East Sider selected for vacant Summit County Council seat
Members of the county’s Democratic Party voted 67-42 in favor of Coalville City Planning Commissioner Tonja Hanson
A new face will officially join the Summit County Council at its next meeting.
The Summit County Democratic Party on Saturday selected Tonja Hanson to serve the remainder of retired County Councilor Doug Clyde’s term, which is set to expire in 2025. Members of the party’s central committee voted 67-42 in favor of Hanson, allowing her to secure the required 60% of the vote and defeat Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Thomas Cooke.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to serve the citizens of Summit County and to represent the East Side. I am anxious to get started and to dive into the work that needs to be done,” Hanson said in an interview.
Around 50 people participated in person at Ecker Hill Middle School on Saturday with another 25 online, according to Katy Owens, the chair of the county Democratic Party. She said many delegates appreciated the choice between two qualified, experienced candidates. A total of 109 people voted.
When invited to ask questions, many people wanted to know the candidates’ opinions about transportation issues, affordable housing, rezoning, growth, specific projects from the past that have the possibility to come up again in the future, having representation from across the county on the County Council, and the possibility of hosting another Winter Olympics.
The two Democrats shared similar views but differed in how to direct them. Cooke recognized growth and development are happening countywide, but feels the impacts are barreling down on the West Side. Hanson, meanwhile, has been focused on representing the East Side and ensuring they are prepared for what’s coming to the Kamas Valley.
Hanson served on the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission from 2008 to 2017 before taking her seat on the Coalville City Planning Commission the following year, which she will step down from. Hanson is also a representative of North Summit on the Summit County Open Space Advisory Committee, which she may also resign from because of her new role on the County Council.
Owens thanked Cooke for putting himself up for consideration and said the Democratic Party hopes to see him run again in the future as they are already planning for the 2024 election.
Hanson was scheduled to be sworn in during a special County Council meeting on Tuesday. After she’s confirmed, Hanson anticipates a warm welcome and a full workload.
Also on Tuesday, the County Council, acting as the Board of Canvassers, was expected to certify the 2022 general election results. There were at least 591 ballots that still needed to be counted as of Nov. 11. Summit County Clerk Eve Furse provided the panel with a final summary report, which included the remaining countable votes.
The official results released this week solidified the victories of local Democratic candidates and paved the way for new school board members to start serving next year. There were 20,457 ballots cast and voter turnout in Summit County was around 72%, according to preliminary results from Nov. 18.
Incumbent Democrat Chris Robinson was challenged by Republican Holly McClure for County Council Seat D. Robinson earned around 57% of the vote compared to nearly 43% captured by McClure. The candidates vying for County Council Seat E had comparable figures, with Democrat Canice Harte receiving just less than 57% of the vote compared to 43% for Republican John “Jack” Murphy.
Murphy and McClure, who partnered for the hard-fought “M&M” campaign, were the first Republican County Council candidates since 2016.
The preliminary results also indicate Park City Board of Education incumbents Mandy Pomeroy and Erin Grady will not retain their seats. Instead, Meredith Reed and Nick Hill were elected in districts 4 and 5, respectively. Reed received 64% of the vote while Pomeroy earned nearly 36%. The election between Hill and Grady had tighter margins. The candidates respectively received around 52% and 48% of the vote.
The hummingbirds are back!
They will remain here for the summer to raise their young, heading south in July, August and September for the start of their fall migration.
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