Jacob Walter Holdaway Bio
I was born and raised in Vineyard, Utah. I am a twin and have eight siblings, most living in or close to Vineyard. My family has a deep history in this area. My sixth-great grandfather, Shadrach Holdaway, was a pioneer, the first to homestead Vineyard. My fifth great-grandfather Amos Holdaway served as one of the first County Commissioners for Utah County. In the 1980s, my grandfather, Robert Holdaway, was one of the five founding members of the original Vineyard Town Council. I served on the inaugural Vineyard Town Youth Council. I attended Mountain View High School and later served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Montevideo, Uruguay. After my mission, I married Noelia Arichichu, and we are now blessed with three wonderful children. We currently live on the Shadrack Holdaway Homestead Property on Holdaway Road.
My career began 18 years ago in government procurement. While working in this field, I gained a profound understanding of the horrific impact government inefficiencies, wasteful spending, and lobbying have on city and county governments. I now conduct training on Government Ethics in Purchasing, Vendor Ethics, and How Ethics Protects Local Governments from Lobbyists. I have had the opportunity to attend and train at national and state-level conferences hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the National League of Cities, and the National Governors Association. These experiences have provided me with valuable insight into the importance of observing ethical practices at all levels of government. As a result, I firmly believe in safeguarding taxpayers' dollars and ensuring that government practices are transparent and accountable to the public.
I am also the founder of the Walkara Way Conservation Project. This is an effort that seeks to restore natural balance to the wetlands and shoreline surrounding Utah Lake. Doing this will reduce mosquitos and other pests while helping to heal the lake and open public parks and conservation spaces on the south of our community. I know the land well, as it was my playground as a boy. I know the legal issues and lawsuits as well. I know that I can bring that land back to life, but it will take restoring trust in our governing institutions.
I take great pride in my family's heritage, and though we no longer own large tracts of land in the city, our family’s property built the Sleepy Ridge development. That development remains the lowest-density housing area in Vineyard. My family members have a history of advocating for public assets. My Great Uncle Ross worked to help create the Orem City Lakeside Sports Park on land that is shared by Vineyard. My great Uncle Grant Holdaway fought to have the much-needed Vineyard Elementary School built on property he owned. My father contributed to the construction of The Links at Sleepy Ridge golf course to further benefit our community. My family’s legacy of fighting for development that benefits the public good is well documented. I am committed to maintaining that legacy by providing the same level of attention to facilities and amenities for our city’s northern residents and advocating for adjustments to the city's plan to achieve them. That is something I believe our city plan in its current form fails to provide.
The city plan needs to be revised, particularly in how it allocates tax dollars and RDA funds, as well as its approach to transportation options. Rather than dictating whether people should only walk, use bikes or cars, we should plan for all of them. Our current parking policies cause so much harm to our citizens. They need to be changed drastically. Additionally, I see room for improvement in our city's mosquito control policies. Drawing on my knowledge of our local wetlands, I am sure we can reduce both costs and the mosquito population. It doesn’t cost a lot of money. It just takes reallocating resources. Our Citizens can’t live with the current mosquito infestation.
Our city's financial structure has hindered the establishment of a centrally located fire station. I am dedicated to addressing this issue. Our Contract Fire and Sheriff Services are a great asset and we need to increase and use them to their fullest. This is a winning partnership that needs to be expanded. Furthermore, I believe that transparency is crucial, especially concerning Vineyard city government’s involvement in The Lake Restoration Project (LRS). I believe a thorough and public review is needed to regain the trust of our citizens. I will advocate for upholding freedom of speech. I will oppose efforts to silence speech, as seen in the case of Professor Ben Abbott. I feel our city missed an opportunity to stand up for his constitutional rights. If a scientist from one of the largest and most respected universities in the state is unable to speak freely about what he has learned about our local environment, we have a problem. I want to correct this problem.
I am of the opinion that Vineyard City should reconsider employing a lobbyist at all and redirect those resources elsewhere. Additionally, our city planning should prioritize ample parking and undergo a complete overhaul to better serve our citizens. I am ‘pro-bike’ but not at the expense of reducing Mill Road to one lane of traffic. I believe my opponents are misguided to advocate for such a change. With my 18 years of experience working with local and county governments and a career in Government Ethics, Government Process, and Procurement, I am uniquely qualified to serve on the Vineyard City Council.