Wales trying to find replacement for mayor
By Doug Lowe
WALES—The question of finding a replacement for Mayor Keith Jensen, in the very near future, became a major topic of discussion at a council meeting Feb. 4.
With a new home for his family under construction “just outside of town,” Jensen reminded the council that once he takes up residence there, he will become legally ineligible to serve as mayor, and at that point “a Mayor Pro Tem needs to be ready to take over.”
Once that temporary mayor is in office, the council will then need to find and appoint a new mayor to serve the remainder of Jensen’s second four-year term.
Those steps will involve the town council in advertising to identify residents who are willing to serve as mayor, conducting interviews with all such applicants, voting amongst themselves to choose the best possible individual, and appointing him or her to the office.
In recent years, thanks in part to Jensen’s leadership, years Wales has made significant progress toward meeting two of the town’s most pressing needs: the construction of a new fire station/public safety building, and the development of a much more reliable and affordable source of culinary water.
Finding the right person to fill Jensen’s shoes may prove to be challenging given the limited population from which the new mayor will have to be recruited. During its meeting on Feb. 4, the council actually dealt with the conclusion of a somewhat similar situation by interviewing three applicants who responded to an advertisement and expressed their willingness to fill the empty seat on council that the former Wales resident, Josh Pacora, had been expected to occupy.
The unusual situation created by Pacora began last year, when Councilman Byron Davis opted not to run for re-election in order to “attract some new blood on council.” When Josh Pacora became the only candidate to file for the open seat it became his without any election being necessary. But, when Pacora accepted a job out of town, the city needed to advertise for prospective council members, interview all applicants, and choose one of them to appoint.
Perhaps with “new blood” on their minds, after conducting the evening’s three interviews, the council decided to appoint a relative newcomer to join them: and, Dale “Danny” White, a dentist who moved to Wales with his wife and children some two and a half years ago, was sworn in by town recorder Velva Lee Sherman as the newest member of town council.
White and his wife are the parents of six children: two attending North Sanpete High School, one at the middle school and three being home schooled. “I look forward to serving the town, which we have quickly grown to love,” White told the Messenger in an interview following his swearing in ceremony.