FAIRVIEW –Thursday’s Fairview City Council Meeting, the first of the year, resembled a corporate job interview more than a public municipal meeting as five people lined up to convince council members that they deserved to be the next member of that august organization.
The process was necessary to fill the seat vacated by Brad Welch, who was elected mayor in last November’s election.
Five candidates vied for the position: Thor Grasteit, Sean Rawlinson, Talon Peterson, Jim Cheney Jr., and Kirk Watts.
Mayor Welch asked each of the candidates three questions:
No. 1: What their vision is for Fairview City?
No. 2: Why are you interested in committing your time and energy to Fairview City?
No. 3: What skills, connections, resources and expertise do you have to offer and are willing to use on behalf of the city?
Though their answers varied on questions two and three, all candidates gave essentially the same response to question one; They said they wanted to keep the rural character of Fairview intact.
Watts said his priority would be to complete the city’s athletic infrastructure.
Rawlinson said his IT skills would be an asset to the city.
Peterson said his degree in business management and experience as an accountant would help keep city finances on track.
Graseit said his experience as a business owner would help the city make good decisions.
Cheney said he knew the character of Fairview perhaps better than anyone because of his dad’s 25-year tenure as police chief.
Cheney added that he was glad to see a job posting for a second Fairview police officer. He noted that his father served as Fairview’s only police officer his entire career.
In the end, Peterson received one vote, Grasteit one vote, and Cheney two votes, propelling Cheney into the seat.
In other actions, the council appointed Jason Mardell as chair and Davis Glad as vice-chair of the planning commission. Reappointments were Kammy Tucker as city treasurer, Jan Anderson as city recorder, and Steve Gray as police chief.
A moment of controversy arose when Kristin Grasteit presented a request for an increase in funds for the Miss Fairview Pageant. Grasteit said the city’s contribution last year had been $2,500, and she was requesting an additional $700 to $800.
Councilperson Sherlene Rasmussen objected to the request because Grasteit had not presented the council with the organization’s budget documentation that would justify the increase.
Councilperson Sorenson said he thought the pageant deserved more dollars just on the basis of inflation if nothing else. It was decided to table the issue until the next council meeting to allow pageant officers time to develop a written budget to present to the council.
Finally, Water/Sewer Department Superintendent Justin Jackson reported that the city’s water supply was in good shape despite the drought, but that parts of the water delivery system were not in equally good shape. He showed pictures of a pipeline crossing high in Fairview Canyon where the city’s primary water source crosses Fairview Creek.
The pictures showed the creek bank eroding at the foundation of the bridge abutments that hold the pipeline up. He said the abutments could go at any time, which would plunge the city into a water crisis. He said that access to the site is very difficult, and that the city is working on getting a four-wheeler road opened up so that materials to make the repairs would not have to be hauled in by hand over the rugged terrain.