East Side municipalities consider campaign
May 29, 2015
If you "love your community and care about what happens in it, you should strongly consider running for a seat on your city’s council. You can make a big difference in the community if you have the passion," says Francis Councilman ron Ames.
His comments come just days before the opening of the window to declare candidacy for seats on the county’s six town councils. The filing period is from June 1 through June 8.
The six municipalities will hold at-large, non-partisan elections in November. The elections for the five municipalities in eastern Summit County are covered below. The Park City municipal election is being covered separately.
Ames’ seat is one of three that will appear on the 2015 ballot for Francis City. His seat is up for a two-year term.
Francis is one of two municipalities on the East Side with a four-member board. There are three seats that are up for election and if more than six people run, it will require a primary election in August to narrow the field ahead of Election Day.
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Ames said he is "on the fence" about running again, but is starting to feel the pressure. Ames said his obligation to his law firm in Kamas, Ames and Ames, is delaying his decision.
"I’m trying to decide if I can commit enough time to really be a benefit to the community," Ames said.
Ames was on the Francis Planning Commission when he was appointed to join the City Council about a year ago. Since then, he said the experience has reaffirmed something he’s always believed is important: listening to people.
"I’ve learned to listen no matter what the points are," Ames said. "A lot of what we are trying to do is solve problems for people who have conflicting interests and to understand people’s issues, I’ve had to put my own preconceived notions aside."
Francis Council members Jeremie Forman and Matt Crittenden’s seats will also be on the ballot. Forman said he is undecided about running again, but Crittenden said he more than likely will seek reelection.
Three four-year seats, held by Jodie Coleman, Steven Richins, and Arlin Judd, will be on the ballot for Coalville. Coalville has a five-member board.
Additionally, a two-year seat currently held by Adrianne Anson will be up for reelection. Anson was appointed after Cuyler Scates resigned earlier this year.
Incumbent Arlin Judd said he hasn’t officially decided whether or not he will be running again, adding "there is no point in getting excited about it yet."
"I have thought about it and I probably will file again, I’m just not really sure," he said.
While on council, Judd said he has devoted most of his time to the sewer district and has been closely involved with the construction of Coalville’s new waste water treatment facility.
Judd said he views himself as the type of person who is not afraid to step into a role that thrusts him in the public sphere, having served on the North Summit School District Board of Education and previously as a City Council member.
His advice for interested candidates is: "You need to fully commit and take advantage of what training and opportunities there are to interact with the other council members and learn about your community."
As of press time, Richins, Coleman and Anson had not responded to calls from The Park Record about their intentions to run or not.
The city of Oakley’s three four-year seats, held by Eric Rose, Ron Bowen, and Lorrie Hoggan, plus a two-year seat held by Amy Rydalch, will be on the ballot. Hoggan confirmed she is planning to seek reelection to "keep the city going."
"I want to be able to do some things that I’ve been planning," Hoggan said.
Rydalch said she is "contemplating" her decision, but will probably seek reelection.
"With the time commitment and family commitment it makes it kind of difficult," Rydalch said. "But I am trying to talk things over with my family to make sure this is something we can all get behind. I don’t foresee there being a problem with filing again."
Rose and Bowen could not be reached for comment.
Town of Henefer
Henefer, which has a four-member board, has two, four-year seats up for reelection: Richard Butler and Joyce Housley’s.
Mayor Randy Ovard said Housley has indicated to him that she is not going to run again, but he is unsure what Butler’s plans are.
Ovard said he is aware of one person who has expressed an interest in declaring candidacy, but said there is always a concern that not enough candidates will file, especially after what happened in recent years.
"There is no question that’s a concern," Ovard said. "We had to cancel the last election because not a soul ran for the three seats for mayor. There is a great concern because being in public office these days is getting to be very complicated.
"Young people don’t have time to be involved and they’re raising families and trying to earn a living," he said. "It makes it difficult to have the time to do it."
Three of the five council seats in Kamas are up for election. They are currently held by Kevan Todd, Dan Littledike, and Mike Crystal. Littledike said he is not going to seek reelection. Todd and Crystal could not be reached.
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 8. Please note that some of the offices are only open a couple of days a week. Call for specific days and hours.
- Coalville: Nachele Sargent, recorder, 435-336-5981
- Kamas: Kim Peacock, recorder, 435-783-4630
- Francis: Suzanne Gillett, recorder, 435-783-6236
- Henefer: Earlee Paskett, clerk, 435-336-5365 or 435-336-2044
- Oakley: Konni Thompson, recorder, 435-783-5734