Two incumbents run uncontested for city seats
By DEANNE WINTERTON
Both incumbents Jeffery Richins and Eric Turner will be uncontested in their bids to retain their Morgan City Council seats for another four years.
Richins, 46, was originally appointed in January, just over six months ago, when Councilman Bill Cobabe resigned. Richins was the only applicant for the vacancy. Born and raised in Henefer, Richins has lived in Morgan for the past 18 years. He and his wife, Teri, have raised five children in the county.
A history and government teacher in the North Summit School District, he has left the “practice of government to others” before being appointed to fill a vacant council seat about a year ago. “I have learned a lot about city government and how the process works” in that time, he said.
“I feel the most pressing issue for Morgan City, County and School District is growth, he said. “We all need to be able to work together to protect current residents while planning for future residents.”
Turner, 46, was appointed in July of 2016, when Councilman Fran Hopkin resigned over a year ago to accept a job out of town. He is a Morgan native who has served the community for years in positions such as 4-H, Morgan County Fair and FFA. He was an EMT for 13 years; has technical experience in water, waste water and power distribution; has held many leadership positions; and is employed as a project manager at Hill Air Force Base working with HVAC.
“The biggest issue facing Morgan right now is growth,” Turner said. “Growth has happened in Morgan and has caused that we have to look to the future. As the city looks at the growth, it also needs to look to the utilities and what and how we need to get there. The city is currently having to make changes to the sewer lagoons and start to look to build a waste water treatment plant. The power needs to have redundant substations and the tools to tell where and how power outages have occurred.
“We need to look at ways to get funding. We need to continue to develop a master plan for the city, look at the future, make sure that we are ahead of the growth, and do it in a responsible manner.
“I really believe that Morgan needs a hotel. We are the only county in the state without a place to stay. I believe that if we had a hotel that we could attract people to Morgan to recreate, have fun and bring their dollars with them,” Turner said. “Morgan County is a great place to live and we need to make sure that the traditions of Morgan stay and also embrace the changes that are coming.”
Others on the council, whose seats are not up for election at this time, include Mike Kendell, Tony London and Jeff Wardell. In November of 2015, the three ran unopposed for four-year seats.
Kendell was originally appointed to the council in June of 2012 upon the death of long-time council member Lynn Mickelsen. He successfully ran unopposed in 2013 for a two-year term. London has served on the city council for 20 years. Wardell was originally appointed to the council in July 2009 when Councilman Dave Larsen resigned.
Turner offered his opinion why few have run for city council positions over the years.
“I think that people are afraid of the commitment, and having to get beat up by their neighbors,” he said. “Sometimes a council position has to make hard decisions.”