Logan Municipal Council candidates Keegan Garrity, Ernesto Lopez and Amy Z. Anderson are running for two seats available this election year — all on different platforms.
Garrity will be fighting for a spot against Lopez and Anderson, who are both incumbents. His main concerns are smart growth, fiscal responsibility and the current “at-large” voting system for council seats.
In addition to his current employment with Malouf, the “Google of Logan” as he calls it, Garrity has served on the Bicycle Pedestrian Committee, the Dual Language-Immersion Committee for the Logan School District and was co-chair of the Woodruff Neighbor Council. He also has volunteered for Common Ground and CAPSA.
Garrity believes he provides a fresh perspective to Logan because he has “live-in” experience.
“It was almost like a sweater that I pulled the string on that kept unraveling,” Garrity stated in connection to how he got involved in local government. “I thought, it’s important that people who ride the bus make decisions about the bus. People that go to the library a couple of times a week should be involved in making decisions about the library, or people whose kids swim at the Aquatic Center should be involved in making decisions for the Aquatic Center. I think we can get more people involved.”
This is why one of Garrity’s main focuses for his platform is geographical districts. Elections for council seats became “at-large” in 2009. Although nearly two-thirds of Logan’s population live west of Main Street, few representatives come from that area. There has never been more than one council member from the west side in the past 11 years, Garrity said.
Garrity also believes Logan should be more “fiscally responsible” and show transparency when it comes to redevelopment funds, often stylized as RDA funds. This is connected to his belief in “smart growth,” and building up instead of out.
Anderson also supports the idea of smart growth. In the last election, part of her platform focused on the idea of building “up, not out.”
“Helping to position Logan for growth has been the most significant accomplishment over the last four years,” Anderson said. “You can ask, ‘how do we make downtown Logan more walkable, what do we need to do?’ Sometimes it’s difficult because a city can zone something one way but that doesn’t mean we get to pick what goes in it.”
Anderson believes her proven track record on the Council and helping to put building blocks in place to prepare Logan for growth are reasons she should be reelected. In addition to her council service, Anderson has served on the library board, the Homelessness Coordinating Committee and is one of the founding board members of the Loaves and Fishes community meal. She also works as a spiritual counselor in Hospice for the Sunshine Terrace Foundation.
“I have a certification in mediation, so I think I’m skilled at bringing people together to coalesce around a decision. I understand what their issues and their concerns are and help to make a decision that works for everybody. It’s important that everybody’s opinion is voiced and heard,” Anderson said.
Lopez hopes he can prove to young people that they can do what they put their minds to, no matter what they look like.
A resident of Logan for 22 years, Lopez is the first immigrant and Hispanic Logan Municipal Council member. He leads the online programs for USU Extension and has spent many years promoting cultural awareness as well as helping youth with academic achievement. Lopez also participates on the Light & Power Advisory Board, the Cache Valley Center for Arts Board, the Parks & Recreation Board and the Renewable Energy & Sustainability board.
A big part of the reason Lopez is seeking reelection is to show his children and others in the Hispanic community that if it is “possible to serve, it is possible to lead.”
“I hope to inspire others like myself to serve in public office and believe, ‘Hey, I can actually do this.’ This is not something that only the majority does,” Lopez said. He hopes to be a voice to underrepresented minority groups.
Additionally Lopez is advocating for more civic engagement and business growth. He believes business has a lot of benefits for residents of Logan.
“Businesses bring jobs for our citizens. In my mind I want to feel like I’m removing obstacles for business development. I feel like cities tend to kind of stagnate and eventually they could end up going in the opposite direction if there’s not enough of that development going on,” Lopez said.
Lopez hopes to continue to represent all of Logan through another term on the council.
The general election will take place on Nov. 2. Ballots can either be mailed in and postmarked no later than the day before the election or can be dropped off at Logan City Hall. To register to vote, visit vote.utah.gov.