Seven county department head slots up for election this year
March 7, 2014
You won’t find these jobs in the classified listings, but if you are looking for a near-six-figure salary and full benefits, it might be smart to consider working at the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville.
The catch is the hiring process. Job applicants need to compete in the countywide partisan election process to land one of the positions. That includes wooing delegates at the upcoming neighborhood caucuses and county convention in March and April, facing a possible primary runoff in June, and then campaigning to win the General Election in November.
The county’s seven department heads – assessor, clerk, sheriff, attorney, treasurer, auditor and recorder are all up for election this November. The positions pay $97,000 to $135,000 per year and come with health and retirement benefits.
The terms are usually for four years but in a new twist this year the treasurer, recorder and assessor each will serve one six-year term before reverting to the normal four-year cycle. The change was mandated by the state legislature as part of an effort to stagger turnover and maintain stability in county government.
That means this could be the last year all seven department heads will be on the ballot at once. The clerk, sheriff, attorney and auditor will be on the ballot again in 2018, but the treasurer, assessor and recorder won’t be on the ballot again until 2020, which will put them on the presidential-ballot cycle.
Prospective candidates must notify the Summit County clerk of their intention to run by appearing in person during office hours in Coalville between March 14 and March 20. (The clerk’s office will be closed Saturday and Sunday during the filing window.) At that time they will also be asked to declare their party affiliation and to notify the appropriate county chairmen. If more than one person applies for a particular position on a party ticket, they will compete at their party’s county convention to try to obtain an official nomination.
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Candidates may also choose to run on an independent ticket, but must accompany their filing application with a petition containing a minimum of 300 signatures from registered voters within the county.
Of the seven incumbent department heads, five have stated they intend to run for reelection and two have said they will not. Sheriff Dave Edmunds and Auditor Blake Frazier announced earlier this year they will not seek new terms. Attorney Dave Brickey, Assessor Steve Martin, Recorder MaryAnn Trussell, Treasurer Corrie Forsling and Clerk Kent Jones all hope to be on November’s ballot. In 2010 three department heads (attorney, auditor and recorder) ran unopposed.
Two county council members, David Ure and Chris Robinson are also up for reelection this year. Both have said they are planning to run again. Summit County Council members earn $30,601 per year and are also eligible for health and retirement benefits.
School board members who represent precincts 4 and 5 in the North and South Summit and Park City school districts will also be on the ballot but those elections are nonpartisan.
Summit County Elected Officials Compensation
Summit County pays $391 per month/single-party premium, $783 per month/two-party, $1,214 per month/family
The county also offers dental and life insurance and will pay 15.58 percent of an official’s wage to the Utah Retirement System (URS) or 13 percent of the salary into a 401K.
Source: Summit County Personnel Director Brian Bellamy
Neighborhood caucuses: March 20
County convention: April 13
Neighborhood caucuses: March 18
County convention: March 29
Summit County Clerk Kent Jones