October 10, 2021

Richard Barnes, City Council D1 Candidate

Richard Barnes, City Council D1 Candidate
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By The West View

What qualifies you to represent your district?

I was born at LDS Hospital, raised in Bountiful, have owned my Rose Park home since 1993, married in SL temple to my wife Brenda for 23 years, and my ancestors were here since the 1850s. BS Geology, University of Utah. Republican Legislative District 23 Chair for 12+ years.

Identify two key issues that you are concerned about. As a city council member, what specific actions will you take to address those issues?

1. I will do everything in my power to protect our environment. Our water supply, especially City Creek, must be protected from potential threats from pollution, overuse, and appropriation by entities other than Salt Lake City. I am also concerned about our air quality and threats from erosion, water pollution, as well as over building in potential earthquake and flood zones, especially in the proposed inland port and other areas west of Redwood Road.
2. We must also "back the blue" and defend our law enforcement officers so that they can return home safely to their families at the end of their shifts, secure in the knowledge that they have the backing of our civic leaders and of our community as a whole. Laws and ordinances should be kept as few as possible and easy to understand by the average citizen.

What is your background, and what motivated you to run

My family has been in Utah politics for many generations. I am a trained geologist. I understand the ground beneath us, the rocks around us, and the planet around us. I also fly with the Commemorative Air Force and understand airports, which is a large part of our district, as well as hotels, which I have worked in previously. I've also worked at the Salt Palace Convention Center for eight years and as a custodian at the LDS Church Office building. I've run my own business and understand how frustrating government regulations can be. I want freedom for everyone.

Identify an example where you had to make a choice between doing what was right and what was popular/politically expedient.

In May of 2020, a very large crowd of angry protestors, some of whom were vandalizing property, were attempting to breach the Utah State Capitol and provoke law enforcement officers. About 50 Utah Highway patrolman were able to guard only the south staircase. I saw what was happening and truly felt that if the protesters were allowed to continue it could be the end of democracy and the People's house here in Utah. I recruited five other civilians and we stood with the UHP for two hours while every insult in the book was shouted at us. We stood there attempting to calm the protestors down until curfew was called and 300 national guard troops arrived. They stood guard for about two weeks until average civilians and tourists could safely walk across the capitol grounds and onto the sacred stairsteps once again.

If you are elected, how will you engage with your constituents to know their needs/concerns?

My cell phone number is (801)295-5762. I will attend all city council meetings and continue the tradition of allowing citizens two minutes to speak. I would also like to establish a small SLC District 1 field office near 700 North and Redwood Road where residents could pay fines, apply for business licenses, pay city bills etc. without having to travel to downtown to the City and County building or other less convenient locations.