NORTH OGDEN -- The fate of the city's proposed public works building hangs in the balance after voters elected three city council candidates who made opposing the facility a major issue in the campaign.
Kent Bailey, Justin Fawson and Cheryl Stoker were chosen by voters, and all say they are excited to hold a council seat.
Current council members Carl Turner and Richard Flamm were beaten in the primary and Martha Harris dropped out of the campaign in early October, citing family issues.
Turnout was about average for a municipal-only election, with 22.65 percent of registered voters casting a vote Tuesday night.
What was unusual was the 310 write-in votes entered.
"That is not normal, especially when no one planned to do a write-in," said City Recorder Annette Spendlove.
She has asked for the names of those write-ins from the county, but has not received them yet.
City politics have been heated for the past several months, with the biggest issue being the public works complex.
The newly elected council members all campaigned on the premise that they did not want to spend as much money on the complex as the city council suggested, and all three said they want to take a different approach.
Fawson and Bailey initiated a petition that put a stop to work on the proposed $7 million project until residents could vote on whether they wanted to spend that amount. The vote won't go forward until at least June.
Neither Fawson nor Bailey has held any municipal position.
Bailey thinks widespread change is needed in the city, something he hopes to see happen come January.
"My personal feeling is that we will revisit a lot of things," he said in reference to the public works complex. "I'm not for throwing the baby out with the bath."
Fawson agrees, saying it will be important to work with residents and respect the petition. He would like to hold a public hearing to see if petitioners would be OK with moving forward with the project at a lower price tag, but above all, he said, he wants to do what the majority of residents want.
He hopes the controversy in the city can be toned down. He met with the city manager about a month ago to help with the idea of making a good transition.
"We just need to be having an open dialogue," he said.
Cheryl Stoker won her spot by only 26 votes, beating out former state legislator Glenn Donnelson.
"It just goes to show that all votes count," she said.
Stoker will be the only woman on the council and has experience from her time on the planning commission and board of adjustments.
She, too, hopes things will settle down and said she looks forward to getting to work to find options for the public works complex.
Mayor Richard Harris said he respects the voting process and looks forward to getting to know the new council members.
"I offer my congratulations, and we will do our best to work to make the city a pleasant place to live," he said.
He doesn't plan for a lot to happen with the public works complex until a vote is taken, but said he will be glad to share with the new council members the schematic site plan that is about 99 percent finished.
"I think the council has an obligation to take a close look at it."
Bailey said he wants to have a closer look at the Blaylock study the city did to see what was needed for the complex and thinks some alternatives are needed.
He also would like the council to look again at properties the city already owns to possibly save money instead of buying a lot on 2550 North, as has been proposed.
Harris said, "We have an obligation to keep the quality of life high, and that is dependent on the services offered by the government, and that is the bottom line."