Eastside voter turnout impressive
Only 10 percent of Park City’s 5,268 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday. By comparison, droves of voters 44 percent went to the polls in Coalville. "We were hoping for at least 50, but 44 percent we’re pleased with," said Coalville City Council candidate Brent Scholes, who was tied Friday with RaNae Crittenden in the race for an open seat on the board. "I don’t know if the colder weather had some effect on that voter turnout." Thirty-seven percent of Francis voters went to the polls. Oakley saw 18 percent turnout, and even the Kamas electorate, whose mayor and two city councilors ran unopposed, outdid Park City’s meager showing with 12 percent voter turnout. Some Coalville residents say the defeat of Rex Smith by Duane Schmidt in the mayoral race is a blow to the "nepotism and old boys’ network" they claim has run the city for years. Coalville is known for its deep family roots and the election of Schmidt, a two-year resident, could be a sign that some North Summit voters have had it with their current administration.
Mayor Howard Madsen did not seek a second term. He instead entered the race for a seat on the Coalville City Council, where he garnered support from only 11 percent of the electorate. Incumbent Coalville City Councilor Ron Boyer will serve a second term after receiving 246 votes. But RaNae Crittenden and Scholes were tied Friday at 185.
"I probably won’t have an answer to this until Monday or Tuesday," Summit County Clerk Sue Follett said this week.
One outstanding provisional ballot could help name Coalville’s newest councilor if the vote is valid, Follett said. Election officials aren’t sure the person who cast the ballot is a Coalville resident. "When that process is over, if we are still tied, from what I understand, it will just be settled with a coin toss," Scholes said. "Democracy at its best." He ran to replace the stale actions of politicians in the town, Scholes added. "I think we need some changes in city government, some fresh ideas, some new approaches to help bring people into shop in our community and to help support our local merchants," he said. "We have room for some economic growth."
Meanwhile, one vote this week separated an incumbent Francis town councilor from her challenger. By receiving 139 votes, John Keyes secured a seat on the council. Incumbent Georgia Bates, however, received 97 votes and needs two absentee or provisional votes to pull ahead of Rex Hallam, who received 98. "The provisionals will be counted as soon as the county OKs them," Francis Town clerk Lynette Hallam said, adding that absentee ballots will be counted during next week’s canvass. John Bergen defeated Rae Prescott 135 votes to 80 and will replace Francis Mayor Paul Christensen who did not seek another term.
The North Summit hamlet of Henefer also has a new mayor. A last-minute push for write-in candidate Randy Ovard allowed him to trounce incumbent Mayor Jim Rees. Incumbent Town Councilor Brent Ovard will serve another term and write-in candidate Kay Richins will reportedly serve four years on the board.
Other election results: Oakley Mayor Blake Frazier won a second term after running unopposed. Tiny Woolstenhulme was the top vote getter in the City Council race with 102. Incumbent City Councilor Bob Elbert will serve another term after receiving 86 votes to beat out Randy Hoggan. Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant will serve a second term after running unopposed. Councilors Diane Atkinson and Rodney Smith also ran unopposed. Kamas resident Craig Gines won a seat on the South Summit Fire District board. Park City resident Jan Wilking won another term on the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District board. In Silver Creek, V.J. Pettit will serve a term on the governing board for Summit Service Area No. 3. Marv Maxell, a spokesman for the community, said judges would wait until votes are canvassed this month before determining whether Sean Luebbers, Betty Bauwens or Jim Zimmerman fills the second open seat. The board oversees roads and water in Silver Creek.
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After 2 avalanche deaths in as many years, the backcountry gate leading to Dutch Draw gets attention
The last two Utah skiers or snowboarders to die from avalanches have left from the same backcountry gate at Park City Mountain Resort. Some are wondering why it remains open.