Outgoing Heber City Councilmembers reflect on time on office
Rachel Kahler and Ryan Stack are wrapping up their terms on the Heber City Council. They said the valley’s growth has defined their time in city government.
Both Kahler and Stack decided not to run for re-election this year. They want to spend more time with their families after years of late nights at city hall.
Kahler said she’s learned a lot about the big issues facing Heber in her time on the council.
“For the last four years, it has been a fire hose,” she said.
From Envision 2050 to a new plan for the downtown to a major parks plan, the city council has approved a number of big projects for Heber during her tenure.
Stack said he’s been passionate about helping the city plan for its future while on the council.
“I feel very strongly about the Envision Heber 2050, the new general plan,” he said. “That was what motivated my run for council and why I wanted to get involved: to help the city become more proactive.”
Kahler said as the Heber Valley grows it will be essential to reroute traffic away from downtown and make it walkable.
“One of the biggest issues that will continue to be part of the top line will be the bypass and the need for the city to take back Main Street in order to grow a healthy downtown,” she said.
She and Stack both encouraged incoming councilmembers to learn from the city staff and their wealth of knowledge.
Stack said he has mixed emotions about bidding farewell to city government.
“You know, it’s bittersweet,” he said. “There were a lot of big visioning items that we took on, and we got them passed. Now, of course, the bitter part of it is it’s hard to walk away… with so much good work still left to be done, but it’s time.”
As for Kahler, she decided against running for reelection because she wants to spend more time with her daughter, a high school freshman, but she said she’ll continue to serve the Heber community.
“I love Heber,” she said. “It has always been part of me; it’s my hometown. So I will find ways to serve – whether it be at the Wasatch Community Foundation level or just pulling weeds in front of the town hall on the spring cleanup days.”
As they finish their terms, both said they are optimistic about the new leaders coming into office.
“I’ve had a chance to speak with Mike, Aaron and Sid, and I’m really encouraged,” Stack said. “I have every reason to believe that the city will continue to be in good, capable hands.”
Aaron Cheatwood and Sid Ostergaard will take over the outgoing city councilmembers’ seats in the new year. Mike Johnston was elected to another term.
Election results will be made official Dec. 5.