Democrat Ben McAdams will be sworn in as the next Salt Lake County Mayor on Monday at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. He’ll be joined by newly elected county council members Sam Granato, Jim Bradley, Max Burdick and Michael Jensen.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to help avert the “fiscal cliff” late Tuesday night that includes extending Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class. But for most of Utah’s Congressional delegation the deal wasn’t good enough to earn their support.
The managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Leigh von der Esch is retiring after more the 28 years of public service. Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development says von der Esch's dedication to promoting Utah is unmatched.
"At the core of Leigh von der Esch you have a deep commitment and a deep passion for the state and for promoting the state and all of its grandeur. And all of the incredible characteristics, the diversity of the culture and of the landscape," said Eccles.
Salt Lake County Mayor-Elect Ben McAdams is already implementing changes to the government structure. Thursday he announced he will reorganize the Department of Public Works and appoint two people to oversee it. It’s now called the Department of Public Works and Regional Development. McAdams has named Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall as the department’s director and Patrick Leary will fill a new position to called Township Executive. McAdams says the two men will help meet the diverse needs of county residents.
Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz is voicing his concern over connections between gun violence and those suffering from mental illness. Chaffetz is one of the only Republican lawmakers in the U-S House to participate in a public discussion about reducing gun violence since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last week. He says he’s most concerned about weapons being available to those with mental health issues.
The state’s Prison Relocation Authority Committee has endorsed the idea of moving Utah’s main state prison away from Draper, and that's something the business community there would like to see.
Bill Rappleye, the head of Draper's Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Draper City Council, thinks that's a great idea. He says it would allow the kind of high-tech businesses that have been locating in Utah County to come into his city.
Utah's six presidential electors met today at the state capitol and cast their ballots for Mitt Romney. The electors are all Republicans who were chosen at the party's state convention. They're required to vote for the Republican candidate, since he won the popular vote in Utah. Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell announced the results, which were not a surprise to anyone.
"We declare that Utah casts all its ballots for president for Mitt Romney and all its ballots for vice-president for Paul Ryan," he told a crowd made up mostly of media and school children.
Independent and Third Party Candidates in the 2012 Utah Elections— Role, Effect, and Future
Bill Barron, Unaffiliated Candidate, U.S. Senate Tim Chambless, Hinckley Academic Outreach Coordinator, Professor Lecturer Charles Kimball, Unaffiliated Candidate, District 2, U.S Congress Ty Markham, Justice Party Candidate, State Legislature
Jeff Robinson, (moderator) Associate, The Exoro Group
The Utah Republican party is welcoming former Democratic state representative Christine Watkins with open arms after her recent decision to join the GOP. Watkins, who has served her district near Price for four years, was considered a conservative democrat in the legislature and often sided with Republicans on issues like energy development. Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright says those shared values are some of the reasons why Watkins decided to make the switch.