Councilman wants another term
February 23, 2010
Summit County Councilman Chris Robinson said he will file the necessary paperwork next month to seek a four-year term in November. Robinson’s seat is one of two, four-year council terms on the ballot this year.
Robinson and Summit County Councilman David Ure were each elected to serve two years in 2008.
"We’re not done," Robinson said in an interview at a bagel shop in Pinebrook.
Robinson is the second councilman who has said he plans to run for re-election. Ure, a Republican, has announced that he will also seek re-election in 2010. To stagger the terms, the three other councilpersons elected in 2008 are serving four years each.
"It is good policy, I think, to stagger the terms," said Robinson, who is a Democrat.
Robinson was elected to seat D on the Summit County Council when he defeated Park City Republican Alison Pitt and Jeremy Ranch resident Gary Shumway, a member of the Constitution Party. In 2009, the form of government in Summit County changed from a three-person commission to the five-member County Council with an appointed manager who oversees day-to-day operations.
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"It really took us a year to get the manager, and then we started over a little bit," Robinson said about his first 12 months in office. "We need to sort of settle into our roles once again."
The first day for Summit County Manager Bob Jasper was Jan. 4.
"It’s a learning process," Robinson said. "What I’m hoping is we can keep the current council for at least two more years."
The county is headed in a good direction, Robinson said.
"We’ve set out on a course of setting this in motion and now we need to see it through," Robinson said about the new form of government.
So far the new councilpersons have gotten along well and they often vote unanimously.
"We don’t always agree but we work well together," Robinson said. "We’re not a rubberstamp."
Robinson’s career has been spent in the private sector. He runs a collection of companies engaged in real-estate development and the production of agriculture.
"My feeling is that my experience both in business and in other areas has suited me well to be a steward of our county government," Robinson said. "There aren’t many things that are thrown at us that make me feel like I’m outside my comfort zone. Whether it’s energy, natural resources, forestry, wildlife, conservation, land use or real-estate law."
The council’s most important duty is managing the county’s roughly $45 million budget. Robinson said he agreed with how the county handled declining revenue last year by asking department heads to trim their budgets.
Robinson is a Snyderville Basin resident who garnered lots of support from voters on the West Side of Summit County in the 2008 election.
He said he would support projects in his second term that help the county become more "sustainable."
"It’s not just energy. It’s broader, even fiscal sustainability," Robinson said.
With more economic development the county could diversify its economy and create jobs, he said.
"We have towns in the eastern part of the county that don’t really have much of a job base," Robinson said. "We need to be well rounded. So people can live here, recreate here and work here."
Bringing renewable energy to Summit County has been one of his goals.
"We need to come up with a blueprint of where we want to go in the future," Robinson said. "Everybody believes we’re going to see a return to growth some day."
The filing window opens March 12 for people to officially declare their candidacies for various county, state and federal offices.