Tal Adair leaves mark on Summit County Council
Councilor prepares to step down after one term
Tal Adair was likely the quietest member of the Summit County Council during the last year. He rarely engaged in the banter and reserved his comments for specific questions concerning the issues in front of the five-member board.
County Council member Chris Robinson said he was the council’s “voice of reason.”
“Tal Adair has been great to work with,” said County Council member Chris Robinson. “He will be missed. He has a good head on his shoulders and he never got excited in a negative way.”
Last week, Adair attended his final meeting as a County Council member. He was appointed in 2015 to fill the spot left vacant by former councilor Dave Ure, but was defeated in his bid for a full term by Glenn Wright, the Summit County Democratic chair, in the November election. Wright will be sworn in on Jan. 4.
Adair, of Francis, said his has been feeling a “deep sense of gratitude” in his final days on council, but added, “But I will always be looking to be involved in the community through volunteering or in an elected position.”
“When you sit on council you have to start deciding what’s most important, and sometimes your personal beliefs may be a little different than what is right for the community,” Adair said. “But you have to make your decisions based on the community and we have such a great one here. I want to continue serving it.”
Road to the council
Adair took a somewhat unconventional path to becoming a council member. He had previously served on the Francis City Council and had been the county’s Republican Party chair for more than three years when Ure announced that he had accepted a position with the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. Adair’s name quickly rose to the top of the party’s list of candidates.
“I don’t know that it led to me serving on the council, but I was asked by individuals within the party to throw my hat in the ring along with several others,” Adair said.
The party’s Central Committee eventually chose Adair over candidates Byron Ames and Seth Winterton. He said it was an easy transition, but admitted he had “huge shoes to fill.”
“As the Republican Party chair, you get to meet a lot of people and you are pretty active in the politics throughout the county,” Adair said. “But stepping into Dave’s shoes, they were huge. He contributed so much to Summit County. He knew and worked with so many people on the city, county and state level. He had established great relationships with everyone and I just tried to do the same.”
While on council, Adair has had a hand in deciding several issues, including the implementation of the new garbage pickup fees, the future of the private motocross track in Wanship and the height of the Woodward Park City action camp at Gorgoza Park.
However, Adair said “no one decision was any different than the others.”
“As things came before the council, you just try to take each individual project or process that comes to the council individually and separately. You try and look at how they stand on their own merits and what is right and wrong as you perceive it based on as much information as you can get,” Adair said. “You try to make the right decision for everyone involved because you are making decisions that affect a large amount of people.
“You have to take that into account and what is best in the big picture,” he said.
Adair said he chose to seek reelection to continue serving the community and impacting the lives of residents. He said it takes time, in any organization, to understand its impact.
“Serving on the council and affecting people in a positive way, that is why I wanted to run again or serve in another capacity,” Adair said. “Summit County is where I live and where I work. You get to know so many people and how what we do truly affects them.
“And when it really truly matters and it affects people’s lives for the better, it can be something so simple,” he said. “But so often we overlook the little things that affect our lives or have a great impact.”
Adair said he may consider staying on as the Republican Party chair “only if it’s best for the party.” The party will hold an organization convention in May to elect new leadership. Otherwise, he said, he will take the next couple of months to consider his options.
“I’m going to continue to be involved in government matters and the community and I urge anyone who would like to get involved to do it, maybe join a volunteer board,” Adair said. “Everyone should get involved so that our county is the best that it can be. Government works best when people get involved and be a part of it and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it. I just want to say thank you to all of the citizens of Summit County for allowing me to sit on the council. What a great experience it has been.”
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Do you support botanical organizations? Confusing ballot question aside, Proposition 21 is actually asking about the RAP tax, a 0.1% sales tax that has raised more than $25 million for recreation, arts and parks in Summit County since it was first put in place in 2000.