By Travis Morgan
Voters chose experience over youth in the Orem City Council elections Tuesday.
Karen McCandless, Shiree Thurston and Dean Dickerson were the only candidates who had served in Orem city capacities before this year”s campaign. All three came away victorious in their City Council bids.
McCandless serves on the City Council, Thurston is the Planning Commission chair and Dickerson works on the SCERA board of directors.
The winners of Tuesday”s election will be sworn into their Council seats January 1, 2002.
Justin Thompson, who came in fourth place, is just 22 years old and attends Utah Valley State College. Thompson had never run for public office before, but his father served on the City Council before being elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2000.
McCandless has served on the Council since February, when she was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Rep. Mike Thompson. None of the candidates have ever won a City Council election before.
All the candidates said they enjoyed their campaigns.
“It”s been a lot of fun,” said candidate Cliff Miles, who ran for public office for the first time.
With all the negative campaigning in national elections, another first-time candidate, Walt Nicholes, expected more tension after the primary elections. He was pleasantly surprised.
“This is a very clean campaign,” he said. “There is very little acrimony between the candidates.”
Miles enjoyed the campaign so much, he said he might try running again in two years. First, Miles wants to volunteer for the city to become better acquainted with city issues.
Several of the candidates said the biggest issue now pressing Orem is providing housing for UVSC students.
“The thing we need to be most concerned about is student housing,” Thurston said. “UVSC is expected to grow to the size of BYU in the next few years.”
The City Council has been developing a Master Plan to direct future growth in Orem, including student housing, McCandless said.
“That”s where my background is – in planning – so I”m very excited,” she said.
Mayor Jerry Washburn was also reelected to a four-year term. The victory came as no surprise since Washburn was running unopposed.