Coalville’s new councilmembers focus on managing growth after tight election
Coalville’s city council election results are certified, and the margin between third and fourth place was slim.
Brandon Brady edged out fellow city planning commissioner Stefanie Bowen by just 10 votes to earn his spot on Coalville City Council.
“We're both on the planning commission together, so I’d have been OK if she got into it. We're both good candidates,” he said.
Bowen got eight more votes than Brady in the primary.
Although a 10 vote margin might sound slim, Summit County Clerk Eve Furse says it won’t trigger a recount. Based on the number of votes cast, only a margin of two would trigger that under Utah law.
The Coalville City Council certified the 2023 election results Tuesday, Dec. 5.
The two other new councilmembers are North Summit Unite Treasurer and former mayoral candidate Lynn Wood and entrepreneur Shaun Powis. Wood and Powis got the most and second most votes in the primary, too.
Both want to drive public involvement in local government.
Wood jokingly admits she hates giving input during public hearings herself, and thinks people may be intimidated by the public hearing process.
“I'm hoping that we can create less formal ways to interact with our public where it's more comfortable, where we as elected leaders are a lot more accessible to the public,” she said.
Powis got a similar impression during his campaign.
“[Residents] just want to be heard,” he said. “I mean, this is a time in the Wasatch Back where there's a lot of growth, and people who've been in these eastside valleys are concerned about that.”
Managing growth is a top priority for the three new councilmembers. Brady, who’s also a transportation planner for Summit County, points to two major developments south of Coalville.
There’s the already-approved Red Hills development on the Parley Brown property, which is within city limits. And just outside of city limits, there’s the proposed Cedar Crest village, which the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission is reviewing right now.
“It'll be good to try to control it or just be more cognizant about what's happening around us and try to plan for it,” Brady said.
They will also be looking at the final results of a Main Street revitalization study at the end of January, which Brady’s been involved in. Wood says revitalizing Main Street businesses is part of why she wanted to join the council.
Powis is happy seven people ran to begin with.
“I was pleased with the number of people that ran for city office. I think that was a good sign,” he said. “I think that's a demonstration that the people in Coalville really want to be involved in their government.”
The three councilmembers stepping down are Tyler Rowser, Phil Geary and Don Winters. Rowser and Geary ran for reelection, although Geary withdrew his candidacy before the primary.