Ryan Frandsen, in an early move toward municipal elections in November, announced May 2 he will run for Provo City Council’s city-wide seat.
The filing period for November’s election doesn’t begin until June 3, but Frandsen hopes an early start will discourage some of his competitors from running.
Provo councilwoman Laura Cabanilla, who holds the seat, decided not to run for re-election.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time on the council,” Cabanilla said. “I wanted to focus my time in office to improving downtown Provo.”
In her four years in office, Cabanilla has seen downtown Provo come alive with construction of a new LDS temple, corporate expansion of Nu Skin and the extension of UTA’s FrontRunner line.
“Wonderful things are now happening and there’s lots of synergy,” Cabanilla said. “I wondered if I needed to stay, but I eventually felt that my talents could be used elsewhere.”
Cabanilla, who is considering a run for county commissioner, is endorsing Frandsen in his run to take her seat.
Two more city council seats are up for grabs in November: District 2 (northeast Provo) and District 5 (central Provo). Sterling Beck, the council member representing District 5, plans to run for re-election, but has not yet made any formal announcement.
“I certainly hope (someone runs against me),” Beck said. “Serving on City Council has been a phenomenal experience.”
Beck, a recent BYU graduate, ran for City Council when he was still a student, motivated by his expertise in fiber technology. That expertise has paid off with the recent announcement of Google Fiber taking over iProvo, the plagued city network that sunk $40 million in taxes in its construction and lost an additional $10 million over its 12 years of service.
“I wouldn’t take all of the credit for (Google Fiber),” Beck said. “We had some pretty tough decisions to make about a year and a half ago with iProvo and I’m glad that things worked out so well.”
Rick Healey, the council member from District 2, is also up for re-election, but he could not be contacted for comment despite several calls from The Universe.
Frandsen, 37, who is from South Jordan, is running a platform centered on businesses, neighborhoods and families.
“I’m invested in Provo for the long haul,” Frandsen said. “I really feel like I can improve the business environment in Provo and create a vision that no one else is doing right now.”
Among his goals, Frandsen wants to take advantage of Google Fiber’s resources by creating a Provo cottage network of home-based start-up companies. He also wants to build a children’s museum in downtown Provo.
“We’ve really lost a lot of business to Lehi in the past five years and I want Provo to reclaim its title as the center of Utah County,” Frandsen said.
Frandsen is a veteran of political campaigns. He managed Gary Winterton’s and Gary Garrett’s campaigns for City Council, and also worked with Cabanilla in her successful City Council bid.
“I plan to contribute to his campaign,” said Gary Garrett, the other city council member who serves in a city-wide district. “Ryan is an outstanding citizen that is prepared to serve. I have a lot of respect and confidence in him.”
Garrett, although supportive of Frandsen, has not yet officially endorsed him as he waits for the political race to become a little clearer.
“I’ve heard of four different people who are considering running,” Garrett said.