A number of new faces will take on leadership roles in Driggs and Victor, while school board trustee Nancy Arnold survived a recall attempt and Teton County Fire Protection District commissioner Jason Letham will serve another four years.
Zone 5 School Trustee Recall
FOR Recall : 84
AGAINST Recall: 266
Claiming that Teton School District trustee Nancy Arnold “does not represent the views of the patrons in Zone 5 concerning the direction the schools should be going,” petitioners in the north end of the valley were successful in getting a recall attempt on the ballot, but voters chose to keep Arnold in office.
“It is time for all of us to set aside our agendas, our pride, our hurt feelings and our anger and try to be respectful and tolerant of each other,” said Arnold, Tuesday night. “I believe in working for the good of the children of this community and I will continue to do that one way or the other.”
The recall attempt started in late March, shortly after Arnold and board members David Heinemann and Nola Bredal said they could not support the concept of a four-day school week in the district. Bredal did not seek re-election in May, while Heinemann lost his bid at another term.
Arnold is up for re-election in May 2015.
City of Driggs Mayor
Hyrum Johnson: 154
George R. Mosher III: 143
Just 11 votes separated Hyrum Johnson from George Mosher in the race for Mayor.
“That’s a couple percents,” said incoming Mayor Johnson. “That’s a tight margin, tighter than I expected, but that’s the beauty of the process.”
“I value George’s input,” said Johnson. “I value his experience, and I would love to have a conversation with him about where he can be best involved going forward. I believe he has a lot more to contribute and I look forward to having that conversation with him.”
Although Johnson hopes to retain the insight of the council veteran, Mosher asserted that after finishing his term on the council, his political days will remain behind him. Otherwise, Mosher had no comment.
Johnson is looking forward to his new position.
“I’m pleased, I’m excited and I appreciate those who helped me get to this point, and I’m excited to jump right in and make things happen,” said Johnson. “We have a few projects we need to complete, including the Teton Scenic Byway Center, which has kind of been my focus for the last several years. So, we’ll finish that, we’ll finish the plaza and we’ll identify what opportunities we should be pursuing going forward. I have a few ideas I’ll take up with the council.”
City of Driggs Council Members
August Christensen: 151
Brian Gibson: 130
Greer E. Jones: 207
Driggs newcomer August Christensen and incumbent Greer Jones won the two city council positions, defeating Brian Gibson.
Reserved over the phone albeit excited and slightly caught off guard, Christensen wanted to thank the voters and invite them to contact her with any comments, questions or concerns.
“I would like to … thank everyone who voted for me, and they are supporting a diverse city council,” she said. “I would invite all to let me know any comments, questions, concerns you may have. I’m looking forward to serving our town.”
Jones had hoped to work alongside Gibson, but he appreciates that he and Christensen share the same focus, Driggs. More specifically, Jones is enthusiastic to continue his work on the city center, wastewater treatment plant and bike path.
“It’s just like I’ve said before, when you get into office like that you can’t have personal agendas,” said Jones. “You got to do the best you can with what you can; do what’s best for the city, and that’s what it all boils do to. Everything you do [is] for the city and [to] try to make it a better place to live and a more vibrant community.”
City of Victor Council Members
Molly Absolon: 278
David L. Kearsley: 113
A J Linnell: 282
Victor will also see two new faces as Molly Absolon and AJ Linnell defeated Grant Thompson and David Kearsley for the two open seats in the south end of the Valley.
“I’d like to thank David and Grant for stepping up and putting their name in the hat, it’s a thankless job,” Absolon said. “I feel as if we had this incredible outpouring of community support and people have given us a mandate to continue to move forward and revitalize the town. I was really inspired and humbled by the outpouring of community support. We had 50 volunteers knocking on doors, waving signs and sending out texts. It was great to part of that team effort.”
“Molly and I have never run for any office, we were new to campaigning,” Linnell said. “We worked really hard to make this happen and we had a lot of support. Our campaign managers were amazing. We identified everything we could to make it successful and it paid off. I also want to say thanks to David Kearsley and Grant Thompson. I think we all want to make Victor the best place we can and those two certainly have a history of doing that. I think the community supported the vision of Molly and I to make that happen. I’m looking forward to finishing out this year and the work I’ve been doing with the Planning and Zoning Committee and going on to serve on the city council next year."
“I wish both AJ and Molly good luck and hope that they fit in their niche and do well,” Kearsley said.
But Kearsley isn’t stepping back from civic involvement after the election.
“I do intend to stay in touch with what’s going in the city and stay involved,” he said.
Thompson also supports the newly elected council members.
“I suppose these young kids will do all right,” Thompson said. “They’ll probably handle things a little differently than I do, but I don’t think there’s too much bad in either of them. I congratulate them in their efforts and hope they’ll be willing to represent everyone in the city and go forward with an attitude of progress and kindness with everyone they confront, as they try to lead the city forward. I think I’ve been willing to support anybody who is in there trying to do some good. I think the next thing they have to contend with is the Main Street design. I only give them one caution: every time we take on a little more, our costs go up. I hope we don’t spend all our reserves just because they’re in there. I’d like to see them finish up the depot project and strengthen downtown. That was our intent when we bought the place.”
Thompson said he intends to stay involved and attend city meetings.
Jason Letham: 720
Kevin Thibeault: 500
Jason Letham will remain on the fire district commission, defeating challenger Kevin Thibeault. The fire commissioner race was the only election in the county that was open to all residents in Teton County, however, only 25.6 percent of registered voters showed up to the polls.
Letham said the low voter turnout was surprising, especially since it seems there is often a lot of vocal criticism about the district.
“It’s weird,” he said. “It makes me wonder if maybe it’s more like coffee shop kind of talk. When it comes down to talk or doing something, it’s not that important. It’s kind of interesting.”
Letham said he is happy to retain his seat, though, and will work the next four years to try and turn around the image of the district in the community.
“We’re thankful to have them,” he said of the fire fighters. “I want the community to appreciate it more.”
City of Tetonia City Council Members
Tom Abbot: 29
Bucky Matkin: 34
Brittney Bowser: 35
Uncontested races in Tetonia have Tom Abbot, Bucky Matkin and Brittney Bowser remaining in office. Abbot and Matkin will serve another four years, while Bowser remains on the council for the next two years.
The Teton County Board of County Commissioners will canvas the votes at their meeting on Nov. 12.
TVN en Español
Un número de caras nuevas tendrá el liderazgo en Driggs y Víctor, mientras Nancy Arnold , fideicomisario del junta del distrito escolar, sobrevivió a un intento de echarle de la junta y comisionado de distrito de protección de incendios Jason Letham servirá a otros cuatro años. En Driggs Agaust Christensen y Greer Jones ganaron las dos posiciones en el Consejo de la ciudad, derrotando a Brian Gibson. Victor también verán dos caras nuevas en la Junta de la Ciudad. Molly Absolon y AJ Linnell derrotaron a Grant Thompson y David Kearsley en el extremo sur del valle.