Last night each of the 13 candidates to fill the Orem Mayor vacancy were given 3 minutes to address the City Council. It was interesting to see the speeches range from angry rants about all that is wrong with our city to the standard political office speech. I took a different track, instead focusing on the method to finding solutions. Unfortunately 3 minutes is not a lot of time! For those of you who weren’t in attendance, here is what I said:
Members of the Council, I am both honored and humbled to be here today. My name is Chris Nichols and you have received my list of qualifications and my cover letter expressing my desire to serve and my love for our community. You face a difficult decision as it is possible to select a new Mayor, but it is impossible to replace Mayor Washburn. It was an honor to know and work with him. He will be greatly missed.
As a local businessman I have built my business through applying systems and creating strong relationships. I am sure you have heard or will hear from those whom I have closely worked with to make our city, county and state a better place. We are certainly facing challenges as both individuals and as a City.
I am reminded of a unique example of 3 young men facing a challenge. Their father had left them with 17 camels. To the first son he left ½ of the camels, to the second son he left 1/3 of the camels and to the third son he left 1/9 of the camels. The three sons quickly found that 17 doesn’t divide by 2, doesn’t divide by 3 and it doesn’t divide by 9. As tempers started to get strained, in desperation they decided to consult with the wise tribal chief. He thought on their problem for a long time. Finally he came back and said, “Well, I don’t know if I can help you, but you can have my camel if you’d like.” This gave the 3 sons 18 camels which was divisible by 2 with the first son getting 9 camels, and divisible by 3 with the second son getting 6 camels, and divisible by 9 giving the last son 2 camels. 9 + 6 + 2 = 17, they had one camel left over! Smartly they returned the 18th camel to the wise tribal chief! Somehow I think the wise tribal chief knew he’d get his camel back.
Difficult negotiations often start off looking like 17 camels. Providing a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective is the key to finding the 18th camel.
UTOPIA, Center for Story, Economic Development, and others are all issues we face in Orem. My experience, my relationships at the local, state and national level, coupled with my desire to keep Orem one of the greatest cities in Utah will serve our city well if you select me.
A Mayor’s job is to sell the city as a great place to live and a great place to do business. As I look back on my real estate career, I have helped 70 families call Orem home, more than any other city in Utah. I am prepared to continue to promote everything that makes our city great.
My commitment to the City of Orem will be to search for that 18th camel and find solutions through coalition building, communication and engagement with our residents.
Thank you for your time and consideration. Regardless of your decision, I look forward to continuing to keep our community a great place to call home!