Coalville City Council candidate Lynn Wood wants to unite the community
Former accountant now works for North Summit nonprofit dedicated to preserving community
Though she wasn’t raised in Coalville, Lynn Wood considers it home.
Born in Honolulu, she joined the community in 2007 after marrying her husband, Jay, and since then, Wood has developed a profound love for the North Summit region. From the historic buildings to the heritage stories, Wood believes Coalville has a culture worth preserving — and that’s why she’s running for its City Council.
“I think it’s very clear that our community is at a crossroads. There’s a lot of change that’s been proposed, a lot of new people have discovered us,” she said. “I really feel that it’s incredibly important that, as a community, we really articulate what our vision is, and that the people should be directing that and have a strong voice in how that growth and change happens.”
Wood comes from a financial background and is an accountant by trade. Now that she’s semi-retired, Wood has become more involved in nonprofit work. She is a founding member of North Summit Unite, an organization of residents committed to preserving the unique culture of the area, and serves as its treasurer.
The mission of the nonprofit closely mirrors what Wood hopes to accomplish if she’s elected to the Coalville City Council. She said there’s a disconnect between the public and elected officials, which has led to some dysfunction and confusion during public hearings or the comment portion of meetings. Wood would strive to broaden the discussions and facilitate an environment that helps connect residents with their representatives.
“I see so much change coming about. It’s important that the people in the community are involved with our local government,” she said.
Wood recognized the current City Council has a lot on its plate, but she said she would like to see more public engagement as Coalville looks to the future.
If elected, Wood’s top priority would be to identify and articulate the community’s vision. She expects it will likely be a big project that involves strategic planning. Wood also wants to see an emphasis on building the Main Street corridor. One possibility would be the creation of a city-supported Main Street association made up of business leaders, property owners and other stakeholders to help drive the revitalization effort.
Keeping Coalville historic, unique and rural would help tie the community together, but it could also serve as an economic driver.
Wood regards unplanned growth as the biggest threat to the quality of life on the East Side. She highlighted the community visioning project in Coalville as a way to determine what the residents want. Elected officials should then design ordinances, programs and other strategies based on public feedback.
Improving public outreach is a huge motivator for Wood. She said the city needs to get advice and opinions from all sections of the community when making major decisions, even if it’s difficult.
“People are busy. They don’t want to come and give their opinions. I think we need to go where the people are and make ourselves very accessible so we can get a better feel for what people really want,” Wood said.
Coalville is unique on the East Side because it is the hub of the North Summit area. It’s the county seat, and it’s where the school is. Preserving Coalville as a gathering place would be an asset for surrounding municipalities, Wood said.
She’s heard from residents about the importance of maintaining Coalville’s identity and honoring its traditions. Wood referenced how the community came together for the junior prom event to recognize area youth as well as the upcoming North Summit Unite event with the Smithsonian, which will cover changes in rural America that are also relevant today.
“I have my vision. I would like (Coalville) to stay historic and small and quaint, but still revitalized,” Wood said. “But I am one person and we have to take in collectively what we want, and then set a course for that.”
The other candidates running for a council seat are Brandon Brady, Stefanie Bowen, Tyler Rowser, Cindy Padgett, Shaun Powis and David Anderson. Councilman Phil Geary has since withdrawn his candidacy. Incumbent Don Winters is not seeking reelection.
One candidate will be eliminated in the Sept. 5 primary. The top vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 21 general election with the three winners starting a four-year term in January. The election is nonpartisan.
For more information about the 2023 municipal election, visit summitcounty.org/Clerk.
Park City Council meets on Tuesday this week; council will hold Snow Park public hearing but not vote yet
The Park City Council meets Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall. The agenda includes the certification of the Nov. 21 election results and the following other highlights:
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