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High voter turnout extolled

Article Published 01/22/2008

By Mark Reece
December 2007

LAYTON — High voter turnout and the successful campaigns of two incumbents and a candidate who had narrowly missed being elected in 2005 highlighted the City's general elections last November.

The new year greets the City Council with a bit of the familiar and a bit of the new, as incumbent Joyce Forbes Brown earned the most votes (7,601), followed by Scott Freitag (7,143) and incumbent F. Renny Knowlton (6,555).

Primary-election winners not elected in the general election for Council seats were: Barry T. Flitton (4,793); Richard M. Allen (3,275); and Don L. Wilhelm (3,143).

Freitag replaces Stephen Handy, who did not run for re-election after two terms.

"The canvass went well," said City Recorder Thieda Wellman. "We did have a much higher voter turnout (38.67 percent) than normal. We usually get less than 20 percent."

Council Member Brown was also pleased with the numbers of voters.

“I thought it was a great turnout for a municipal election,” she said. “It would be nice if we always had that kind of turnout or even better.”

Brown said she felt fortunate Layton had such good candidates.

“I appreciate that all those that ran for the city council ran positive campaigns,” she said. “I am excited to be able to work for the citizens for four more years. I enjoy meeting and helping the people of Layton and especially enjoy working with the fantastic employees that Layton has.”

She said one of her goals was the continued efforts of planning for Layton’s future.

“We have done well at leaving space for future roads and growth,” Brown remarked. “I hope to see even more parks that are located close to where people live.

“We should see a new fire station and police station in the next few years,” she added. “We also are looking forward to the south I-15 interchange to be started.”

When asked about the City’s elections, Mayor Steve Curtis reflected:

“Recently, I received an e-mail from a Weber State University student who, eager to complete a class assignment, asked if I'd answer a question for him. Inquisitively he queried ‘What is the most pressing issue in society today and how would you remedy it?’

“Without reservation, my answer was quick; Society’s most pressing issue today is the lack of personal integrity. In the “DOG EAT DOG” world we live in my eyes have seen many who are constantly stepping on others to elevate themselves, and the remedy?

“Well, that involves some deep soul searching from a society in the pursuit of what they ultimately want. Benjamin Franklin said: ‘The Constitution of the United States only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.’

“Our leaders need a strong backbone that doesn't bend. They are those who set the example and focus on the course. As we individually attempt to catch that elusive pursuit of happiness, let us look to those who will govern and lead with the highest amount of honesty.

“We live in the land of the free because of the brave individuals who yearn to preserve unalienable rights that have been endowed to them by their Creator, for posterity. Wise choice is needed.

“Apathy needs to be eliminated,” the mayor concluded.