nothing could be further from the truth. He left the commission and went into private law practice where soon another embezzlement over $100,000 dollars $$$ occurred with his clients personal funds. Ironically, this case was prosecuted by current sitting commissioner Doug Witney. As a result, he lost his license to practice law for awhile. These escapades paint a life-long track record of being absent, aloof and ignorant of important details. At this point in time Utah County can not stand for 4 more years through a 5th term of this type of complacency.
Salary Doubled in Office, Benefits Packages, and Travel Expenses
One of the most effective methods of leadership is to lead by example. Over the past 8 years, commissioners' salaries have risen approximately 37%, going from $69,000 to $103,900. Not only have their salaries gone up, but they also have a 46% benefits package and travel expenses that have increased from $2,000 to $13,000 in the same time period. Anderson's travel budget often gets extended and doubled.
Among our elected officials there is discussion presently of raising their salaries again! See files below from this GRAMMA PDF records report request.
I believe this phenomenon occurs when people turn a political office into their profession. It cannot be the goal of a political leader to achieve personal retirement. That is not what political offices are for. They are to represent the citizens of this great county and to be their servants, not the other way around.
My promise to the citizens of Utah County is that I will not remain in office more than the designated 4-year term unless YOU insist otherwise! I will not raise the salary of the county commission office while I am a sitting commissioner. We hear speeches about not raising taxes, but where do the funds come from to raise commission salaries? They come from other areas of the county. With the cooperation of the other commissioners, I will move to reduce salaries and benefits to be more representative of the raises given employees. I might add that employees have been held to no raises or cost-of-living increases. Where is the equity in that and what does the rhetoric mean?
Missing Important Meetings
He says that he is not missing meetings, but look at these links in the public record which shows him missing an increasing number of meetings each year. Water is one of our most significant issues especially pertaining to growth that will continue. With our ever increasing growth attendance at this CUWCD Water Board meeting, that oversees and determines the distribution of the water supply and of Utah County, becomes ever more important. The Commissioner has missed half the meetings in the past year. Please Check the links to these public records or Click on this PDF Scan file. What do you think now?
Central Utah Water Conservancy District
2013 Board Meetings Missed
2012 Meetings Missed
2011 Meetings Missed
Critical Tax Issues
Some use the same rhetoric year after year, claiming they have not raised taxes "one red cent." As we have discussed throughout this campaign, taxes fluctuate as a result of property valuation and the economy as a whole. While it is true that the tax "rate" has not been significantly raised for years, that does not mean that we as citizens have not seen our taxes go up. Mine have doubled over the past few years, not because the tax rate is that much higher but because the value of the property has risen. Since no one running for office advocates raising the "tax rate," let's stop entertaining slogans that have no relevance.
Most of the money used to run Utah County Government comes from property tax. The Lion's share of your property Taxes go to your local school district. Most of the increases you see are from school district under their state mandate to have a balanced budget. This tax goes to support education, only about 10% is used to support government operations. I feel we can better prioritize where those funds go by simply listening to the citizens, department heads, and elected officials. I also believe we can work on volunteerism in cooperation with local citizens and businesses to accomplish many projects that would otherwise take vital tax dollars. Before we start funding projects, we need open hearings to discuss the proposal, determine how many of the county residents will benefit, and then make sure that an appropriate infrastructure is in place.
Let's not vote someone into back office because of groundless rhetoric. I would not consider raising taxes in our current economy. I do feel we need to prioritize public funds and place them where the majority of the people will benefit.
I am against Agenda 21 and ICLEI initiatives! I support traditional marriage and the family. I'm against Common Core initiatives in our education system.
As a commissioner I will be engaged and about the details of office, "minding the store" of daily operations. I will be available 24/7. I will lead through the example of service. I will encourage, but not intimidate. I will work as a team player by getting input from department heads, mayors, and the people. The current commissioner has held that office too long, 4 terms, to be an effective leader.
Articles summarizing incumbents first 2 terms in office and private law practice.
