Midvale • RepublicanMark Crockett predicts the "bottoms up" redesign of Salt Lake County's operations he would implement if elected mayor in November would find savings of at least $40 million in the county's budget.
"If this seems confident, it is because I have done it many times before," he said Wednesday in laying out his plan to make Salt Lake County's billion-dollar operation function more efficiently.
Crockett said his job skills and experience as a managing director of Vici Capital Partners, helping large companies and state agencies streamline operations and cut costs, typically have yielded savings of 5 to 15 percent.
A 5 percent reduction in county expenses would yield that $40 million savings, he said, noting that deeper trims would produce even bigger returns that could be used to avoid tax increases, catch up on deferred maintenance, restore employee pay and invest in important human services.
The Democrats' mayoral candidate, Ben McAdams, cannot do that because he is a "professional politician who has never been a manager or responsible for a budget," added Crockett, a former county councilman.
Responded McAdams: "We both agree that finding efficiencies in county government is important. I have a track record of working with people and bringing them together, putting partisan politics aside, to find solutions."
"Mark hasn't been able to do that," he added, referring to Crockett's reputation during his council stint as being difficult to work with. "Good governing is a combination of experience and leadership. I encourage residents to gauge me on my performance as a lawyer for Fortune 500 companies, my record as a state senator. Judge me by my character and my temperament."
Speaking at the county's public works facility in Midvale, Crockett said that as soon as he is inaugurated next January, he would take detailed looks at every function and expenditure in county government.
He would bring all stakeholders into the process, from employees who deliver services to the residents who receive them to the private businesses that may contribute to or depend upon those interactions.
"People who use and deliver services know what's broken," Crockett said, contending he would involve business and community leaders as a steering committee to drive department reviews.
A second review will make sure the facts and math pertinent to each agency's situation are in place before the Crockett administration would make decisions about the "hundreds if not thousands of ideas of change" suggested by those stakeholders, he said.
The process could be "uncomfortable" for residents and bureaucrats but also "liberating," Crockett said, wondering who doesn't want to talk about "what's busted around here. … This is your chance to speak up and be involved."
Salt Lake County mayoral candidates
Salt Lake County voters will decide the mayor's race on Nov. 6 between:
Republican Mark Crockett > www.markcrockett.com
Democrat Ben McAdams > www.benmcadams.com