Learn BEFORE you vote. (Not an official website of American Fork City.)

Tag: Brad Frost (Page 1 of 5)

David’s Handy Little Election Guide (November 2023 Edition)

This time, I can’t make my election guide any clearer than a large postcard which recently appeared in mailboxes across American Fork. That’s no surprise, once you know that I drafted the copy and my name is one of a couple dozen it lists, endorsing three excellent candidates for American Fork City Council: Clark Taylor, Ernie John, and Tim Holley.

First we’ll look briefly at the substance of the matter. Then I’ll tell you where the postcard came from — because we don’t hide in the shadows.

Taylor, John, and Holley

Here’s part of the postcard:

election flier - David's election guide
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David’s 2023 Primary Election Votes — Who and Why

This is the post where I tell you what I think of our current American Fork City Council candidates and how I plan to vote in next Tuesday’s primary election. I get three votes; there are three council seats up for election this year. The primary will narrow the field to six for the general election in late November. The terms are four years, beginning in January.

Please note: If you visit this site for information only and prefer to avoid opinion, as some readers do, you’ll want to avoid this post. If you feel that all of our political discourse should be sweetness and light, you’ll want to avoid this post. But I’ll be as positive as I can.

I know some candidates fairly well, but others I didn’t know at all, except their names, until about a week and a half ago. I got a late start this year, and the best I can do is tell you what I think so far. In some cases information we’ve published here, plus my conversations at last Monday’s candidate open house, constitute all I know.

(Links anchored to candidates names below point to posts with their answers to one or more of my questions. See also John Mulholland’s report of his interviews with most of the candidates.)

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2021 American Fork Election Results

It will be a couple of weeks before the numbers are official — the key word is canvass — but even last-minute mail-in ballots won’t change the election results in American Fork’s 2021 municipal election.

Mayor Brad Frost won a second term, defeating challenger Tim Holley with about 79% of the vote (based on Thursday’s updated count).

The three-way race for two city council seats saw incumbents Staci Valentine and Ryan Hunter win with about 44% of the vote each, while challenger Carissa George finished with about 13%. (Numbers are rounded.) Valentine won a second term; Hunter won his first full term, after his appointment earlier this year to finish the remaining months of the late Barbara Christiansen’s term.

The PARC tax renewal passed with about 75% of the vote. By law, it will be up for a vote again in about ten years.

Congratulations to the winners. Heartfelt thanks to all who ran — and to all the voters who make the effort to cast informed votes. I don’t have turnout data yet, but at least 4,900 voters’ votes have been counted so far.

[Later note: Turnout in American Fork was 37.9 percent, according to county results (a CSV file). That’s excellent for a local election — and even more so when you consider that a significant percentage of voter registration records are for people who no longer live in American Fork. Well done, voters! That’s up from 34.6 percent in 2019 (CSV) and 31.7 percent in 2017 (PDF) — a happy trend.]

Thanks also to the thousands of people who spent some time at afelection.info during this election season. We hope it helped. As we like to say, always #learnBEFOREyouvote.

Here’s a link to the latest unofficial results from Utah County (PDF). We’ll add turnout information here when it’s available.

A final note: American Fork’s races weren’t close, but we don’t have to look far for one that is. In Highland’s city council race, where four candidates vie for two seats, the difference between winning and losing so far is a mere 20 votes. The result could easily change as last-minute votes are counted. For now, Scott Smith is in second place, narrowly leading Jerry Abbott.

David’s 2021 American Fork Election Guide

This week I received my mail-in ballot for the 2021 American Fork municipal election. Today, more swiftly than usual, I offer my handy, unapologetically opinionated guide for local voters.

On the ballot are a mayoral race, a city council race, and one proposition. (I have no idea why they call it Proposition #5.)

Before we start with the proposition, then move to the candidates, here’s some information:

Mail-in ballots may be mailed in, of course. You won’t need a stamp. They must be postmarked no later than Monday, November 1, 2021, the day before Election Day.

However, if you prefer to use a ballot drop box and save the City some postage, there’s one in American Fork at the public library, clearly marked, adjacent to the outdoor library return boxes. Official ballot drop boxes around the county will work too, even for this American Fork municipal election. Boxes will be available until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2.

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2021 Election: City Council and Mayoral Candidate Audio

Thursday saw American Fork mayoral and city council candidates gather to discuss their merits as candidates and their views of numerous issues. The American Fork Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event, and the president of its board, Seth Holdaway, moderated. The audience numbered about sixty — more that we usually see at such events. I hope this foretells good voter participation in our 2021 election.

