Francis City cancels upcoming election
October 2, 2015
Francis City voters won’t be going to the polls on election day in November. On Sept. 10, the City Council passed a resolution canceling the upcoming election and awarding the seats to incumbents Jeremie Forman, Matt Crittenden and ron Ames, who were all running unopposed.
"Since I’ve been here we haven’t had a real election," said Suzanne Gillet, city recorder. "We’ve canceled them both."
Since 2011 municipalities and local district boards have had the ability to cancel their local elections if it would not affect the outcome. The legislation is meant to save on election costs in smaller cities throughout the state.
Two four-year seats, as well as the one two-year seat held by Ames, would have been on the ballot for Francis.
Francis typically budgets approximately $2,000 for the city’s elections, Gillet said, before adding "it makes it nice now that we don’t have to spend that money."
Kent Jones, Summit County clerk, said for many years some of the cities did not have enough candidates file to warrant an election. He said it became a "huge expense" and burden to hold one.
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"It saves them revenue," Jones said. "If you have two seats open and two people file and they still hold an election it’s kind of a waste."
Town of Henefer
Henefer was also on track to cancel its election when no one filed for the two open four-year seats and incumbents Richard Butler and Joyce Housley announced they would not seek reelection. However, six people filed as write-in candidates before the Sept. 4 deadline, forcing an election.
Earleen Paskett, Henefer clerk, said the filings "kind of trickled in," with the last one received at about 5 p.m. on deadline day. The following people filed: Ryan Kyle Mosher, Derek Lindley, Dawn Mathiesen Soger, Dale Eatchel, Robin Riches and Bruce Rowser.
Henefer’s election will be conducted on paper ballots instead of electronically, although no names will be listed. Voters will be required to write in names for two of the official candidates.
"It’s a little bit different," Paskett said. "Hopefully we’ll get the advertising out enough so people are aware of who is running."
Paskett said the city’s municipal elections have been dependent on write-in candidates for several years.
"This is nothing new," Paskett said. "But before the law changed, you didn’t’ have to worry about having enough people file because at the last minute you could write them in."
The legislation passed in 2011 also requires that write-in candidates declare their candidacy at least 60 days prior to the election, eliminating day-of write ins.
When no one had filed paperwork yet, Paskett said she started talking to several people to expressing how disappointed she was.
"It isn’t my place to say, ‘You should come and run.’ I just told people it was sad we didn’t have anyone interested in filing and helping the local government. If we couldn’t get two people, we would have had to appoint members," Paskett said.
If no one had filed, Henefer council members would have canceled the election and chosen candidates.
Even though people did end up filing for this election, Paskett says she worries about the next one because she plans on retiring and in 2017 the other two council seats, in addition to the mayor’s position, will be on the ballot.
"People took it to heart this time," Paskett said. "But it could come to a point where we would have to disincorporate if we can’t get enough people to show interest."
For more information about Henefer’s upcoming election, go to http://www.heneferutah.org/Newsletter . Henefer will not be required to conduct early voting. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
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