East Side incumbents consider re-election
Multiple town seats up for grabs
While Coalville City Mayor Trever Johnson still has a couple months to decide whether he will seek re-election, he says he is leaning toward running again.
Johnson, who only has seven months left in his first term as mayor, said there are a few projects he would like to see through before stepping down, including Coalville’s new waste water treatment facility and expansion of the county fairgrounds.
“We are also in the middle of, and would I like to finish, the rewriting of some of our ordinances dealing with development and zoning to make it friendlier for individuals and landowners to divide their land,” Johnson said. “There are a lot of restrictions and fees associated with it right now.”
Summit County’s six municipalities will hold at-large, non-partisan elections in November. All of the mayors’ seats will be up for election, in addition to two four-year city council seats from each municipality. The candidate filing window is June 1-7. The municipal Primary Election will be August 15.
Two four-year City Council seats, currently held by Cody Blonquist and Rodney Robbins will be on the ballot in Coalville, in addition to Johnson’s seat. Coalville has a five-member board.
Johnson said he was inspired to run for mayor because he wanted a leader with “my sort of ideals and in my demographic, with a few kids in the system.”
“As I was looking at the candidates almost four years ago I was complaining quite often to my wife,” Johnson said. “After a couple of months went by, the reality sunk in that if I’m not willing to do it, can I really be complaining?”
“I’d like to think we’ve done a pretty good job and we are setting ourselves up to be able to handle growth. We are trying to make it more cost effective and encourage developers to come build out here.”
The two four-year seats in Oakley, held by Kendall “Tiny” Woolstenhulme and Steve Wilmoth, will be on the ballot. Wilmoth was appointed to replace former member Amy Rydalch.
Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme said he is on the fence about running again, adding “it’s a matter of time.” Woolstenhulme also serves as the South Summit Middle School Principal.
“Being the high school principal and mayor, it’s all-consuming,” Woolstenhulme said. “But, I don’t know. I’m probably leaning more towards running right now, I just haven’t decided for sure.
Woolstenhulme said if he decides to run again he anticipates some competition.
“I’m sure we’ve got people excited enough talking about trails and the river project that there will probably be some people running this year,” he said.
The seats held by Byron Ames and Shana Fryer on the Francis City Council will appear on the 2017 ballot.
Francis is one of two municipalities on the East Side with four-member boards. There are two seats that are up for election. Francis City canceled its elections in 2015.
Town of Henefer
Henefer, which has a four-member board, has two, four-year seats up for reelection. They are held by Kay Richins and Brent Ovard. Ovard said he will not run again.
Henefer Mayor Randy Ovard said he is “definitely not” going to seek re-election. Ovard is nearing the end of his third term as mayor. He added, “I believe in term limits and they ought to be self-imposed and I think we should get someone else to step in.”
“I never even ran the first time. I was brought in by the ballot and I didn’t file for it. I even voted for the incumbent. I was elected as a write-in,” Ovard said. “But I’ll be 72 here shortly and my opinion is we need some new blood, new thoughts and new ideas. Let a new person bring it in and take the town in the direction he feels is going.”
During the last election, once Henefer’s council members announced they would not be seeking reelection, the city was on the verge of having to appoint new members. However, in the days leading up to the deadline, six people filed as write-in candidates for the two four-year seats.
“I hope there are a few people that file for each of the positions,” Ovard said. “But Henefer politics has always been known for write-ins. For some reason people wait to see who is going to run before they decide.”
Two of the five council seats in Kamas are up for election. They are currently held by Rod Smith and Diane Atkinson.
Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant said he will not run again. Marchant has served as mayor since 2001 and worked for the South Summit School District for more than two decades.
“I made the decision quite a while ago that this would be my last term,” Marchant said. “I have talked to several people about it and I suspect there will be a few who are interested.”
The seats for Mayor Jack Thomas and City Councilors Cindy Matsumoto and Tim Henney will be on the Park City ballot.
To run for city council, a candidate must be: a United States citizen, a registered voter of the municipality, and a resident of the municipality for 12 consecutive months preceding the election.
To file a declaration of candidacy, forms will have to be picked from the city offices during regular business hours.
Candidates must file paperwork at the appropriate city offices with the recorder or clerk before the end of the day on June 7.
Please note that some of the offices are only open a couple of days a week. Call for specific days and hours.
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.