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.
Tuesday, November 5, is Election Day. Of more practical importance, for American Fork, today (Monday, November 4) is the last day to mail your mail-in ballot. (Otherwise you’ll have to deliver it tomorrow, following instructions which came with your ballot.)
This post comes a little late, to be sure, but if you haven’t voted yet or made up your mind how to vote, perhaps my thoughts will help you to solidify your thoughts — whether you agree with me or not.
On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the American Fork Chamber of Commerce hosted a meet-the-candidates event for the American Fork City Council race. As usual, of late, it was in a meeting room at American Fork Hospital. This post presents audio recordings from that event — one question at a time, to be easily digestable — and adds some notes from another event a week later, on October 9, at the American Fork Library.
It is time again in our two-year cycle for city council elections. This time we have 5 candidates, 3 of which are incumbents, running for 3 seats. There are some important issues including fiber, roads, and PARC tax oversight.
There are six American Fork City Council candidates in the 2019 election, running for three seats. Terms are four years.
Since there’s no need for a primary election to narrow the field to two candidates per available seat, we’ll have only the general election on Tuesday, November 5. So even though the filing period closed four weeks ago, we haven’t seen much election activity. Things will probably heat up around Labor Day, unless a certain new issue gets more traction with candidates before then.
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;
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.
Here on my thoughts on the races on my November 2017 general election ballot.
US House of Representatives, Utah District 3
In the special election to fill the latter half of former Congressman Jason Chaffetz’s term, there are three candidates of note.
Provo Mayor John Curtis is a sterling example of conservative governance — and not the ideologically poisoned kind some seek. His Democrat opponent has tried to paint him as a Donald Trump sycophant, but he and President Trump aren’t even on the same planet, as far as I can tell. Curtis will win, and he’ll be a big step up from Congressman Chaffetz. Always replace a show horse with a workhorse, when you can. Continue reading
Audio recordings of the October 7 city council debate in American Fork are available here, separated by question. The American Fork Chamber of Commerce also posted a single, long video recording of the event. This post is not intended to substitute for listening or watching, nor is it a play-by-play. I’ll tell you some of the things the candidates said and some of the things I think. So you are duly warned that this post contains more opinion than objective reportage.
I’ll link to a few audio segments and suggest that you listen to them. The full set is available at the link above.
Your comments are welcome, of course, and you certainly don’t have to agree with me.
The four candidates for city council on my ballot — it arrived today, and I checked — are Barbara Christiansen, incumbent Jeff Shorter, Kyle Barratt, and Staci Carroll. (I list them in the order in which they were seated at the event, alphabetically by first name. And I’ll use their first names here, to simplify your connections between these notes and the recordings.) Continue reading
Here is audio from the October 7, 2017, city council debate in American Fork. The mayoral candidates were not present but sent short statements to be read; they are included below.
This post has just the questions and the audio, with no attempt to summarize responses, no fact checking, and no commentary or analysis. My own thoughts are coming soon, but separately.
If you enjoy disclaimers, go reread the disclaimers from last time we did this together. For the rest of us, on with the show.
Attendance was about 12, not including candidates. That’s unusually low and somewhat disappointing, but we’ll hope for a larger audience watching the video recordings and listening to the audio here. The Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the event, has posted a video recording on YouTube. Here also is the Daily Herald‘s report of the event. (Apologies for the unpleasant ad experience there.)
The moderator was Joe Phelon [“FEE-lawn”] Chairman of the Board of the American Fork Chamber of Commerce. Questions came from the audience, and some may have been submitted by email in advance.
All four candidates attended. They were seated in alphabetical order by first name:
Jeff Shorter (incumbent)
Josh Walker (Chamber of Commerce), Barbara Christiansen, Jeff Shorter, Kyle Barratt, Staci Carroll
In my one-on-one interviews I asked members of the American Fork City Council what concerns they hear from residents. Interviews take different directions, but I also asked most of them, “If your term ended tomorrow, what have you done or accomplished of which you’re proudest?” In some cases, they disclaimed any personal credit and described […]
David, thank you for another stellar round of posts. I really appreciate and enjoy your reporting and insights. Looking forward…
I like Mike! A good man, doing good things and if it ain’t boke, don’t change the Sheriff. He has…
You're welcome! Glad it helped.
Thank you for posting the audio in easy, well-organized formats for me to catch up on and educate myself about…
You're welcome! Thanks for your kind words and for adding your own view.