East Side candidates vie for open County Council seat
Three Summit County East Side residents are interested in taking over for County Council member Dave Ure, who announced his resignation earlier this month. The three Republicans will be vying for the County Republican Central Committee’s endorsement to succeed Ure.
Tal Adair, ron Ames and Seth Winterton will address the central committee at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19, in the South Summit High School Auditorium. The three candidates, all East Side residents, will participate in an interview-like process during the open-meeting. Members of the public are encouraged to attend, however, they will not be allowed to participate or provide comment.
The committee will select one name to forward to the Summit County Council, which will have five days to accept or reject the candidate. If the council rejects the party’s nomination, the appointment will be made by Utah Governor Gary Herbert. The governor will have 30 days to make a decision.
Ure’s resignation followed his recent appointment by the governor as the director of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
"The reason we are acting so quickly is because of the upcoming holidays," said Adair, the Summit County Republican chair. "We want as much of the central committee there as possible."
The party received seven applications for the open seat. The Summit County Republican executive board chose Adair, Ames and Winterton. Adair said he recused himself from the board and will not conduct Thursday’s meeting.
"There is nothing in the state rules that says I can’t run because anyone can apply," Adair said. "I was not part of the committee that chose the names and we did that on purpose so it was transparent."
Adair, 51, of Francis, said he decided to throw his hat in the ring because "if you are going to ask people to become involved you might as well be willing to."
"I love Summit County and I’ve gained a lot of perspective in my business and deal with people all over the county," said Adair, who works as a loan officer in Kamas. "I know the county intimately, as far as the big issues, and I know how it affects people’s lives on a daily basis, so why not me?"
Adair has four children and his wife Desirae is a mammography technician. He has been the Republican Party chair for three years and previously served as regional chair for four years. He said his top priority would be looking at issues as they affect the county as a whole.
"We have such a dynamic county sometimes we loose sight on all the good resources that we have," Adair said.
Winterton, 66, of Woodland, is a retired marketing associate with the Utah Department of Agriculture. He now runs a ranch operation. Winterton has four children and his wife Susan is a teacher at South Summit Middle School. He has never held a political office before. However, he has served as chair the Summit County Fair Board for several years and was appointed Grand Marshal of this year’s fair.
"I’m a community member and I have lived in Summit County my entire life. I have always been interested in county politics," Winterton said. "I actually filed to run as a commissioner years ago, but with my job I didn’t want to quit so I did walk away at that time. But I’ve always had an interest."
Winterton said he sees several issues coming up on the East Side of the county and it would be beneficial to have someone with an agriculture background on the County Council to address those.
"I’m not much of a politician but I am tough," Winterton said. "I am concerned with growth, transportation and water. All those issues that affect the East and West Side and I think it is important that the East Side have a voice in all that."
Ames, 43, of Francis, was recently reappointed to the Francis City Council. Ames, his wife, Tera, and their three boys have lived in Francis for nearly four years. Ames and his wife are lawyers in Kamas at Ames & Ames law firm. Ames decision to pursue the open seat would satisfy his desire to become further involved in the community.
"The older I get and the more I pay attention to the world around me, the more I believe that people can’t just sit around and comment about the world around them. If they have a comment then I think they have a duty to get involved and I feel like I should get more involved in my community and government."
While Ames was hesitant to prioritize growth as the No. 1 issue facing the council, he did say several issues fit under that umbrella.
"There are a lot of growth-management issues that need to be addressed and those are screaming at everyone right now," Ames said. "And managing that growth is a big deal because within it we have several sub-issues, such as schools, transportation, infrastructure, preservation of agriculture and economic development.
"I don’t want to say growth is the biggest thing, but it all fits under that and has to do with the growth we are facing," Ames said.
The person chosen for the position will join council members Kim Carson, Chris Robinson, Roger Armstrong and Claudia McMullin. The appointee term lasts one year, until the next election.
Council members are paid approximately $31,447.46 per year and receive benefits of a full-time employee.
Ure was reelected to a second term on the council in 2014. He also previously served from 1194 to 2006 as the Summit County representative to the state legislature.
Summit County is hosting a reception for Ure from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Summit County Courthouse. The public is invited.
As a farewell homage, the County Council declared Thursday, Nov. 19, "Council Member Ure Day" to "thank him for his years of dedicated service to Summit County," according to the resolution.
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