The City Council lost its chief mediator Tuesday night when chairman Don Butler resigned from the council, citing increased business demands.
Butler, a part owner of Jones Paint and Glass Co., said it was difficult to juggle his time between city matters, work, church and family life. He is a stake president in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."I'm not the kind of person that can do things halfway," Butler said.
Butler was appointed to the council Oct. 23, 1991, to replace Ron Last, who died of heart failure. The council is soliciting applications to fill Butler's seat representing northeast Provo.
"The council took 10 times as much time as I envisioned it taking," Butler said. "It really created an awful lot of homework."
Butler said he was doing council business every day and "it's just been killing me off."
As council chairman, Butler said, he felt the need to be well-versed on the pros and cons of each issue the council discussed. It helped him in his adopted role as an intermediary who tried to reconcile differences among a diverse group of council members.
Butler cited his ability to channel council members toward some significant decisions as his greatest accomplishment during his 11-month tenure. He led the council through some unpleasant debates regarding the creation of a storm-water service district, annexing land in west Provo and the recent city budget.
Council members said Butler's resignation took them by surprise. He made the announcement during a closed session before Tuesday's council meeting. He formally resigned during the open session.
Councilman Dennis Hall, who was voted in as council chairman, said the council will miss Butler's leadership. Butler was the one who often held the council together, he said.
"We're going to sorely miss him," said Councilwoman Shari Holweg. She described Butler as a competent leader.
Holweg can also empathize with Butler. She has had trouble splitting time among
See COUNCIL on B2
her occupation, council seat and family. She started working part time this week. Her afternoons are now free for council business, she said.
One reason Butler applied for the vacant seat last year was because he wouldn't have to endure the electoral process. He won't consider running for office in the future.
Butler said his political life is now relegated to observer rather than participant, although he intends to offer input on issues down the road.
The City Council has 30 days to appoint a replacement for Don Butler, who resigned Tuesday.
The council will accept applications for the position until noon Friday, Sept. 25. Applicants must live in the council's northeast district. Applications can be dropped off at the council office, 351 W. Center St. The council will screen applicants and call some back for interviews Sept. 29. The new council member will be sworn in either Sept. 29 or Oct. 6. The term expires in January 1994.