This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Community activist George Chapman filed his candidacy Tuesday for mayor of Salt Lake City, joining City Council Chairman Luke Garrott and former state legislator Jackie Biskupski in seeking to unseat Mayor Ralph Becker.
Becker is seeking a third term.
Chapman, who attends City Council meetings religiously, is focusing on transportation and public-safety issues and gives the mayor poor marks on both fronts. The 64-year-old retired engineer who resides in Sugar House has been a vocal critic of the Sugar House Streetcar.
He criticized the mayor for moving forward with transportation projects before the completion of the Transit Master Plan.
Chapman said the $27 million federal grant being sought by Salt Lake City and UTA is wasteful spending.
"There is no cost-benefit analysis of the Sugar House Streetcar," he said Tuesday. "All the small businesses in Sugar House are against it."
Salt Lake City's match for the grant would be $5.6 million. "That money would better be used for more police and more buses," he said.
He also is critical of Becker's transportation decisions on other proposed rail lines downtown as well as the mayor's "Complete Streets" program that emphasizes pedestrians and cyclists, as well as autos. "It's a bastardization of 'Complete Streets,'" Chapman said. "It's traffic calming that he hopes will force people to ride bikes."
Chapman also is calling for an increase in police officers in Salt Lake City. He faults Becker for an upswing in crime downtown and in the Rio Grande district around Pioneer Park, though police say crime actually has declined.Recently, Salt Lake City police have boosted patrols in the Rio Grande area, but have less visibility in Sugar House and other east side neighborhoods.
"The best crime prevention is more police," Chapman said.
A primary election is slated for Aug. 11. The two top vote getters will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.