On January 9 the American Fork City Council appointed Clark Taylor to fill the vacancy Brad Frost left on the council when he was sworn in as mayor the previous week, after winning in the November election. Frost was two years into his second term on the council, so the appointment is for the remaining two years of that four-year term.
Utah law provides for the council to fill such a vacancy. The City announced the vacancy in December, took applications until January 5, then heard from each applicant in the January 9 meeting, before choosing Taylor unanimously on the first ballot.
The other applicants were:
- Jeff Shorter, who lost in the November general election, running as a one-term incumbent;
- Kyle Barratt, who lost in the November general election;
- George Brown, who served on the council several terms ago and has since run unsuccessfully for mayor;
- Ernie John, who lost in the 2017 primary;
- Bruce Frandsen
- Amber Marstella
- Charelle Lyon
If you’d like to examine the applications, they’re publicly available and pages 4-29 of this PDF file, which includes the meeting agenda and the council members’ packet of information for the meeting. They include written responses to several questions. To see the candidates’ statements to the council in their meeting, a long and avoidable discussion of the voting process, and the vote itself, turn to the City’s YouTube channel for video of the meeting. (The agenda, which is at the beginning of the packet at the previous link, will help you navigate the video.)
I don’t know how much back-channel discussion went on among council members in the days prior to the vote, or what additional contact any of them might have had with applicants or with Mayor Frost. (There’s no reason for it not to have occurred, but anything involving at least three of them at a time would have to have been noticed in advance and treated as a public meeting.) I didn’t speak about the process or the vote on the record with any of the council; nor did I speak with the candidates themselves. Nor, for that matter, am I acquainted with all of them. However, I thought the result was predictable.
Clark Taylor has served on the council twice before, as recently as two years ago, and is known to be a workhorse and to work well with others. His name has been tossed about in the past as a strong potential mayoral candidate. Such a congenial, energetic workhorse would have great appeal to the rest of the council and the mayor, coming in the wake of four years during which some members of the council were known to be less than energetic in accepting and fulfilling committee assignments.
So I thought the outcome was predictable, given that Taylor’s name was on the list. And the unanimous first ballot is noteworthy, but — at least for me — no surprise.
All of that said, there were other strong candidates in the field. The tougher the decision, the luckier we are.
So . . . thanks to all who applied, and congratulations to Councilman Taylor.