Basin Commissioner will file for County Council post
For Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Colin DeFord, pursuing one of the four Summit County Council seats in November just makes sense.
"County Council is a natural next step for me," DeFord said. "As a planning commissioner, I’ve served at the pleasure of the County Council and I feel strongly that I have built a positive working relationship with them. I look forward to the prospect of continuing to work with the Council, albeit in a new capacity."
DeFord, 44 years old and a Pine Ridge resident, said he plans to file for one of the Council’s three four-year seats when the window opens on March 11. He intends to run for Seat B, which is currently held by Claudia McMullin who has announced she will not seek another term.
Council members Roger Armstrong and Kim Carson’s seats will also be on the ballot for the General Election and a two-year seat, currently held by Tal Adair, will also be up.
"In my years on the commission, I have gained an incredible education in the process, code and the overall desires of the community for innovative solutions in government," DeFord said, adding that the experience will lend itself well to a position on the council.
DeFord has served on the seven-member board since 2012. He was elected chair in 2013 and again in 2014. During his tenure, commissioners have reviewed several major projects, including the Silver Creek Village Center and the Whole Foods relocation.
Challenges the county faces, such as development, affordable housing and wildlife issues, are presented to the Planning Commission in many different forms, DeFord said, adding that those conversations have given him a foundation to work alongside the council to help shape their strategic initiatives.
Another important issue for DeFord is economic diversity and the future sustainability of what is being built in the county, especially on the East Side.
"As workforce housing in the Basin has been an ongoing concern, retention of family is also an issue on the East Side," DeFord said. "I’d like to find a way to ensure that the children who are growing up in the county will have the ability to return to the area, or even remain in the area, in the future, to raise their own families."
DeFord said he is interested in finding a better means for East Side landowners to pass land on to their children, a nod to the ongoing conversations among the Eastern Summit County Commissioners regarding zoning districts and property rights.
"With the projected population growth on the East Side, this is an important issue to tackle, and the time is now," he said.
DeFord also spoke briefly about improving relations with Wasatch County and addressing issues concerning water resources and wastewater.
DeFord is a technical producer in the sports and entertainment industry. He serves as a trustee on the Board of the Park City Day School and he is a member of Park City Rotary Club. His wife is a stay-at-home mom to their two elementary-school-age daughters and two dogs.
"I have never run for elected office before, but my family is very supportive of my desire," DeFord said. "I thoroughly enjoy thoughtful debate and have a keen eye for problem solving and I look forward to a continued working relationship with Summit County."
The filing period to declare as a candidate is March 11 to March 17, at 5 p.m. Councilors earn $32,737 a year, with the benefits of a full-time employee. The council chair earns $38,895. However, council members are considering increasing salaries for the incoming elected officials.
For more information, prospective Democratic County Council candidates can contact Glenn Wright via email at email@example.com . Republican candidates can contact Adair, the Summit County Republican Party chair at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 801-201-3601..
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The County Council doled out grants supporting ventures ranging from discounting plane tickets to supporting a classical music festival.