Salt Lake City Council member resigns

James Rogers represented west side’s District 1 for eight years.

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) City Council member James Rogers takes the oath of office in ceremony outside City Hall in this file photo. His daughter, Sadie, right. Rogers is stepping down from the council.

Salt Lake City Council member James Rogers resigned Friday, bringing to a close his eight years representing the west side.

Rogers, currently the council’s vice chair, will leave his post effective Monday.

“I need to dedicate all I can toward my children,” he said.

He was not seeking reelection. The candidates in District 1, covering Rose Park and the northwest section of the city, are Blake Perez, Victoria Petro-Eschler and Richard Barnes.

The remaining six council members will select Rogers’ replacement after the election in November. Interested residents can file with the city recorder between Oct. 11 and 29. The council then will interview applicants and pick a replacement, who will serve until Rogers’ term ends in early January.

Rogers encouraged those interested to put their name in, but added, “My hope is the individual who wins the election gets a jump-start on their term.”

City Council Chair Amy Fowler praised Rogers.

“He has single-handedly fought for the rights, protection and preservation of his neighborhood and community,” she said. “He is the most thoughtful, caring and compassionate person I know — and one of my best friends.”

Rogers is not only stepping down from the council, Rogers is also leaving his position as a member of the Utah Inland Port Authority board. He’s served as one of two Salt Lake City representatives. The other is Rachel Otto, the chief of staff to Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Rogers said there are opportunities connected with the controversial port project, such as creating manufacturing apprenticeship programs. He said he was proud that the 10% of the property tax increment from the inland port will go to affordable housing.

During his council tenure, he also saw the building of a new Salt Lake City International Airport and construction begin on a new prison nearby.

He also fought for the creation of a public year-round market at the Utah State Fairpark.

Rogers said he “thoroughly enjoyed” his years on the council, and he’ll remain an advocate for the west side.

The mayor responded to Rogers’ resignation, saying, “James is someone I feel so fortunate to have worked with on important community issues, both in my time on the City Council and from down the hallway as mayor. He’s shown a passion and commitment not only for the residents of his district, but for the people throughout our entire city.”