Hooper City Council candidates discuss campaigns, visions for serving
HOOPER — A large race for City Council is shaping up in Hooper City.
Eight candidates are vying for two at-large positions on the board. The Standard-Examiner reached out to the candidates to discuss their reasoning for running as well as their vision for the position.
Incumbent Cindy Cox is seeking a second term on the City Council. Prior to this, she served on the Planning Commission for eight years.
“I felt like it was pretty crucial that I run again because we’re still dealing with a lot of the issues we were four years ago,” she said. “There’s quite a few people running and I felt my qualifications and experience put me above those. … We opened a general plan during my tenure in the last four years and developed the general plan and were able to adopt that in 2022. I’d like to be able to carry through and enact those things that we actually put in the general plan.”
If granted another four years, she said she would focus on growth and recreation opportunities.
“Moderate-income housing — that’s always a concern,” she said. “A lot of concern of the people out here is the extension of the West Davis Corridor. We don’t have much control over that, but I’d like to be able to make sure we get the word out and work with them. I’d really like to see our parks and our trails continue to improve. We’ve done quite a bit of improvement in the last four years and I’d like to be able to continue to do that.”
Cox said she’d also like to see about extending the trail system in the city.
Dale Fowers, the current mayor of Hooper, has opted not to seek reelection in that spot and will instead compete for one of the seats on the City Council. He has also served on the Planning Commission in the past.
“My plan is to look ahead 15-20 years and see if the direction we’re headed would maintain Hooper in such a way that it’s still a good place for families to live and for a couple to raise a family,” he said.
If successful in joining the council, he said he wants to help in the implementation of the city’s newly passed general plan.
“Hooper is a pretty big area and there’s a lot of space here,” he said. “In the last couple of years, we’ve put together a new general plan that actually puts in place some land uses that will allow the city to grow at a real managed pace so that we don’t get too big too fast.”
Fowers said he’d ultimately like to put Hooper residents first.
Incumbent Ryan Hill is running for a third term on the City Council in 2023. He also served on the city’s Planning Commission for 30 years.
“With the candidates we have for mayor, they’re both very inexperienced and I feel like we need some stability or experienced people to stay on council to kind of help transition the new leadership,” he said. “I feel like I could help with the experience I’ve had the last 10 years.”
If reelected, he said the city’s expansion will also be a focus of his.
“Obviously, growth is on everybody’s mind — how to deal with growth as a city,” he said. “The city is responsible for the vision of growth — that’s kind of what we did with our general plan — and creating laws and ordinances in zoning to direct that growth. Obviously, nobody wants to see the city grow out of control, and so as a leader, you have to be able to control the growth how your city envisions it and be an active participant in that general plan.”
Hill said infrastructure, especially high-speed internet, would be on his radar.
Kamie Hubbard is the daughter of the late Roger Rawson who was once a Weber County commissioner and a majority leader in the Utah House of Representatives. Aside from helping with her father’s campaigns as a child, Hubbard gained governmental experience while her family owned government-subsidized apartment complexes.
“The reason I’m running is I feel like some people are not being represented,” she said. “The current Planning Commission and council are all thinking alike, they’re all going the exact same direction, and I think we need someone to represent another side to just have a little bit more balance.”
If successfully elected, she said growth is the biggest topic to address.
“There’s been a definite change in Hooper,” she said. “The sewer system is an issue. We’ve got to make sure the sewer system can handle the growth. We’ve got to check on that first before we allow much more construction. And I think we need to develop more commercial.”
Hubbard would also like to see some balance brought to available lot sizes.
Jennifer Stanger has served the state of Utah for more than 27 years.
“I’ve had a couple of times that I’ve gone to the City Council and the Planning Commission and I just wanted to get more involved,” she said. “There can be a little bit more transparency with the City Council on advising residents and notifying them of meetings, putting recordings online within the three days they’re allowed by law.”
She said her goals are to keep the same Hooper that many have fallen in love with.
“I know it’s going to grow, but I just want to try and keep our values the same and keep the feel of Hooper that we moved here for,” she said. “The main thing is the transparency. Right now, we don’t have a city ordinance that requires them to have a public hearing if they’re going to purchase any land. The city has purchased three parcels in the last couple of years with no input from the residents about that.”
Stanger would also like to see work done on existing parks versus purchasing new park land.
Hooper City Council candidates Chris Paulsen, Michael Elmer and Wes Davis were all contacted by the Standard-Examiner but did not reply to requests for interviews.
With two at-large seats up for grabs on the Hooper City Council, the top four vote-getters in the Sept. 5 primary will move on to the general election, slated for Nov. 21.