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Coalville resident Tonja Hanson to fill open seat on Summit County Council

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Tonja Hanson
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Tonja Hanson will serve on the Summit County Council through 2024.

Hanson will serve on the council for two years. Her seat will be up for reelection in 2024.

On Saturday the Summit County Democratic Party’s central committee voted 67-42 to elect Coalville resident Tonja Hanson to fill the open seat on the Summit County Council following councilmemeber Doug Clyde’s resignation earlier this month.

Hanson said Sunday she expects a heavy workload on the council.

"I'm very excited and humbled at the opportunity," Hanson said. "I'm looking forward to the cooperation and collaboration with the mayors and all of the municipalities and regional partners to see if we can solve some of those regional issues."

She said she hopes to make inroads on reducing traffic congestion and increasing housing affordability.

109 delegates voted Saturday. The party's committee includes over 130 members, and there are two delegates for each precinct in the county.

Hanson is a fifth-generation Summit County resident. She was born and raised in Coalville, but has also spent time living in Park City, Oakley, and Kamas. Her background is in marketing and hospitality, and she has experience working for Vail Resorts, POWDR Corp., Sun Valley Resort, and Snowbasin.

In addition to currently serving on the Coalville City Planning Commission, she is also the vice chair of the Summit County Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC). On Sunday Hanson told KPCW she plans to step down from her role on the planning commission. She also said she could be stepping down from OSAC, depending on the direction of the county manager.

Her sole challenger for the vacant seat was Silver Summit resident Thomas Cooke, who currently sits on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. Cooke said Sunday morning he wished the best for Hanson and that he thinks she'll do a great job on the council.

Both candidates commended the Democratic Party's process, which included a forum that was held Saturday prior to the voting.

Clyde is an Oakley resident, and his departure left no one on the council living on the county’s East side. Hanson said that was the top motivating factor for her to throw her hat in the ring.

"It's a great side for the East side of the county to have continued representation," Hanson said. "I'm really excited about that."

Canice Harte, also a Democrat, was elected by voters to the councilearlier this month. Additionally, incumbent Chris Robinson was reelected to another four-year term.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.
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