Members of the All About American Fork group on Facebook submitted the questions online before the event. None came from the audience at the event, but numerous key issues were raised, and there was ample time before and after the formalities for one-on-one conversations with candidates.

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American Fork Candidate Interviews (2021)

It is time again for municipal elections in American Fork, and although we didn’t have a primary, both the mayoral and city candidate races are contested. The three top issues, according to residents, are growth, taxes, and code enforcement.

For mayor we have two candidates, Tim Holley and current mayor Brad Frost. We also have three city council candidates, incumbents Staci Carroll and Ryan Hunter, along with challenger Carissa George. Candidates appear here in the order they were interviewed.

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Candidates in American Fork’s 2021 Municipal Election (updated 10/6/21)

The filing period for candidates in American Fork’s 2021 municipal election ran from June 1 to June 7. Two candidates, including the incumbent, filed for mayor. Three candidates, including both incumbents, filed for the two available city council seats. All terms are four years.

Because neither race has more than two candidates per seat, there will be no municipal primary election. There will be only the general election in November. We will likely see little campaign activity before Labor Day.

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Fiber for American Fork, Part 2: Anticipated Benefits

This is the second of several planned blog posts about a proposal the American Fork City Council is considering to extend fiber optic connectivity to every residence and business in American Fork as a utility. You can find a more detailed description of the proposal itself in the previous post, where I also explain my head start in knowing about the proposal.

Before we go further, I should interrupt for an apology. I hoped to post this before I left for Lake Tahoe (hence the photo) for a week at the end of July. Now it’s not even August any more, and I’m finally posting it. Sorry about that.

Lake Tahoe

This post explores the expected benefits to residents, businesses, and the City itself, if we build the fiber system. This is one important angle from which to view the proposal. Another will follow in the next post: good and bad reasons for opposing it.

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Mayor Hadfield’s Mission

One of the first people I got to know in American Fork, after my family and I arrived in 1998, was J. H. Hadfield, known in recent years to American Forkers as Mayor Hadfield. He yielded the gavel this week, after two four-year terms, to our new mayor, Brad Frost.

We often say the words “public service” with a wink or an eye-roll, and we look mostly in vain for genuine heroes in our politics. I myself have less than a handful of heroes in national government, but they’re much easier to find at the local level. And sometimes public service really is service.

mayor hadfield

Mayor James H. Hadfield

Before They Were Mayors

J. H. enlisted me to serve as his assistant in a local church leadership assignment before he and I had even met, I think, and we worked together in those roles for the next four years. I quickly discovered, beneath a crusty exterior, a warm and generous heart, a keen and open mind, an eagerness to serve, a skill for delegation, a profound distaste for long meetings and bureaucratic baloney, and a humility one does not always find in seasoned leaders. He didn’t want fanfare; he was more interested in helping people. He had more energy for that than I did, and I am decades younger. I’ve spent most of my adult life in local church leadership, but a disproportionate number of my favorite behind-the-scenes stories have J. H. in them.

A few years later I would meet the first American Fork Mayor I knew before he ran for office, the late Heber Thompson. He and I worked together on a civic project for more than a year. I found him equally eager to serve and possessed of a quiet dignity and intelligence, to say nothing of a taste for French poetry. He ran for office and was elected in 2005. He and I had a few political differences along the way, but under his leadership the City addressed some large and difficult issues intelligently.

Heber was retired. He could have worked a lot less and enjoyed his retirement years more, but he wanted to serve, and he thought he could and should serve. And he didn’t take shortcuts. Before running for mayor he served in one of the busiest and most thankless unelected roles in the City, as a member of the Planning Commission.

J. H. was working in the City Engineer’s office at the time, and I knew he was looking forward to retiring and serving a particular church service mission. Colonel Hadfield (long of the Utah National Guard) wanted an assignment to work with members of the military somewhere. He spoke of this plan repeatedly to me — sometimes over french fries and milkshakes, after we visited one of our flock in a hospital in another city, where his dietary misbehavior was less likely to find its way to Mrs. Hadfield’s ears.

