County councilor settles into new role
Tal Adair has hit the ground running since becoming the fifth member of the Summit County Council. After only six weeks on the job, Adair already has one budget cycle under his belt and says he is ready to tackle the next big issues on the council’s upcoming agendas.
County Council members appointed Adair in November to replace Dave Ure. Ure announced his resignation less than one-year into his second term after Utah Governor Gary Herbert appointed him as the director of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
Adair was thrust into the role in the middle of the budget process. Adair said he had to quickly adjust, often spending time with council members and staffers individually.
"It is going very well and the council has overwhelmingly accepted me. They have been very supportive on all aspects of the county’s business and have tried to get me the information and up to speed," Adair said. "If I have any questions they stop to explain things to me and the staff has been wonderful sitting down with me on their own time to help educate me on their perspectives."
Adair, 51, of Francis, is the only Republican and East Side representative on the council, which consists of Kim Carson, Roger Armstrong, Chris Robinson and Claudia McMullin. He was nominated by the County Republican Central Committee after serving as the party’s chair for more than three years.
As the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission prepares to forward a recommendation on the new zoning districts for the east side of the county, Adair said he will be a voice for that community.
"Absolutely I will be," Adair said when asked. "I went to the meeting in Coalville and I went to the public meeting in Kamas and have taken several calls and met with several of the citizens and mayors."
While on the council, Ure was the only representative who regularly attended the hearings.
"I know the Planning Commission has been working hard the last couple of years on zoning and the complexity of zoning will soon be finishing up on their end and it will be in our hands," Adair said.
The two other issues Adair said he is looking forward to discussing in the coming months are: transportation and the county’s purchase option on the 80-acre property that is being considered as a new site for the Summit County Fair.
"County-wide transportation is always an issue and making sure that we are able to get around safely within the county and avoid gridlock is a priority," Adair said. "I know the new transportation hub will be moving forward and if we can just hit it (transportation) straight on instead of just giving it lip service, we can take on the hard issues to come up with something and not just put a Band-Aid on it."
County Council members have said transportation and transportation-related improvements will be a priority in the upcoming year. Several capital projects will also be underway in 2016, including the Kamas Building, the Kimball Junction Transit Center, as the county continues exploring the idea of moving the County Fair to Hoytsville.
Adair said he is looking forward to working on those projects during his one-year term and plans to seek reelection in November.
"We are doing some great things and it’s fun to get involved in it all," Adair said.
The County Council will meet for the first time this year Wednesday, Jan. 6, at the Summit County Courthouse, in Coalville. To view the agenda, go to http://summitcounty.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/01062016-684?html=true
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Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt died Friday from injuries sustained in an off-duty accident earlier in the week, the agency announced.