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Local News
Elections

Heber Councilwoman Heidi Franco, Incumbent Kelleen Potter Enter Race For Mayor

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Heber Mayor Kelleen Potter has filed for re-election, and she will have at least one challenger in Councilwoman Heidi Franco.

The candidates are both focusing on residents’ quality of life as Heber’s population booms.

Franco is at the end of her second consecutive term on Heber City Council. She says her priority is to balance growth with protection of the environment.

“I feel so strongly that we really need to protect the quality of life that we have in Heber City. And Heber City is under such tremendous growth pressure, and I know that our city staff, our city council are constantly under pressure to accommodate that growth, but even with the growth, we still need to protect the quality of life.

“To me, that means we’ve got to protect the environmental beauty in our city and around our city, and I just really want to continue working to protect the water and the air quality within our city as mayor.”

Meanwhile, Potter says a primary element of preserving quality of life should include offering more affordable housing in town.

“If we come to a point where no one can afford to live here, it will affect the quality of life of not just the people who can’t find housing, but everyone. So, to me, moving forward, that [is a priority], and then just all of the planning and management that it takes when you have this kind of management and growth and are trying to balance.

“There’s a lot of people that are coming here, and they want more services. There are people that have been here, and they don’t want people coming here. There are people that are leaving because they don’t like what’s happening, but I think it’s just a tricky balance.”

Potter is wrapping up her first term as mayor. Before that she served a term on Heber City Council, which began in 2014.

Tuesday kicked off the election filing period in Heber City.

Other potential candidates have until next Tuesday, August 17 to file to run for mayor or city council.

As of this morning, no one had filed to run for one of two open city council seats. Those two seats currently belong to Franco and Wayne Hardman.

Because Heber City adopted the ranked-choice voting method for this election, there is no primary.

Ranked-choice ballots list all candidates running for each open seat. Instead of voting for one favorite candidate, voters rank their first, second, third and subsequent choices, providing an instant runoff and eliminating a need for a primary. If a voter’s preferred candidate finishes last, their vote rolls to their second place candidate.

The Utah State Legislature created the option for cities to conduct elections this way when it passed House Bill 35 in 2018.

The terms that are up for election this November will begin in 2022.

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