Candidates to spar in Oakley
County Council and Statehouse candidates will debate issues important to eastern Summit County Thursday in Oakley.
The event begins with a candidate meet and greet at 6:30 p.m. at Cattlemen’s Hall at 911 W. Center Street in Oakley. The candidate forum starts at 7 p.m.
Eleven candidates are vying for five four- and two-year seats on the Summit County Council.
"I’m fairly certain all of them are coming," said Oakley resident Amy Regan, who helped organize the event.
Candidates running to represent the county in the state House of Representatives will also attend, said Regan.
The Oakley Civic Club is hosting the event.
Legislature candidates will speak first, Regan said. State Rep. Mel Brown, R-Hoytsville, faces Park City Democrat Kathy Lofft is the District 53 race.
Candidates will have three to five minutes to introduce themselves, she explained. Then the crowd can ask questions.
"People can write down a question or we should be able to take questions from the audience," Regan said.
Former Oakley Mayor Doug Evans will moderate the event.
A majority of voters chose to replace the more traditional three-member Summit County Commission with the new council/manager form of government in 2006. The five councilpersons do not represent specific districts so voters can cast ballots in all five council races.
"There are so many people running and so many people who are unfamiliar to most people out here," Regan said about voters in eastern Summit County. "I thought it would be a great opportunity for everybody to educate themselves about who’s running and what they have to say."
She has advertised the event in Francis, Kamas and Oakley, Regan said in a telephone interview Monday.
"Eastsiders are probably the people who have lived in Summit County the longest and who have the most at stake," said Regan, who serves on the Oakley Planning Commission. "We’ve seen the changes, good and bad, in Park City and the Snyderville Basin, and people over here are very concerned about what our communities are going to look like in 20 or 30 years. It’s the frontline for what is going on."
Eastsiders traditionally vote in higher percentages than fellow voters in western Summit County.
"People here are very involved they will show up to things. They will educate themselves They know that change is coming, and we see it, but they want to be able to have a say in it," Regan said. "We vote that’s for sure."
Candidates for Summit County Council include:
Seat A Republican Bill Miles, Democrat Sally Elliott
Seat B Republican Grant Richins, Democrat Claudia McMullin
Seat C Republican Tom Hurd, Democrat John Hanrahan
Seat D — Republican Alison Pitt, Democrat Chris Robinson and Gary Shumway, a member of the Constitution Party
Seat E Republican David Ure, Democrat Steve Weinstein
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