SPRING CITY—The Spring City Council chose George Kenzy to replace Cody Harmer as the new councilman, but not before residents complained.
In the final vote, the council voted 3-1 in favor of Kenzy over Kimberly Stewart, a former city councilwoman. In the first vote, the council voted 3-1-0 in favor of Kenzy over Stewart and Jim Phillips, who worked for the city for three-and-a-half years.
DeGrey let Stewart and Phillips know that the seat lasts only through Dec. 31.
Kenzy’s selection didn’t come without controversy. In the public comment portion of the council meeting, Tennessee Stewart, Stewart’s husband, expressed concern that Kenzy has a conflict of interest since he is a member of the planning and zoning commission. Stewart also said in the public comment portion that it was “inappropriate” for Kenzy to be on the council given the conflict of interest.
A councilman told Tennessee Stewart that they will address Kenzy’s conflict of interest. Kenzy said he would disclose it. Councilman Chris Anderson said that according to the Utah League of Cities and Towns, people in Kenzy’s shoes must disclose their conflict of interest, but that doesn’t mean they can’t vote as a council member. Mayor Cynthia DeGrey said she checked with City Attorney Wes Mangum to see if there was an issue and there wasn’t. (She also checked with some other cities, she said earlier.)
Kenzy asked, “What’s your definition of a conflict of interest?”
“There are a lot of things that are a conflict of interest,” Tennessee Stewart said.
When presenting on himself before the council’s votes, Kenzy said he worked in 1984 with Craig Paulsen on the Spring City general plan. He said he loves Spring City and wants to preserve what the city has. He also wants to see the city develop.
“We appreciate the work you have done on planning and zoning,” Anderson then said.
Kenzy did not return a request for further comment.
Anderson said that between Kenzy, Stewart and Phillips, the council dealt with three “terrific, qualified, overqualified candidates.” He said he felt like he should step down so that two candidates could be chosen.
“I don’t know how people are going to vote,” Anderson said. “If you don’t get [elected], don’t get discouraged. If you do, don’t get discouraged.”
Anderson thanked Harmer for his service.
“He was really interested in Spring City,” Anderson said. “He did a lot of good work for the police department and fire department … we’ll miss him on the council.”
DeGrey also expressed appreciation for Harmer.
“Cody’s been a very valuable member of the city council and he’s worked hard,” DeGrey said. “He and I have had a couple of disagreements, [but] I appreciate him … I wish him well in his future endeavors, whatever they might be.”