LOGAN – With a spouse, four children in elementary school, a full-time job and being active in the community, Keegan Garrity says he is “very accessible” and plans to remain that way if elected to one of three open seats on the Logan Municipal Council.
“I don’t have any special interests – unless you count my kids and wanting them to grow up in a good place,” Garrity said.
“I hope people see that my campaign is genuine and that I truly want to represent the citizens of Logan,” he added.
During a recent public election forum, the six candidates vying for a seat on the city council attempted to differentiate themselves from each other.
There was a lot of agreement on a number of issues during the forum, however Garrity said he has a “unique approach” when it comes to affordable housing.
“One of the big things I want to focus on is bringing in better paying jobs and higher quality jobs to Logan,” he said. “I think it’s a really important component of making housing affordable – by raising the median income. I think a lot of the focus has been on making housing cheaper, which I think more housing options is a component of that, but I think if we actively market to companies we want to see come to the valley, that would improve the situation in a lot of ways.”
There was disagreement with the proposed idea of bike lanes.
Abraham Verdoes, is advocating for bike lanes throughout the city as an approach to help alleviate traffic woes in Logan.
Garrity, who said he is a “big believer in cycling” and spent time riding a bike to and from work every day, even in the winter, doesn’t believe “bike lanes are really the answer.”
“I think because our streets are so wide, (bike lanes) are less critical,” he said. I think we can still get bikes on the road with the sharrows (shared roadway) and it’s a lot less expensive. I think where we can find solutions that are cost effective and reduce traffic, that’s the way to go.”
Garrity believes public transportation is a better way to help alleviate traffic and would like to see additional bus routes added, especially during peak driving times.
Getting more cars off the roads and enforcing idling laws currently on the books also helps alleviate pollution, admits Garrity. However, he draws a distinction between enforcement and education.
“What constitutes idling…it’s such a gray area,” he said. “I think laws like that are an opportunity for politicians to feel good about themselves and pat themselves on the back. If you can cultivate either a socially acceptable or socially unacceptable environment, that’s what actually results in change.
“It’s being neighborly…if you see someone idling, they don’t need a lecture, they just need an explanation. Anything we can do to help is going to make a difference,” he added.
Garrity first came to Logan in 2005 to attend Utah State University.
He currently serves as co-chair on the Woodruff Neighborhood Council, has completed community CERT training, and participates regularly in local amateur radio meetings.
This article is part of a series of six stories featuring the candidates for the Logan City Council. A separate candidate will be featured each day in a pre-determined, random order.