The Park Record editorial, October 29-November 1, 2011 | ParkRecord.com

The Park Record editorial, October 29-November 1, 2011

Do a little research before casting town council votes

Unlike the Park City Council candidates, municipal office seekers on the county’s East Side, for the most part, fly under the radar during election season. For instance, while lawns throughout Park City are currently studded with campaign signs, there is barely any evidence of the coming election along State Road 32, which threads through Coalville, Kamas, Oakley and Francis. And while Park City politicians have been busy appearing at public forums and debates, there has been barely a murmur about politics on the East Side.

That’s probably OK with the 24 candidates vying for 12 open seats on the Kamas, Oakley, Coalville, Francis and Henefer town councils who seem to be running low-key to nonexistent campaigns, but we respectfully disagree.

Summit County’s East Side is undergoing dramatic changes. The pace may have slowed a bit when the economy stalled, but growth and development are still huge issues and the next slate of town councilors will be faced with landmark decisions as they try to balance the need for economic development with maintaining their constituents’ treasured rural lifestyles.

Regardless of how similar the candidates may perceive themselves to be, the biennial ritual of knocking on doors to ask citizens for input, of interacting eye-to-eye with their constituents and of articulating goals for the future, is essential.

Somehow that spirit seems diminished this year on the very turf where it is most effective. In small towns, elections turn on handful of votes and the candidates who prevail wield a lot of power, albeit over a small domain. They are the ones who will decide whether to expand your city’s plumbing, whether you will be living next to a cement plant, a new subdivision or a park, how much police protection to provide and how deep you will have to dig to pay your taxes next year.

In fact, other than not being able to declare war on the next town over, your town council arguably has more power over your day-to-day lifestyle than either federal or state officials.

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So before you vote this week, or on Election Day Nov. 8, find out why each candidate is running. Do some homework before going to the polls. Google them. Call them up. Ask them what they plan to do for you and for your neighborhood.

Unfortunately, very few of the candidates responded to the The Park Record’s request for written descriptions of their platforms, which we had hoped to share with voters. But perhaps they will be more forthcoming with you.

The East Side candidates are:

Coalville (vote for 3) Christopher Brundy, Jodie Coleman, Arlin Judd, Terrie Leyba, Scott Price, and Steven Richins

Francis (vote for 2) Matt Crittenden, Jeremie Forman, Kristi Major and Rae Prescott

Henefer (vote for 2) Richard Butler and Joyce Housley

Kamas (vote for 3) Rodney Atkinson, Michael Crystal, Jonathan Latham, Dan Littledike, Nathan Miles, and Kevan Todd

Oakley (vote for 3) Ronald Bowen, Bob Elbert, Les England, Michael Lee, Terry Morrison and Eric Rose