Utah County Form of Government: Time for a Change?
Have you heard that Utah County may change its form of government? The idea is to go from having three county commissioners to having a county mayor and county councilors. Currently, county commissioners serve as both the legislative and executive branches of the county government. And with our county’s population booming, many have wondered whether we need to modify the form of government to prepare for future challenges.
Several months ago, a group filed a petition to make put this issue on the ballot and began collecting signatures. Then the county appointed a committee to study this issue. I was asked to serve on that committee. The committee had 15 members, with a range of backgrounds, from academia, politics, business, and so on.
We met often and spent many hours hearing different perspectives from experts and, perhaps more importantly, from ordinary citizens. It was a surprise to me that at the end of it all, our main recommendations as a committee were unanimous. That’s right, 15 people looking at things from different lenses came to the same main conclusion: that the county should switch to having a full-time mayor and seven part-time county council members. We had considered a variety of alternative forms of government. Under our proposal, five of the council members would represent geographical districts and two would be at large, representing the entire county, essentially mirroring Provo City’s form of government.
Now the county commissioners are deciding whether to put the proposed change on the ballot, and if so, when. Almost all committee members recommended putting the issue on the ballot this year.
I’m grateful for the chance to participate in this important development. And I encourage you to learn more about it. For a complete copy of the final report documents, click here.