NORTH OGDEN — A current North Ogden City Council member and a former council member are facing off for the last two years of one of the five seats on the body.
Cheryl Stoker, finishing her second four-year term, opted to run for the two-year post because the time frame is right to round out her council career should she win, she said. “Ten years is enough,” she said.
The big priorities, Stoker said, are properly managing the fast-paced growth the city has experienced and drawing in more commercial development. Stoker, a beautician, doesn’t want the city to get overwhelmed with high-density development.
Wade Bigler, who served a term on the council from 2010 through 2013, puts a focus on money management and, like Stoker, dealing with growth. “I will help manage growth wisely and be fiscally conservative and responsible,” he said in an email to the Standard-Examiner.
The City Council has voted in favor of development plans that would collectively add 1,300 to 1,500 apartments and other multi-family housing units to the city, Bigler said, and that, in his view, is enough. “I am concerned what this will do to our neighborhoods, our traffic and our schools,” said Bigler, a principal and teacher at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints seminary.
Development of an amphitheater in Barker Park has been a hot topic of debate in North Ogden. Stoker favored the project as a council member and says the facility, largely done, needs to be finished. In a campaign Facebook post from August, Bigler lamented that the city didn’t properly plan for parking ahead of amphitheater development and said he’d put a focus on resolving such parking issues around large-scale projects.
Sara Fawson was elected in 2017 to the seat Bigler and Stoker seek. But after she stepped down because of a move from the area and vacated the post, Ryan Barker was tabbed to fill it through 2019. Barker decided to run for one of three four-year seats up for grabs on the City Council this election cycle, paving the way for the contest between Stoker and Bigler to complete the last two years of what was originally Fawson’s seat.
The race for the two-year seat started as a three-way contest between Stoker, Bigler and Stefanie Casey in August’s primary. Stoker and Bigler were the top two vote-getters August, with 47.7% and 27.3% of the vote, respectively, moving them on to the general election ballot. Casey garnered 25%.
Bigler vied unsuccessfully for mayor of North Ogden in 2013 in a heated campaign against Brent Taylor and this is his first bid for office in North Ogden since then. Stoker endorsed Bigler in his mayoral bid that year, though she also lauded serving with Taylor, the eventual winner in the 2013 mayoral contest and again in 2017.
North Ogden voters will also be selecting three council members to four-year posts this cycle. The six candidates for those three spots are incumbents Barker and Phillip Swanson as well as Ronald Flamm, Julie Anderson, Randy Winn and Charlotte Ekstrom. Voters will also pick a new mayor to fill out the last two years of Taylor’s second term. Taylor was killed last year in Afghanistan while serving with the Utah Army National Guard, and Lynn Satterthwaite and S. Neal Berube are the hopefuls to fill out the term.
Election day is Nov. 5.