The Salt Lake City Council unanimously selected Charlie Luke, the District 6 member, to serve as the chairman for 2019. Luke, a public relations and government affairs consultant, ran unopposed in the vote taking place Tuesday.
Luke will replace Council Chairwoman Erin Mendenhall of District 5 immediately. Upon his election, he thanked Mendenhall for her service and said he doesn’t see a need to drastically change the direction the seven-person council is currently taking.
"I think right now that the city, the council in particular, has done a really good job focusing on some of the important priorities like infrastructure, housing — those kinds of things,” Luke said. “I’d like us to continue with the momentum that we have and work closely with the administration to ensure that we are able to continue accomplishing those things.”
He formerly served as the City Council’s chairman in 2014 as well as vice chair in 2012 and 2017, as the top position rotates annually among the members. Luke also serves as the executive director of the Utah Association of Community Services, an organization that provides care to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. And through his company Luke Strategies Inc., Luke helps manage political campaigns.
Luke said he thinks 2019 will be an important year for Salt Lake City Council, citing the ongoing construction at the Salt Lake City International Airport and the sales tax increase as examples.
“We will actually be able to do some of the things we’ve been talking about, so I’m excited about it,” he said.
Luke nominated District 1 member James Rogers to serve as vice chairman. The vote was also uncontested, and Rogers, currently in his second term, was elected unanimously.
Like Luke, Rogers has previously served as chairman. He held the post in 2016 and was the vice chairman the year before that. He replaces council member Chris Wharton as vice chair.
Luke and Rogers were re-elected in 2017.