Candidate says past has made him vigilant Utah County: He claims miscues give him a sharper eyeBY MARK EDDINGTON THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE PUBLISHED JUNE 13, 2006 12:53 AMThis is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.PROVO - Sure, Gary Anderson oversaw Timpanogos Mental Health when supervisors there misused $3.4 million. Yes, his license to practice law was temporarily suspended in 1990, in part because his law partner filched funds. But the former Utah County commissioner insists he will be vigilant this time around."No one is more skeptical than I am," said Anderson, who is trying to unseat Utah County Commissioner Jerry Grover in the June 27 primary. "I'm telling you there is no 't' that is not crossed; there's no 'i' that is not dotted. I am so careful now. I'm the guy you want watching the henhouse . . . because I know how the chickens get out."Anderson, then a commissioner and chairman of the board that supervised Timpanogos Mental Health, did not win any watchdog awards in the state auditor's 1988 report."The board failed its charge by not asking hard questions and requiring information on the financial activities of the center," investigators stated.Although three officials of the mental-health center did prison time for diverting funds to personal-service contracts, board members were not implicated in the headline-grabbing scandal. Anderson says the perpetrators not only fooled the board, but also seasoned investigators. In fact, he takes credit for uncovering the scam by pressing for more answers and probes."I would not do anything differently," Anderson said.Former Utah County Commissioner Malcolm Beck saw things differently years ago, when he pored over the minutes of the health board's meetings."Most of the time, no board members were actually present at the meetings," recalled Beck, an Anderson supporter. They usually were "only staffed by administrative assistants."In 1990, the state bar suspended Anderson's law license for a year until he could repay about $125,000 owed to clients. Anderson said his law partner Richard Johnson, whose license had been suspended and was managing the office at the time, was embezzling money with the receptionist from the firm's trust fund containing cash from settlements."Insurance companies would pay us the money that would go into my trust account," Anderson recalls. "I'd write a check to my client. Johnson would tear that check up and write a check to himself. He would forge my signature."Johnson, who later was disbarred, could not be reached for comment.Grover, who finished second to Anderson at the county GOP convention, declined to comment on his opponent's past troubles."I'm running for the office," he said, "not against the other guy."Anderson noted he and his wife sold a duplex, tapped his retirement funds and "paid back every dime."Attorney Allen Young, who helped get Anderson reinstated with the bar, recalls Anderson being overwhelmed trying to serve both his and Johnson's clients. He remembers Anderson agreeing to pay back clients for services not rendered. Utah County Sheriff's Capt. Doug Witney, who investigated the embezzlement case, absolves Anderson."We had no indication Gary was involved with that or he would have been included in the prosecution," he firstname.lastname@example.orgAnderson, Grover run for commissionerJune 16, 2006 11:00 pm • KATIE SCHMITT - Daily HeraldThe issues for Utah County commission seat A are as varied as the candidates... ….While Anderson doesn't agree with the commissioner's decisions, he had problems of his own when he served on the board 23 years ago. From 1983 to 1989, Anderson served as commissioner before leaving office to practice law. During his time as commissioner, Anderson oversaw Timpanogos Mental Health when approximately $3.3 million was embezzled by supervisors from 1984 to 1988. Anderson said he helped bring the scandal to light when he asked others to look over the audit reports and eventually confronted employees himself. He said he had called police in and they found two sets of books being kept by supervisors. "I'm very proud of what we did," Anderson said. "They say that I missed it, but I didn't. I got it. I knew something wasn't right and if I hadn't kept on it, who knows how long it would have carried on."
A state audit report stated one of the problems with the agency was that it lacked commission oversight. "We disagreed with it atthat time and we still disagree with it," Anderson said. "It's absolutely clear that the county attorney and I went down there andgot the statements. We were the ones who cracked it."
Anderson then went into practicing law with his former law partner, Richard Johnson, whose license was suspended. Anderson said Johnson had a drug problem and was trying to help him get back on his feet by having him manage the office. Without realizing it, Anderson said Johnson was taking checks meant for clients and writing them for himself to pay for his addiction and forging Anderson's signature. Johnson was disbarred and Anderson was suspended from practicing law for one year in 1992. Anderson said he took out a loan and sold a duplex to pay back more than $100,000 that was owed to his clients. Despite it all, Anderson said the experience has made him ready for another run as commissioner… Gary Anderson, Age: 59, Hometown: Springville, Profession: Attorneyhttp://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/anderson-grover-run-for-commissioner/article_5714b3b7-e59d-56c6-819a-498ed57f8d6c.html
This embezzlement was not discovered by Anderson as he claims but actually discovered by a State Auditor Kent Brock a Payson Delegate this year.