Incumbent mayor, city councilor edge out opponent in primaries
Will face off in General Election for Coalville’s top position
Nearly half of Coalville City’s registered voters cast ballots in the city’s primary race to narrow the candidate field for the city’s top position. The winners will face off in the General Municipal election in November.
Coalville City has 649 registered voters and 302, or 46.5 percent, returned their mail-in ballots. Incumbent Mayor Trever Johnson and City Council member Tyler Rowser edged out Merlyn W. Johnson. Trever Johnson earned the most votes, with 160.
“I was encouraged and humbled by it,” Johnson said. “There is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes and it’s nice to have the impression that people are recognizing that.”
Johnson, who was first elected in 2013, attributed his votes to the time he already spent at the helm, overseeing matters such as the future of the fairgrounds.
“One of the biggest trials or obstacles was whether the fair was going to leave Coalville,” Johnson said. “I worked a lot of hours and meetings and was on several committees. We figured out how to partner with entities throughout the county to come up with a plan that, I think, benefits a lot of people.”
Moving forward with his campaign, Johnson said, he will shift his focus to street maintenance and updating the city code. He added, “Those are the next two things on the check list. We have the fair here, I have sewer taken care of and we have a remedy for the water problem.”
“Now the focus is preparing the roads and going through and auditing our rules and regulations to make sure we are poised to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that are coming,” Johnson said. “One of the motivating factors of me getting into this position to begin with was I wanted to build a house in Coalville and was frustrated with process. I also really wanted to provide the citizens that represent my demographic, with kids in the system, better opportunities and a better community to live in.”
Rowser, a current city councilor and the public information officer for North Summit Fire District, said the results of the primary prove people have confidence in him and his history of working for the community.
“What I have done in the past is no small feat and that has been one of my things I serve and continue to serve and will continue to serve going into the future,” Rowser said. “I’m not going to be a mayor that sits back and lets things happen as they come along. I will be one that is actively engaged in the community.”
Rowser said the No. 1 issue he will take on if elected is the need for street maintenance. He added, “We’ve gone four years without any real maintenance to our streets.”
“We are looking at a Main Street that we are still paying a bond for and it is becoming cracked,” Rowser said. “There was a small pothole that we saw as a small issue, but waited until it almost started swallowing cars to fix it. I’m talking about small preventative measures that will save the city in the long run.”
Rowser emphasized a need to begin working with the county to identify a new location for a city park. The new configuration of the fairgrounds encroaches on the current park.
“The city is losing their playground with the expansion of the fairgrounds,” Rowser said. “I’m not saying it’s the county’s responsibility. I think it is the city’s. I also think the current proposal of putting in a temporary park is not acceptable. We should be putting in a permanent park at the new facility.
“If we do that it helps improve the atmosphere all the way around if we do it in conjunction with what the county is doing now,” he said. “I think I have some solutions that I can bring to the table.”
Tuesday’s primary election narrowed the candidate field from three to two. Kamas and Oakley also held primary elections. Henefer and Francis were not required to.
Garry Walker won the Kamas City Council primary with 200 votes, followed by Allen McNeil with 181. Amy Yost finished third with 118 votes, and Matthew Atkinson drew 39 votes for fourth place. Kim Steed and Kaycee Simpson were eliminated.
In the Oakley City Council race, former Summit County Sheriff David Edmunds finished first with 183 votes. Steve Wilmoth, with 125 votes, Stephanie Woolstenhulme, with 95 votes and Christopher Hanson, with 72 votes, will also advance to the General Election. Eric Kendell Woolstenhulme, Steve Butler and Richard Bliss Jr. were eliminated.
As of Thursday at around 2 p.m., Kent Jones, Summit County Clerk, said an additional 340 have been received from dropboxes and provisional ballots. He said the ballots have not been tallied.
“We will see what comes in the mail tomorrow and Monday morning,” Jones said. “When we actually upload them we will do it all at once.”
Tuesday’s results, and any additional ballots that are received, will still have to be certified with a canvass by each individual town council.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.