Meet your new City Council Members

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Meet your new City Council Members

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Despite widespread public interest in federal and state elections, local elections are often overlooked. In the 2019 elections, it’s estimated that only 15,000 citizens of Provo voted (around 17% of adults). But why should students care about their city’s government?

The City Council is in charge of creating local laws and supervising citywide issues, including making tax decisions and organizing events within the community. As a position on the council is four years long, getting to know your council is an investment for years to come.

David Shipley – City Wide II
David Shipley narrowly edged out a win for the City Wide II position against opponent Jane Moss with 8,156 votes (55.56%). As a self-proclaimed “financial nerd,” his sixteen years as a financial planner is what set him apart from the competition.

Shipley has created a fiscally centered plan for the city’s future. He’s described issues with inflation, increased taxes on utilities and property, and unsustainable financial practices. Similarly, he’s emphasized the importance of public spaces like parks and the Provo Recreation Center and public services like police and firefighters.

William Fillmore – District 1
William “Bill” Fillmore ran unopposed for District 1, the northern portion of Provo that includes Timpview and the surrounding area. He is known locally for his law firm, Fillmore Spencer LLC, which is the largest in Utah County.

Fillmore emphasizes Public Safety, Economic Development, and Responsible Growth & Quality Neighborhoods as the three key issues he wants to work on in Provo. He aims to prioritize public safety above all else, calling it “the number one responsibility of any governmental body.” With regards to economic development, Fillmore wants to increase business expansion in Provo, and he wants to minimize traffic and parking issues while protecting parks and other public entities.

Shannon Ellsworth – District 3
Shannon Ellsworth was one of three women running for a spot on the council, and the only one elected. She will be the only woman on the council. She won the largest majority over any opponent during the elections, getting 1,685 votes (64.67%). Ellsworth will represent District 3, the south-eastern area of Provo that houses Provost and Spring Creek. She distinguishes herself from the competition with her current involvement in various political groups, including the Provo City Planning Commission, the Utah County Planning Commission, and the Utah GOP State Central Committee, as well as her past experience as a GOP State Delegate.

The topic Ellsworth has focused on above all else is infrastructure and growth. She wants to help her district by encouraging development near the Town Centre Mall, as well as improving community in East Bay. With transportation problems being a common result of expansion, Ellsworth told the Daily Herald that “speed bumps, road widths, protected bike lanes, and safe routes to school will be solutions I’ll look to implement.”

Travis Hoban – District 4
Moving to the west side of Provo, Travis Hoban got 2,601 votes (56.15%) to represent District 4, which includes the vast majority of Provo High boundaries. He currently works as a Chief Technology Officer, and was previously the Provo Precinct 31 Chair, a County and State Delegate, and a member of the Utah GOP Caucus Task Force.

Hoban’s four primary goals are “Smart Growth,” “Sensible Spending,” “[Becoming] Business Friendly,” and “[Strengthening] Our Neighborhoods.” These ideals are very similar to those of the other council-electees, accentuating the necessity of plans for growth, attraction of businesses, and a strong sense of community. His “Sensible Spending” message is the most explicit tax stance, with Hoban calling himself a “fiscal conservative”, and stating that the government needs to stop financing “wants” as opposed to “needs.”

The four councilmember-elects will officially take their positions in the council in 2020, replacing current members Gary Winterton (District 1), Dave Knecht (District 3), Kay Van Buren (District 4), and George O. Stewart (City Wide II).