Campaign: Statement on "anonymous" online political comments from Mayor's office

News today of unethical and possibly illegal activity by a key member of the Mayor's senior staff is yet another example of the Mayor's failed leadership. Add to this the claims of sexual harassment in the police and fire departments and it is clear the Mayor has failed to set proper standards of behavior and systems of accountability within his administration. As the Mayor of Salt Lake City, I will convey a clear message to all staff about what is acceptable behavior and the ethical standards expected of all city employees.

Salt Lake Tribune Editorial: Jackie Biskupski the best choice for mayor

The view from here is that Jackie Biskupski is the best of a good bunch.

A former state legislator and now a top administrator at the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, Biskupski offers much in the way of both political and administrative experience that gives her the best chance to hit the ground running.

Her campaign platform has properly stressed a need for economic development efforts that don't forget small business, greater transparency and inclusiveness in government, improvements in law enforcement and priorities that favor the basic nuts and bolts of public services over some of Becker's grand designs.

Read the full story.

Campaign: Statement on Billboards

I am not an advocate for billboards. I am an advocate for sound policy decisions reached with the input of the public, affected businesses, and the community, and who will respect the decisions made by the citizen commissions that have been entrusted with this responsibility. Billboard companies, just as all companies that do business with the city, will find in me a mayor with an open door and a willingness to listen.

We have a process in place with our Planning and Zoning commission and city and state laws that govern billboards--these things are in place to strike a careful balance between the requests from businesses and the needs and input of the communities they affect.

We must be careful in our conversations about electronic billboards to be mindful that these billboards can serve a purpose such as providing lower cost advertising opportunities for small businesses and emergency response notifications such as Amber Alerts. We must ensure, however, that all steps are taken to mitigate the light pollution and minimize the impact on surrounding communities.

I am also mindful of the state legislature's ability to override municipal ordinances. The current administration’s mandated position on outdoor advertising has put the city at odds with the state. Recent legislative sessions have seen bills threatening to take away the ability of a municipality to make its own rules. I will work to ensure that the city’s position on billboards does not negatively impact our ability for local control.

Campaign: Statement on respect for city employees and treatment of former Chief Burbank

It is the job of every mayor to treat city employees fairly and with dignity. I am committed to managing Salt Lake City government in a way that respects employees, protects their rights and benefits, and rewards their service. Those values will apply to every employee from the most junior to the most senior.
It is troubling to me that Mayor Becker has chosen to deny our former police chief the full value of benefits he earned during his service. While I cannot endorse the way the former Chief managed findings of sexual harassment within the Police Department, that does not diminish the many ways the Chief served our City admirably during his tenure. He was a positive force in our community and worked tirelessly on our behalf. I am committed to restoring Salt Lake City's reputation as a well-managed, fair, and positive place to live and work. I hope the current Mayor will reconsider his actions and do the right thing by Chief Burbank

Campaign: Statement on Marriage Equality

Today the Supreme Court has confirmed in law what many of us have felt for so long in our hearts, that the promised equality of the Constitution is to each person above any regard for race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation. With this ruling the Court has clearly stated that our LGBT community is equal to any other.

Our hearts are also filled with tremendous gratitude to the many thousands of people who have suffered, sacrificed and worked for so long to bring us to this day; that suffering and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

While so many of us celebrate this momentous step toward full equality, we are mindful that there is still much work to do. We are also mindful of our neighbors who disagree with us and for whom this ruling will be challenging. Let us move forward to heal divisions, even for those who do not yet join in our celebration today. As this day clearly shows, with time hearts do change.

Campaign: Statement of Jackie Biskupski on Salt Lake City Parking Meters

The cost to park downtown rose dramatically under Mayor Becker. First, the hourly fee doubled from $1 to $2 per hour. Second, the hours of enforcement extended from 6 to 8 pm. Finally, the Mayor's new budget, adopted by the City Council yesterday, increases from $15 to $25 the fine for an expired meter and adds a $50 fine for failing to pay at a parking meter. Considering how frequently the parking meters fail to function properly a $50 fine is excessive. 

The malfunctioning of the City's parking meters, the increased cost to park, and the extended enforcement hours all serve to deter people from spending time downtown in the evenings. I support returning to 6 pm as the end of parking enforcement at the parking meters. I support slowing the increase in parking fees. And I support implementing a quality-control program to monitor the performance of the parking meters. If the meters aren’t working then the city shouldn’t be issuing parking tickets. It simply is not ethical to penalize drivers for the technical failure of the parking meters and that practice will not continue under my leadership.

Parking meter fines going up for downtown Salt Lake City, Good4Utah, 06/17/15

SLC Council approves spending jump for new cars, cops and trees, Salt Lake Tribune, 06/16/15

Statement of Jackie Biskupski, Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor, regarding Salt Lake City Police Department Sexual Harassment and Firing of Chief Burbank

Chief Burbank's firing is unfortunate but necessary. In many ways he has been a solid leader for the Salt Lake City Police Department. However, it has become clear that there was a pattern of misconduct on the part of his immediate subordinates that was mismanaged by him and is absolutely unacceptable. While I support the action, it is concerning to me that the Mayor has taken over a year to become fully aware of the situation.