Gary Garrett fills empty Provo council seat

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By Hannah Dunn

The empty seat on Provo City Council is finally filled. Gary Garrett is the newest member on the council.

After operating for more than three months with only six members, the City Council voted Garrett as its seventh Tuesday night. He takes the empty seat previously occupied by Steve Turley.

Garrett starts immediately with the council, even though he won the City Wide Council seat last week in the general elections. The council appointed Garrett to fill in for the empty seat for the next six weeks before his term officially starts in January.

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“It was a little bit unnerving to come right out the election just one week ago and take the stand so quickly,”Garrett said. “But I felt prepared, I think I felt ready for public office the day I filed for the position in July.”

In the way of training, Garrett and the other newly elected officials will attend three orientation meetings following the Thanksgiving holiday. Other than that, the Council’s Executive Director said Garrett won’t receive any extra training even though he is going in early.

Some members of the audience commented at the council meeting that the appointing process is flawed.

“I think the council should not have certified the election,” said Steven Reid, a home owner in West Provo. “Our voters had to make a choice in their mind who to vote for, and being a candidate for a city-wide appointed seat could have influenced their vote for who they were going to vote in their own district.”

The council addressed Reid’s concern directly in the meeting, saying that because they chose Garrett to fill the position after the general election, it did not interfere with the voting process.

“You can’t have your name on the ballot for two different spots on election day,” said Provo City Attorney Brian Jones, “and that wasn’t the case here.”

The next City Council meeting is on Dec. 6 and is open to the public.

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