Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Two Republicans dueling for Salt Lake County Council seat
Politics » Republicans outline plans if they win seat on council.
First Published Jun 17 2012 04:58 pm • Last Updated Jun 17 2012 10:58 pm

Melvin Nimer is a businessman.

Joseph Demma works in state government.

At a glance

Meet Melvin Nimer

Party » Republican

Age » 62

Family » Five children, 10 grandchildren, engaged

Occupation » President of New Start Business Services Inc. and Air Sim Corp.

Education » Graduate of Orem High and Brigham Young University

Civic experience » Past president Utah Log Cabin Republicans, former treasurer of Utah Pride Center

Fun fact » A former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, he’s a private pilot and “a bit of a computer nerd.”

Meet Joseph Demma

Party » Republican

Age » 34

Family » Wife Lisa

Occupation » Director of communications, Utah Department of Workforce Services

Education » Bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Nevada

Civic experience » Co-founder of “Be Ready Utah” emergency preparedness program, co-founder of Family Justice Center capital campaign

Fun fact » He and his wife are the “parents” of two Labrador retrievers, Andee and Zoey.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Each believes his background makes him the better choice for Republicans in the June 26 primary that will decide who tries to end Democrat Jim Bradley’s tenure as an at-large member of the Salt Lake County Council.

"I’ve actually worked in organizations that have taken large government budgets and made them smaller and more efficient," said Demma, communications director in the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

Nimer, the president of two companies, contends he has "over 30 years of business-management accounting experience, working with budgets and managing two to 100 people, that my opponent doesn’t have."

While they would come at it from different perspectives, both candidates agree the county is headed toward leaner times.

"I would reprioritize everything," Nimer said. "I have a three-point litmus test: Is it sustainable, affordable and really needed and wanted? If we can’t afford it or it’s not really needed, we don’t do it."

Demma said he would approach the county’s budget much the same way that he has dealt with Workforce Services’ slightly larger budget as a member of the department’s management team.

"We’re looking at money going down. The feds are cutting. We have to prepare for that, and that’s what we’re doing," he said. "We’re the best-prepared Workforce Services department in the country to deal with it."

Before joining Workforce Services, Demma was the 2010 campaign manager for Gov. Gary Herbert, proudly pointing out that his candidate soundly defeated Democrat Peter Corroon, who is not seeking a third term this fall as Salt Lake County mayor.

story continues below
story continues below

When Herbert was lieutenant governor, Demma served as his chief of staff, managing the deployment of voting machines across the state and writing the policies governing early voting and online-voter registration.

He also was on then-Gov. Jon Huntsman’s staff.

"I’m raised in the Huntsman and Herbert tradition," he said. "I’m for openness and transparency. You’re always going to know where I’m at. … Everyone eats at the table. Everyone may not agree with the decision, but all will be part of how we shaped the decision. There will be no surprises with me."

Since 2006, Nimer has operated New Start Business Services Inc., which helps small companies with accounting, preparation of tax returns and general consulting services.

Last December, Nimer also started Air Sim Corp., which provides radio communication training facilities for student pilots.

"I’ve looked at dozens of business plans and reviewed what any new or ongoing business does to stay current and to know what it is responsible for," he said.

"That’s one of the main problems with the county. Most of the people serving there don’t have that," Nimer added. "They’re mostly government people. They don’t understand how to keep things in balance."

He said the County Council must make maintaining public safety its top priority, followed by providing adequate funding for infrastructure, protecting the watershed and funding health, aging and mental health services.

"We have to make sure the required things are paid for first," Nimer said. "When we run out of money, then we have to look at what we have to do next — raise taxes, cut departments and staff, sell off facilities, whatever is needed to keep [the county’s] AAA bond rating."

Demma said he would focus on keeping taxes and fees low to stimulate economic development and job creation.

"Our county is the economic engine of Utah, and proper, responsible planning of county infrastructure will ensure that does not change," he said, adding that he opposes bonding for new parks, would get rid of county lobbyists and would look into privatizing some services.

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.