Serving Where Needed

Then came 2009. Mayor Thompson would seek reelection, hoping to serve one more term. Behind the scenes, two of the best people I have ever known, friends for whom J. H. also had great respect, began to twist his arm. They wanted him to run for mayor — my older friend against my newer friend. Somehow they persuaded him to put his dream retirement at risk — he might win — and he filed for office. He turned to me for help with his campaign, which I gladly provided. I thought he stood a good chance of winning, in part because, when I was out and about with him in our church service, everyone in northern Utah County seemed to know him, and he seemed to know everyone.

(Cool tangent: He and Mrs. Hadfield — Elaine — first crossed paths in a Lehi maternity ward, as newborns. By his account, she wouldn’t give him the time of day. Later he would win her favor, obviously, but it wasn’t easy.)

As we strategized in those early days of the campaign, I could see that he was running to win, not just to placate friends who wanted him to run. I knew of his hopes for his retirement years, and I could do the math even before he stated it outright: if he won, his service mission would have to be to the city, not to his beloved fellow soldiers somewhere.

He did win, and he narrowly won reelection in 2009, despite an anti-incumbent frenzy.

Mayor Hadfield’s Mission

In the ethos of church service — not just in the LDS Church — and in the ethos of military service, for that matter, we are sent where we are needed, and we go where we are sent. One of the many things we can learn from J. H. Hadfield and his greatest supporter, Elaine, is that civic service is crucially important too, and some of the best people are needed there. The examples of his predecessor, Mayor Thompson, and his wife, Vicki Thompson, with whom I served on a City committee, offer the same lesson.


Mayor Hadfield’s second and last term ended this week, but there will be no church service mission now. He has been battling cancer for a while. He and Elaine sacrificed the service they wanted, to serve where they were needed. And if we’re tempted to think that civic service — eight years of it! — is somehow less worthy or a lower calling than a church mission or two or three, their example could instruct us in that too.

Looking back, I see that there is much to honor in eight years of service by an excellent mayor. For one thing, he’s kinda like a superhero of infrastructure, and we needed one. (See a recent Daily Herald article.) But I thought you should know what some of his friends have seen and honored from the beginning.

Thank you, Mayor and Mrs. Hadfield.

Election Results – 2017 General Election

Note: These election results are updated as of Tuesday, November 21. These are the official results. The turnout is 40.34% in American Fork, which is excellent for an off-year election.

If you want to want to see the sources yourself, here are links to reports for the congressional race and the American Fork municipal races.

US House of Representatives, District 3

Not including three third-party (fourth-party?) and unaffiliated candidates who, combined, got 7.1% of the vote:

  • John Curtis (Republican)
    • Final (Nov 21): 85,739 votes or 58.0%
    • Nov 7: 62,498 votes or 57.6%
  • Kathie Allen (Democrat)
    • Final (Nov 21): 37,778 votes or 25.6%
    • Nov 7: 29,449 votes or 27.1%
  • Jim Bennett (United Utah)
    • Final (Nov 21): 13,745 votes or 9.3%
    • Nov 7: 9,641 votes or 8.9%

John Curtis is the winner.

American Fork Mayor

For a four-year term . . .

  • Brad Frost
    • Final (November 21): 3,935 votes or 77.0%
    • Nov 7: 2,885 votes or 77.7%
      • Corrected — I previously misreported the vote count, but not the percentage.
  • Carlton Bowen —
    • Final (Nov 21): 1,177 votes or 23.0%
    • Nov 7: 828 votes or 22.3%

Brad Frost

Brad Frost

Brad Frost wins. When his seat is vacated at the first of the year, the city council will choose someone to fill the rest of his term.

American Fork City Council

Two seats, two winners.

  • Barbara Christiansen
    • Final (Nov 21): 3,228 votes or 34.6%
    • Nov 7: 2,368 votes or 35.0%
  • Staci Carroll
    • Final (Nov 21): 2,661 votes or 28.5%
    • Nov 7: 1,898 votes or 28.0%
  • Kyle Barratt
    • Final (Nov 21): 1,905 votes or 20.4%
    • Nov 7: 1,409 votes or 20.8%
  • Jeffrey Shorter (incumbent)
    • Final (Nov 21): 1,532 votes or 16.4%
    • Nov 7: 1,094 votes or 16.2%

Staci Carroll

Staci Carroll

Barbara Christiansen and Staci Carroll win four-year terms on the city council.

Barbara Christiansen

Barbara Christiansen

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to all the candidates. This doesn’t work if good people don’t run.

Finally, thanks to all 2,819 of you who visited afelection.info during this election cycle.

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