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Hooper mayoral hopefuls put focus on safeguarding city’s rural feel

By Tim Vandenack - | Nov 12, 2023
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From left, Hooper mayoral hopefuls Sheri Bingham and Greg Simpson.
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Hooper mayoral hopeful Greg Simpson.
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Hooper mayoral hopeful Sheri Bingham.

HOOPER — Ogden isn’t the only Weber County city that will be getting a new leader.

Voters in Hooper, too, will be selecting a new mayor to replace one-term incumbent Dale Fowers, who’s not vying for the top leadership post this cycle. The contenders — Sheri Bingham and Greg Simpson — are both seeking office for the first time. She’s the special events coordinator and grant writer for the City of West Haven, while he’s a religious educator for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Seminaries and Institutes of Religion.

Mail-in balloting is underway, with voting ending on Nov. 21. Fowers, while not running for mayor this election cycle, is on the ballot. He’s running along with Kamie Hubbard, Ryan Hill and Cindy Cox for one of two spots on the Hooper City Council.

Hooper in western Weber County is an expansive city that’s home to some 9,300 people as of 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, up from 7,218 in 2010. Here’s more information about the mayoral contenders:

Greg Simpson: Simpson entered the race, he said, to make sure there would be at least two candidates, giving Hooper voters a choice.

“I had never before considered running. It hit me the very day of the deadline to file,” he said in a message to the Standard-Examiner. “Since that day, I have learned so much about how our little city operates and the growing pains associated with development.”

Growth is the big issue facing city leaders, in his view. Many move to Hooper in western Weber County in large part because of the city’s agricultural roots, he said, and preserving that feel would be part of his focus. “The agricultural/rural foundation of Hooper resonates in the hearts of nearly everyone who I have talked to during this election cycle. Trying to maintain that ideal through the pressures of development is the tricky part,” Simpson said.

Keeping the city’s feel would require close involvement with developers. “We should work with property owners to secure their rights, but require those who develop neighborhoods for our children to honor the fact that we love what Hooper means and want to preserve that legacy while we build our future,” he said.

He’s a fifth-generation “son of Hooper,” he said in his bio submitted to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office election website, and has served as a Republican Party delegate multiple times.

Sheri Bingham: Before taking the job in neighboring West Haven last year, Bingham volunteered for many years in Hooper, helping organize community events in the city. She also worked for Hooper for five years, serving as secretary of the city cemetery and grant writer.

“I love Hooper. I feel like I have served the people of Hooper and I want to continue in a different capacity,” she said.

A big focus for her, she said, would be engaging the public, making Hooper residents feel like they have a say in the city. “I would actually be their advocate,” she said.

Some may attend City Council or Planning Commission meetings, she said, but still feel like their views don’t matter. “I feel like the residents don’t always feel like they’re being listened to,” she said.

In her bio on the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office election website, she proposes creation of a monthly city newsletter to inform residents about local matters and broadcasting of City Council and Planning Commission meetings via Zoom.

She calls for more “fiscal transparency,” making sure invoices over $5,000 are approved by the City Council, as required in city ordinance, and that the city seeks three bids on its expenditures.

Bingham, like Simpson, also puts a focus on maintaining Hooper’s rural feel. “I’m against apartment buildings and high-density housing,” she said, and thinks the city needs a community development director to help assure controlled growth in the city.


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