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Karl McMillan to join Wasatch County Council next year

Karl McMillan
Karl McMillan

As the only candidate to file for Wasatch County Council seat F, Karl McMillan will begin his term representing eastern county residents in 2023.

A lifelong Heber Valley resident who now lives on the eastern outskirts of Heber City, Karl McMillan says he wants to get more involved in his community.

With no challengers in the upcoming election, he’s slated to take over the county council seat occupied by Jeff Wade. His district is one of the county’s largest, covering a swath of land from just north of the Strawberry Reservoir to the northern tip of the county, including Hideout.

McMillan says he decided to join the Wasatch County Planning Commission as an associate member when he retired from being the lead software engineer at CenturyLink. He wanted to use his free time to be more active in the community. Now, a year into that role, he wants to take it a step further.

“The community's got a lot of concerns that we're not doing exactly what you'd call a strategic five-year build-out plan with the growth of the community,” he says. “I decided I needed to become involved and see what was really going on. The more involved I became with the community, the more I decided I’ve got to [be involved] in the community. ”

He says while he has more to learn about the role of a councilor, he’ll take what he learned about the affordable housing crisis into account when making decisions about development. On one hand, he says he’s a big supporter of open space, but he says he’ll also consider the county needs more affordable housing.

Along with housing, he says he will focus on water distribution and working with the county’s many special service districts.

McMillan says he’s interested in all Heber Valley residents’ needs, from those who have always lived there like himself to newcomers, and he’ll seek input from everyone.

He offers trail systems as an example of how the county should meet the evolving interests of people in the community.

“I'm old school here,” McMillan says. “When they started talking about trails, I went, ‘What do you need a trail for? Get on your horse and go for a ride,’ but that's not what happens now. A lot of people like the trails in their community, and I think it's an expectation that people moving into the county are tied to, and they expect us to be open about it and consider their needs. And we need the younger people to participate in that, not just those of us that are 70.”

McMillan will begin a four-year term next January.

There will be two other new councilors: Erik Rowland, representing the Heber North district, and the winner of a contested race for an at-large seat representing the entire county. Those candidates include Luke Searle, Mary Williams and Kim Facer.

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