Although he has enjoyed his time as a member of the Logan Municipal Council, Eugene Needham has decided not to run for a second four-year term.
Needham is sure to find plenty to do with his time because, at the age of 77, he is still heavily involved in his businesses, with the world of art, and with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Upon reflecting on his time as a member of the Logan Municipal Council, was there anything that surprised him?
“Well, in a way, yes. But in another way, no,” Needham declares. “As you go into understanding who does what, things become clearer as to what can be done.
“Everybody comes, I think, with certain agendas, things they like to do, reasons why they ran for office. I feel good about a lot of things that have been done while I’ve been there.”
While on the council, Needham has been known to always vote against alcohol whenever it is brought up. He has also voted against the idea of building a new library in downtown Logan.
He says he sees no need to tear down the existing library because he says it could be renovated for about $6 million, just half of the estimated $12 million that a new library would cost.
“There maybe is an argument,” Needham explains, “with the retail shrinking down like it very likely is going to, to have the library there supporting that space. But I don’t think so.
“I think the library should have its own entity, its own identity by itself where people come and that is how it has always been. That is how it is in all the cities I’ve been in.”
Mayor Craig Petersen and the city council have said they envision commercial activity around the downtown library. Needham says you could also have that in the area just north of the existing library.
Needham has a soft spot for restoring old buildings. He has been involved in the purchase and restoration of homes in Logan City and just recently purchased the Franz Bakery outlet across from Logan High School on 100 East. Needham says he is not sure what he plans to do with the space just yet, but is considering converting the space into condos to provide more housing opportunities near downtown.
Needham and his sons are owners of many local businesses and, for him, the first one was a still-flourishing jewelry store. Most recently he opened his own Logan Fine Art gallery where he enjoyed holding his first art show last weekend.
Needham is deeply involved in art himself and although he does not sell his own art, he is proud of his 10 or 11 sculptures and 20-30 paintings.
Reading is also important to Needham. He reads multiple books in several different languages.