Newcomers abound, but lone incumbent builds lead in SLC race
The Salt Lake City Council will get three new faces as a result of Tuesday's election while the lone incumbent up for re-election, District 3's Stan Penfold, glided to a second term.
Joining him on the council will be James Rogers in District 1, Erin Mendenhall in District 5 and Lisa Ramsey Adams in District 7, according to unofficial tallies with 100 percent of the precincts counted.
Penfold amassed nearly 77 percent of the vote to challenger Sherman Clow's 22 percent in the Avenues and Capitol Hill district, according to unofficial returns.
Penfold backed the hotly disputed 1100 East alignment of the Sugar House Streetcar and also the planned $116 million Utah Performing Arts Center.
Clow favored neither, but most notably ran against the city extending the hours of paid curbside parking downtown.
Late Tuesday, Penfold thanked Clow for running a good campaign. The incumbent said he is looking to enhance culture and recreation in his next term.
"I want to really get moving with arts and culture programming downtown," he said. "I think the city can do a better job at providing access to trails and recreation."
In the west side's District 1, Rogers eked out a 59-vote victory over Kevin Parke for the seat being vacated by four-term Councilman Carlton Christensen.
Rogers, a businessman campaigned on a platform of bringing businesslike efficiencies to city government. His focus as he takes office in January will be on the Jordan River and city workers.
"I'd like to see employees getting incentives for living in the city," he said. "They spend their money here and they should be rewarded."
Parke, who conceded the contest in the city's closest race, had argued city government ought to be more focused on providing services, rather than its bottom line.
Mendenhall captured nearly 82 percent of the vote against Bill Davis in District 5's Liberty Park area, where incumbent Jill Remington Love opted against seeking a fourth term.
A professional clean-air advocate, Mendenhall said she's ready to dive into transportation planning.
"I want to work on the citywide mass transit plan that has been sitting in its infancy for some time," she said. "And I would like to evaluate circuit buses that would move people around conveniently. We could implement them immediately without infrastructure costs."
Mendenhall also ran on a platform that emphasized public safety and a greater police presence in neighborhoods. She said she would not have voted for the council's 13.8 percent property tax increase, but could have favored a smaller hike.
Davis, who owns several small businesses, opposed the tax boost altogether despite the city's infrastructure needs after years of deferred maintenance. He also ran on expanding the city's economy and emphasized increasing housing downtown.
In Sugar House's District 7, Lisa Ramsey Adams netted nearly 70 percent of the vote over Kevin Paulson in the bid the replace outgoing two-term Councilman Soren Simonsen.
A lawyer and a community activist, Adams campaigned on increasing public safety and better mass transit in neighborhoods. She opposed the 1100 East alignment of the Sugar House Streetcar.
Paulson's campaign focused on downsizing city government. He wanted to maintain police, fire and street maintenance but favored rolling back other services if residents so desired.
He balked at any Sugar House Streetcar. And, unlike his opponent, was against spending $116 million on the Utah Performing Arts Center.
Turnout in the council finales ranged from nearly 17 percent in District 5 to 21.5 percent in District 1.