Silver Creek Board election was one-sided
The Service Area 3 Board of Trustees election took place Tuesday in Silver Creek, as ballots were mailed in for candidates in the Upper and Lower Districts.
The Upper District, which had one vacancy, saw incumbent Brad Iverson defeat write-in candidate Michael Montgomery 66 votes to 43. Montgomery, a member of Service Area 3’s Trails and Parks Advisory Committee, said he will continue to be engaged in important issues with the Board.
"Water and the overage charges and how they regulate water fees will still be contentious issues," Montgomery said, adding many Silver Creek residents do not understand their water bill and that the process is "broken."
"This election highlighted there’s a broad diversity of opinion in Silver Creek," Iverson said. He emphasized that improving roads and creating more trails do not have to be mutually exclusive, and said he would try to focus on both. More efficient roads, he said, would provide more funding for trails.
Montgomery said concerns about right-of-way trails alongside roads have been diminished, adding that he has received positive feedback about them. He hopes the Board has more transparency in the coming years so residents can be more actively engaged.
The Lower District, which had two vacancies, saw Betty Bauwens (111 votes) and write-in candidate Marcello Occon (107) take the two seats, with Eileen Galoostian receiving 41 and Len Bowes 35.
"The tally of the votes speaks for themselves," Bauwens said. "It’s very obvious that Silver Creek residents have spoken loudly and clearly for a moderate approach to problem-solving out here."
Bauwens, who deflected earlier comments by Bowes that she has not supported trails in the past, said trails are "important" to her and believes it is the method in which and type of trails that are implemented are important, giving attention to the desires of property owners in creating right-of-way trails.
Occon said he wants to find a better way to calculate water overages that are caused by a breakage or accident in a water line. With trails, he wants to focus on logistics and "finish what we started." He is also concerned about speeding in the community and wants to try to get speed bumps put on roads in Silver Creek.
"There was a lot of miscommunication before about roads and trails. We had really strong people defending trails, but that should not create the division that people are speculating about right now," Occon said. "The participation of the residents is crucial."
Bowes said he was disappointed in the results but said he will continue to work with the Board on resolving issues. He said he will also stay active on the community’s groupsite, the Silver Creek Crier, and said he wants to press the issues of water conservation and posting Board minutes online faster. He also addressed the divide that this election highlighted.
"We had a very passionate group of folks that wanted more trails and a balanced trail plan that went along with roads," Bowes said. "The other group put trails at a much lower priority and wanted to focus on other things."
Bowes and Galoostian both expressed concern that if an adequate trail system is not pursued, Silver Creek could end up like Draper, in which they said homes were bought up and the equestrian community disappeared.
"Some of the folks out on the trails don’t come to the board meetings that’s a source of frustration," Bowes said. "If people don’t come and stand up and voice their opinion, the other side will get their way."
"Silver Creek has the opportunity to be a recreational Mecca for those who live in the neighborhood," Galoostian said, adding she wants to continue to work with the Board to get trails in right-of-ways for safe, non-motorized pathways.
The Service Area 3 Board of Trustees election results are not final, as ballots can still be received by mail 14 days after the election as long as they were postmarked no later than Nov. 4.
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