FRUIT HEIGHTS -- Election signs will begin popping up in this city now that six candidates have been nominated for three open city council seats.
Fruit Heights has a long-standing tradition of using a nomination convention to choose its candidates for city positions. That convention was Tuesday at the city office building.
After residents nominated candidates, those attending the meeting had the opportunity to vote. The candidates emerging from the nomination meeting are Kris Christensen, Craig Hill, Diane Anderson, James Biorge, Michelle Cox and Eileen Moss.
Christensen and Hill, both incumbents, are seeking re-election after fulfilling one term each.
Though Councilman Mike Anderson will not continue when his term ends this year, he did nominate his mother, Diane Anderson, who won enough votes at Tuesday's meeting to become a candidate for the elections in November.
What makes this city's process so unique is the opportunity it gives all residents to run for city government. A resident may simply show up to the nominating meeting, give a short speech and, if elected, move on to the general election.
Residents can choose to attend the Pinecone or Sagebrush parties, with neither party representing Democrats or Republicans and no division based on where residents live.
Each party nominates candidates and then votes on the candidates who have accepted their nomination.
"It makes Fruit Heights unique and encourages people to run that may not otherwise," said Mayor Todd Stevenson. "A lot of times, small towns don't get enough people to run and residents don't get a choice."
Diane Anderson, who had no intention of running for office until she was nominated, said it is good for the city to have the perspective of a mother and grandmother.
"I think that moms and homemakers spend an enormous amount of time on the home front, but don't have the opportunity to put out their ideas," she said. "Mine is a voice that can represent those groups."
Biorge hopes he can continue Fruit Heights' tradition of volunteerism and using resources efficiently.
"We live in a unique time in our country where we are looking for role models, so it's important we keep shining as an example of good politics with minimal government intrusion and maximum delivery of service," he said.
Christensen said it takes two to three years to learn the ropes on the council, so now that he feels like he knows what he's doing, he'd like to continue with the momentum.
"It is a slow process to work through, and there are some things with a future city cemetery and the city parks and trails that I'd like to wrap up," he said.
Cox originally came to the convention to see how the city conducted its nomination meeting, only to receive a nomination and subsequent voting-in by the attending residents.
With her background in studying political science at Weber State University, she said she is confident she could help the city.
"I feel strongly that an abundantly large part of our population isn't involved in politics, so I'd like to see more participants like me, a young mother, help solve problems," Cox said. "We have a perspective that should be voiced."
Hill hopes to continue the tradition of a city known for its good neighbors.
"We are a city of neighbors, where we help each other and save for what we need, and that is where I want to serve," he said.
Hill hopes to keep the city debt-free and continue looking out for the best interests of the city.
Moss is not currently on the city council, but she has served on the city's council before. She said she would like to return so she can continue efforts to keep the city out of debt.
"While serving for eight years on the city council, I was extremely fanatical about making sure the city kept saving rather than bonding like many other cities were doing at the time," Moss said.
"I reminded the council that, if you bond and times get tough, you are tied to those bonds."