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SEPARATING CAMPAIGN FACT FROM FICTION

Mayor Randy Lewis


My opponent and friend, Kendalyn, has accomplished lots of good things, and she has a family that anyone would be proud of. If she is our next mayor, I’ll be the first to congratulate her, and I’ll be cheering for her to succeed. Political campaigns aren’t beanbag. Accurate facts really are important. It’s easy to run on slogans; it’s more challenging to run on facts. Voters deserve to know when claimed facts are fudged facts, because they go to trustworthiness.

A majority of the City Council members have endorsed me, and one of their statements says it all: “We have more confidence in Randy and in his ability to lead Bountiful.” Fact-fudging goes on all the time in Washington. But this is Bountiful. I need to gently correct some seriously fudged facts in this campaign.

The Kendalyn Claim: I was the driving force behind the first Master Plan for Bountiful in 12 years.

FACT: State law requires cities to have master plans for land use guidance. Bountiful has always been in compliance with that law. At a January 2021 Council retreat, following a presentation from our City Planning Director, the members of the Council all agreed that the master plan should be updated. To claim “I was the driving force” implies leading a concerted battle, and that’s a seriously exaggerated fudge about what was a 5-minute discussion with everyone weighing in. Kendalyn’s campaign implication is that this grand achievement (of hers) is a done deal, but in fact, the update process has barely started, and it is nowhere near completion. Was it a good idea? Certainly. Was it a controversial issue? Not at all. But the “driving force” is really our City Planning Director.


The Kendalyn Claim: I’m a collaborative leader.

FACT: By their very nature city councils are collaborative. The toughest City Council issue in years was last summer’s property tax vote. Along with all of her Council colleagues, she twice voted for preliminary approval, but voted a surprise NO on the final vote, without making an effort or a motion to modify anything. But weeks later, at a Meet the Candidate event on September 29th, she stated that she had emailed her intentions to all the Council members prior to the final vote. THAT CLAIM was a surprise to at least 3 Council members who cannot find any such emails. Where did they go? That vote was grandstanding, not collaborative leadership. She later claimed it was a vote of conscience, but that’s different. She engaged in no leadership at all. If she had really wanted to change the outcome, she only needed two other votes. In fact, she later on apologized to her colleagues for mishandling things, and that’s to her credit. The email claim about prior notice, however, was a made-up fact--fudge when the heat was on in a public meeting.


The Kendalyn Claim: I started and ran an award-winning business.

FACT: Working and earning a living is highly commendable and laudable, no matter what, but it’s deceptive to claim or imply managerial and executive equivalence when it doesn’t exist.

What business was that? What kinds of leadership and managerial responsibilities did it require? This vague and changing statement of business acumen seems to hope it will be taken as “I’m a business leader and I know how to run things and manage people.” The original “award-winning business” has now morphed into “founded and ran a Best of State award-winning business for 10 years managing 50 employees and now helps her husband James with his business.” Why the concealment of actual facts? What award? Why not be up front about job and managerial experience? Running a princess costume party business for children is an accomplishment; but it isn’t equivalent to running a major medical rehabilitative care center. As the 25-year owner of Biolabs and the 10-year chief administrator for Orchard Cove Rehabilitation Center, I’ve been responsible for not only the full-time economic livelihoods of a few hundred employees, but also the health and welfare of even more patients.


The Kendalyn Claim: “There is a tradition that a mayor has to be autocratic and domineering.”

FACT: This made-up “tradition” is a sly and negative strawman logical fallacy, and it has no basis in Bountiful’s long history. Kendalyn knows that. Dictators are autocrats; bullies are domineering. Her strawman argument has never been Bountiful City’s government. No city council would stand for it! She also knows that the Legislature gave Bountiful (and most other Utah cities) a “weak-mayor” form of government. Bountiful’s mayors have neither a vote nor a veto. None have been domineering autocrats!


Facts are important. Voters are not well-served when facts are fudged.


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