Chances are good that you will not be among the small percentage of Utahns who go to the polls to vote today.
It’s a municipal election year, and while residents in hundreds of Utah cities and towns will elect new leaders, only a few ballot measures and a handful of mayoral races in larger cities command much attention.
That makes it easier to justify foregoing a trip to your polling place, but you shouldn’t. Municipal government is where individuals can most affect change.
Many of you will opt not to vote because you say you know little about the races in your districts.
That’s where The Salt Lake Tribune comes in.
In coverage in recent weeks, we’ve highlighted key races, profiling candidates and campaign finances and defining key issues.
Among races and issues to watch:
West Valley City mayor
Ron Bigelow and Karen Lang face off in the race to replace Mike Winder, who chose not to seek re-election as mayor of Utah’s second-largest city. The person who replaces Winder will be charged with restoring order and regaining public trust for West Valley’s embattled police department.
You can read more about Bigelow and Lang here.
In addition, you can find more information about the candidates’ campaign finances here.
Salt Lake City Council
Three Salt Lake City Council seats are up for re-election. In District 3 representing the Avenues neighborhood, Sherman Clow is challenging incumbent Stan Penfold. Longtime incumbent Jill Remington Love is retiring in District 5, which represents south central Salt Lake City. Erin Mendenhall and Bill Davis are facing off for that seat. Lisa Ramsey Adams and Kevin Paulson are in the race to represent Sugar House is District 7, where the alignment of the Sugar House Streetcar is a key issue.
Jordan School District bond
Residents within Jordan School District boundaries in south Salt Lake County will vote on a $500 million bond proposal, the largest in Utah history. The district says the money is needed to build new schools for its burgeoning student population. If voters approve the bond, residents will pay up to $10 more per month in property taxes for each $100,000 in the value of their homes.
Taylorsville Fire District
Taylorsville residents will decide whether the city should join the United Fire Service Area. Opponents say the move would be too costly, but proponents argue Taylorsville needs to make the move to bolster firefighting crews and update the fire station.
Other races and measures
In addition to West Valley City, 10 other Salt Lake County cities have contested mayoral races: Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville and West Jordan.
Pleasant Grove residents will vote on a public safety bond, while Orem residents will consider renewing an arts and recreation use tax.
In Hyde Park, residents will decide whether to lift a ban on alcohal sales in the city.
Visit sltrib.com after the polls close at 8 p.m. for updated election results throughout the night.