Summit County Council member-elect Glenn Wright readies for new position
He will be sworn in on Jan. 4 at the County Courthouse
In the weeks leading up to the election, Summit County Council-elect Glenn Wright regularly attended council meetings. He was often seen taking notes and rifling through documents as the issues were discussed.
Wright’s presence at the meetings has continued since he was elected to a two-year term over incumbent Tal Adair. He will officially be sworn in on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at the County Courthouse in Coalville.
Wright said he “already has an idea about what is coming.”
“I’ve been going to the meetings and a lot of the things I was talking about in the election are going to be discussed in some way, shape, or form in the first few months,” Wright said.
Cline Dahle parcel
On Dec. 14, the County Council discussed the results of the due diligence process for the 30-acre plot of land in Jeremy Ranch known as the Cline Dahle parcel.
The county entered a $3.7 million purchase option in March for the land as a potential site for another transit hub and to provide workforce or affordable housing. The option is open until Jan. 20, 2017.
Wright said he is in favor of the purchase and suggested the council move forward with the option, before adding “but I think our key decisions will be about what exactly we want to do there.”
“I think we have already heard some objections from the Jeremy Ranch community about traffic going through that area near the school,” Wright said. “It will be incumbent upon us to make sure that the design gets traffic out of there safely so it doesn’t affect the schools and it doesn’t affect the neighborhoods.”
Wright said discussions need to take place with employers in the area who may be interested in supporting affordable housing for their workers.
“I am in favor of it, but it is really incumbent upon us to make the right decision. If we screw it up we will really impact what we can do in the future,” Wright said. “The public will be like, ‘well, what else are you going to do and screw up next?’”
East Side zoning
The first few meetings after the New Year are expected to include time dedicated to revisiting the changes that are being proposed to the East Side zoning districts.
The County Council has been reticent to address the amendments to the code and zoning maps until the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission forwards a final recommendation on the parameters of the new zones.
“I have heard all of the recent discussions about it, but I still have a bunch of questions that haven’t been answered,” Wright said. “I would not vote for the plan as it is written, there is no question about that.
“There have to be some changes to it, and I think there are reasonable changes, before I would even consider it,” he said.
Wright said he has concerns about the zoning along State Road 32 that could potentially add “a driveway every 75 feet.” He said from a traffic standpoint “it certainly won’t work.”
“I think there are a lot of good things in there, but we have to keep going because, as it stands, I am not in favor of it.”
Taking a step back
As Wright prepares to step into his new role, he said, he will be recusing himself from some of his other duties, including chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and president of the Summit and Wasatch counties Habitat for Humanity board.
“I will definitely be stepping back from a lot of the other things that I have done,” Wright said. “I don’t think I can be on the council and be the prime mover and shaker in both of those organizations.”
When asked how he foresees the upcoming transition to council member, he said with a laugh “ask me again in a month.”
“One of the things I have learned from attending a lot of these meetings is that after I would read the staff report to start creating some opinions on these issues, I would frequently go in with an opinion and then I would frequently change,” Wright said.
Wright said he has been impressed with his fellow council members’ knowledge and experience.
“I think we are on cue to start tackling a lot of these issues,” Wright said. “I’m looking forward to it, I really am. I think it will be an interesting experience because the council gets involved in so many different aspects of life in the county.”
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