If you’ve been waiting patiently, watching for American Fork election results to appear here, I apologize. Election Day was very nearly two weeks ago, and the results in American Fork weren’t close enough to worry that they might change as the last mail-in and provisional votes trickle in, until the official canvass. I was away on business that whole week, and very busy indeed, but I was home last week. I shouldn’t have needed all week to dig out, right?

Maybe it’s an age thing. Maybe it’s that the concept of Election Day, with its expected results, has become a fuzzy concept for me, with the advent of mail-in ballots and slower counts. In any case, here we are, with some results which are still unofficial, but final enough in our own races.

By the way, the image is your clue to my whereabouts that week. I have yet to go to Las Vegas to play. It’s always to work.

My data comes from this Utah County document, which was updated last Tuesday.

Fire Station Bond

The proposal to bond for a second fire station in American Fork, and for land for a future third fire station, passed by a large margin.

  • For: 3,703 votes or 70.4%
  • Against: 1,557 votes or 29.6%

Proponents ran a good information campaign for months before the election, and I think it’s safe to say that there was little if any blowback from the city council’s consideration of a much larger bond issue to fund a fiber optic utility citywide. And where the rubber really meets the road, the City played it smart by waiting until payments for this project could simply replace payments for another bond issue, which is on the verge of retirement — hence no tax increase.

City Council

Here are the city council results, with the top three candidates taking — in this case, keeping — the available four-year terms.

  • Rob Shelton: 3,413 votes or 25.98%
  • Clark Taylor: 3,039 votes or 23.13%
  • Kevin Barnes: 2,871 votes or 21.85%
  • Kyle Barratt: 2,488 votes or 18.94%
  • Jeff Shorter: 1,327 votes or 10.10%

I’m not surprised that the three incumbents won, or that former council member Jeff Shorter drew a meager 10% by essentially failing to show up for the campaign. I am surprised that Kyle Barratt finished nearly 3% back. As I wrote before the election, I found him to be a stronger, significantly more appealing candidate than he was two years ago. And he certainly has name recognition among longtime residents, thanks to his father, former two-term Mayor Ted Barratt.

This time he was running against three strong incumbents, while two years ago the strong candidates in the race were not incumbents. But I thought that there would be enough backlash against Clark Taylor and Kevin Barnes, for publicly supporting the proposed fiber optic utility, that Barratt would either win or nearly win a seat.

So here again I see no convincing evidence that the fiber question (which was not on the ballot) had much effect on the vote. Granted, Rob Shelton has been critical of the proposal, and he finished first — but that might have happened anyway, and I think the issue should have lifted Barratt even more than Shelton, if it was going to lift anyone.

Disclaimer: I have no exit polling data on which to base these speculations. Just the vote.

Another Interesting Race

A number of American Forkers have watched an Orem race with interest. Debby Lauret was American Fork’s Economic Development Director for several years and is well known and well regarded. She was running for reelection to the Orem City Council, and the unofficial numbers have her winning — but by only 12 votes. That could easily change, next time the counts are updated, or if there’s a recount.

Looking Very Slightly Ahead

The fiber optic utility question still looms; several interesting and consequential things could happen with it in the next several weeks. Stay tuned for further discussion. There’s plenty of discussion already here, if you’ve missed it so far.

Thanks for reading!