LOGAN – The members of the Logan Municipal Council gave candidates seeking to replace three of them 90 seconds to introduce themselves to city residents during their regular meeting on Sept. 19.
The candidates were those who survived primary balloting on Sept. 5, including incumbents Mark A. Anderson and Jeanne F. Simmonds plus challengers Mike Johnson, Joe Needham, Katie Lee-Koven and Erin Bennett.
Having lived in Logan for 30 years and been a member of the municipal council for the past four years, Anderson described himself as a proud local business owner.
While he worked with the city’s staff on numerous recent accomplishments like the new downtown plaza, the library and the new fire station, Anderson said the most significant thing that he had been associated with was the selection of council chair Ernesto Lopéz to serve on the city council.
A Logan native and homeowner in the Woodruff neighborhood, Bennett describes herself as a recovered alcoholic who was homeless for three years. She holds bachelor and master’s degrees from the online Western Governor’s University and has more than a decade of community-based service experience.
Bennett says she sees numerous problems in the way that the Logan City Council operates, not least of which are what she describes as “astounding civil right violations.” The answers to those problems, she said, is to open up city hall and invite community groups to participate in problem-solving.
After attending Utah State University, Johnson decided to settle in Logan, establishing a photo/video production business with his wife Jessie.
“Logan is wonderful and we can’t imagine living anywhere else,” he says.
With natural growth, however, the city is experiencing housing, infrastructure, financial, and safety concerns that residents need to be aware of and plan for. Johnson says his priorities on the city council will be to address those concerns, particularly smart growth, financial responsibility and safe communities.
Needham is the only challenger who comes to the race with previous council experience, having served on the Logan Municipal Council at age 27 and is now opting to return 20 years later.
Having been raised on the west side of Logan, Needham describes himself as a “city boy” who cares about the city’s future, about solving problems and trying to make Logan a place where families feel safe and happy.
He has 32 years of business experience, having managed a myriad of retail businesses, including online businesses and jewelry manufacturing.
Simmonds describes herself as an “inner-city resident.” Living near 100 North and 100 East, she says she is well aware of the growth and changes happening throughout the city.
She is now in her tenth year on the Logan Municipal Council and has previous experience on the city planning commission.
“I have loved working with the neighborhood councils and with the city’s staff,” Simmonds says. “And I’m not done yet.”
Simmonds says that she is especially concerned about the affordability of housing in Logan now and in the future.
Katie Lee-Koven did not attend the municipal council meeting on Sept. 19.
In the primary balloting on Sept. 5, Anderson captured 2,380 ballots (21.61 percent of the more than 11,000 votes cast in Logan); Johnson earned 1,769 ballots (16.07 percent); Simmonds got 1,727 ballots (15.68 percent); Needham captured 1,548 ballots (14.06 percent); Lee-Koven earned 1,478 ballots (13.42 percent); and Bennett got 830 ballots (7.54 percent).
Logan primary voters chose to eliminate the candidacies of Stefani A.M. Taylor, Joshua M. Molitor and Matthew Fatuesi, all of whom scored percentages in low single-digits.
The six surviving primary contenders will now face off in the general election that is set for Tuesday, Nov. 21.