Town Council applicants lacking
July 8, 2011
With one week left before city council filing windows across the state close, the East Side of Summit County is experiencing a dry spell in potential candidates.
With open positions in each city, as of Friday only two applicants, Carlos Tavores and Merlyn Johnson, had filed to run in Coalville. Jonathan Richard Latham was the only one to file in Kamas and no one had filed in Oakley. Henefer and Francis each have two open positions and no one has filed yet to run.
"You never know, but I don’t think anyone is going to come in and file," said Francis City Clerk Earlying Taskett. "Our city council members are also on the public works board and it is a lot to do for pretty much nothing."
Chris Brundy, a Coalville City Council member whose term expires in January said that he intends to run for reelection but hasn’t filed yet.
"Four years ago, I filed on the last day along with the other two candidates. A lot of people just put off filing their applications until the very end," Brundy said. He said he is not optimistic though about the number of people who will want to run, "It is hard enough getting people to come to meetings, much less do a civic duty."
According to Kamas City Clerk Kimberly Peacock, it is normal for candidates to wait to file until the last few days, and while they expect more people to file, they never know until they come in.
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"In these small towns, the majority of people have either already served in some way or have no interest in it, it is a pretty thankless job," said Brundy.
Summit County Clerk Kent Jones called the low number of applicants typical, saying it is not uncommon for residents to wait until the filing window closes and then be persuaded by their neighbors to become write-in candidates.
"We usually have applicants file at some point, residents can decide to be a write-in candidate up to 30 days prior to the election," said Jones. "If still no one files, then the county council will accept applications and appoint someone."
Jones said he does not think shorter terms or duty changes for city council members would convince more people to apply.
"In the smaller towns, there are not that many issues to deal with and if people are happy with the way things are going then they see no need to worry about it," said Jones.
Compared to Oakley’s complete lack applicants, so far four people have filed for the three open positions on the Park City City Council, with more expected next week.
"I don’t remember a time when nobody has stepped up and filled the positions in the East side," said Jones.
There are also four openings to serve on the board for Special Service District #3, Silver Creek Estates.
The filing window for applications will close on July 15 at 5 p.m. Anyone interested in running should stop by their city hall to apply.