New Provo City Council members inaugurated

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Provo City Justice Court Judge Rick Romney administers the oath of office to new Councilor Shannon Ellsworth. (Hannah Miner)

The Provo City Council welcomed four new members at its inaugural proceedings on Jan. 6.

The four members each represent a specific district area of Provo. Councilor Bill Fillmore represents District One, Councilor David Shipley for District Two, Councilor Shannon Ellsworth for District Three and Councilor Travis Hoban for District Four. Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, 2019 Council Chair David Harding and Executive Director Cliff Strachan each addressed the public. Each public servant greeted and advised their new coworkers.

Harding spoke about the responsibilities and honor that come with the oath of office the new councilors accepted. Kaufusi talked about the specific sacrifices public servants might have to make. Strachan said the hardships of the new councilors’ service could be made easier with a good sense of humor and recommended they seek knowledge from a “wide variety of sources, not just the loudest or most frequent voices.”

Kaufusi expressed her hopes that, as public servants, the new counselors should discharge their duties of office by being a good neighbor. “One of the great things about Provo residents is their neighborliness.”

Provo City Justice Court Judge Rick Romney administered each member’s oath of office. Each councilor addressed the public after taking oath. In their remarks, they expressed their humility and gratitude to their families, friends and Provo residents who helped their individual campaigns, as well as reaffirmed their individual platforms and campaign promises.

Shipley spoke about implementing his financial expertise and understanding into his four-year service. He expressed specific thanks to a neighbor and campaign supporter, Dorie Haws.

“She is a wonderful neighbor who put signs all over this city on my behalf … and loves me even though she knows me,” he said, with self-deprecation.

Haws, a Provo resident and preschool head teacher in the BYU School of Family Life, responded by complimenting him on not only his “financial expertise” but his friendliness. “He really does bring people together,” she said.

Ellsworth reaffirmed her commitment to fight for the underdogs and plan for Provo’s future. She said she wanted to be a unifier and peacemaker during her term of service. She promised she will work with her fellow council members to care about what is going on across town as much as she cares about what is happening across the street.

Fillmore said he is happy to be bringing the benefits of his 40 years of experience as a lawyer to the council. “I’m a constitutionalist,” he said. “And I think it’s a touchstone point for us here in Provo.”

Hoban said he was preparing for his service by studying “the great politicians in American history,” like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and former U.S. senator Lyman Trumbull.

“These great public servants were just human beings like you and me. What made them special was they were extremely devoted to their principles and the virtuous causes they believed in,” Hoban said.

Harding reflected on his oath and the new oaths taken. “We have enough politicians in the world. May we all be the public servants that this great community deserves,” he said.

Councilor Bill Fillmore converses with a Provo resident after the inaugural proceedings. (Hannah Miner)

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