By Taylor Stevens ·
During her six years on the Murray City Council, Diane Turner has gotten used to being the only woman in the room making decisions that affect the day-to-day lives of the municipality’s nearly 50,000 residents.
But that time is soon coming to an end, after Murray voters elected their first female-majority City Council this month in an election that brought historic wins for women across the Wasatch Front.
“I still can’t believe it," Turner said. “I think when you have more women, it changes everything.”
Utah has historically had lower-than-average female representation at all levels of politics. But advocates say it’s important to elect women to public office because they tend to reach across the aisle, compromise more and come up with different solutions than an all-male body would, thanks in part to their different life experiences.
“I’m really excited to see what is to come of it,” Murray City Councilwoman-elect Rosalba Dominguez said of the new council makeup. “I think people were just ready for change — especially in Murray, [which] historically has had men run the city.”
By Shaun Delliskavefirstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time ever, Murray City Council looks like it may soon have a female majority. Initial (unofficial) election results indicate that Kat Martinez will win council district 1’s seat that was formerly held by Dave Nicponski, with a nine percent lead over Jake Pehrson. Rosalba Dominguez holds a smaller lead over Adam Thompson with a five percent lead in district 3, for the seat held by Jim Brass. Brett Hales ran unopposed in District 5.
Voters appeared to be unphased by both Pehrson and Thompson campaigns stating that their opposition raised substantial funds outside of Murray City. If results hold, Martinez and Dominguez would join fellow city councilwoman Diane Turner in January to make up the female majority, along with returning councilmen Hales and Dale Cox.
Martinez is a former middle school teacher and works as a childcare provider trainer for the State of Utah. She has served on the Murray Arts Advisory Council and the Viewmont Elementary Parent-Teacher Association. Dominguez lists her profession as an independent design consultant, and also serves as a member of the Utah Hispanic Advisory Council.
Voters in eastern Murray also voted on the Cottonwood Improvement District Board of Trustees with Mark Katter and Welsey Fisher securing the two at-large seats.
By Shaun Delliskave | email@example.com
Primary municipal elections held in Murray on Aug. 13 saw Murray looking for fresh faces to represent them on the City Council. In District 1, Kat Martinez and Jake Pehrson and in District 3, Rosalba Dominguez and Adam Thompson will face each other in the general election on Nov. 5. Incumbent Brett Hales will run unopposed in District 5.
Murray voters in these districts will receive mail ballots starting Oct. 15. In-person voting will begin Oct. 22. Murray City Chamber of Commerce will host a Meet the Candidates night at Hillcrest Jr. High School (178 E. 5300 South), Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.
On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Murray Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Meet the Candidates night where Murray residents will get a chance to meet with candidates hoping to represent them on the city council.
The event will be held at Hillcrest Junior High and will get started at 6:00 pm with an open meet and greet portion. From 6:30 to 8 pm, there will be a Q&A.
The candidates include Kat Martinez and Jake Pehrson (District 1), Rosalba Dominguez and Adam Thompson (District 2) and Brett Hales, who is running unopposed for the District 5 seat.
By Shaun Delliskave | firstname.lastname@example.org
During Murray’s anti-incumbent fervor over the past year, many elected officials had more significant reason to worry. Unfortunately for Jim Brass, he was the most incumbent of all the candidates, with 16 years on the Murray City Council. Brass’s bid to continue serving as Murray’s longest-serving city councilman was thwarted in the Aug. 13 primary election, by a mere 10 votes.
“Right now, it is a difficult time to be in politics. People are frustrated with the way Washington is behaving, and we are a convenient place to vent those frustrations,” Brass said. “I can very much understand that feeling.”
Before his four terms on the city council, Brass served on the city planning commission. During contentious zoning hearings in city council meetings, Brass would frequently refer to his experience as a planning commissioner and explain the pros and cons of the ordinance from zoning issues in city history.
“The hardest part of being on the council is making the ‘tough decisions.’ Eventually, you will be called on to make a decision that is contrary to what your constituents want, but that is required by federal or state law. One example is rehabilitation facilities. Nobody wants them, but they are legal in all zones. Our hands are tied, but we are the ones who take the heat for allowing them,” Brass said.
Brass’s district has been the bullseye for many new city redevelopment projects. His area encompasses downtown Murray, which is where the new city hall will be built and where a new firehouse is already under construction. Along with developments have come protests over historic buildings, many that reside within his district.
Notably, the former Mount Vernon campus in Brass’s district constitutes several century-old buildings. Brass was stuck between weighing the rights of the property owner, who was planning to tear them down, and the desires of preservationists, who believed that the city’s ordinances required protection. Eventually, a lawsuit settled that question in favor of the preservationists, but that also may have cost Brass votes this election cycle.