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COMMISSION HOPEFUL SEEKS COUNTY COUNCIL

Chuck Eddy hopes his campaign for a Weber County Commission seat will be his last.

If he wins, Eddy wants to replace the board of three full-time commissioners with seven part-time county council members and a full-time county administrator."The key is separating the legislative from the administrative," he said. "We have people in there that try to do both, but it's pretty hard. It's too many hats for one head."

Brent Gardner, executive director of the Utah Association of Counties, said Cache and Grand counties have changed to a council format, and others would too if voters pushed for it.

"My experience working with county government is these elected officials are very sensitive to the public, and if the public wanted to change, they would change," Gardner said.

Eddy, an Independent-Patriot, is running against Republican Glen Burton and Democrat Neil Hansen for the commission seat to be vacated by Spencer Stokes.

Eddy said his county council would be similar to what Cache County has had for the past 10 years. The council members would represent districts within the county and meetings would be held twice a month instead of every week.

The streamlining would save taxpayers $245,000 a year, Eddy said.

Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon said the council format has been less expensive and more open than the commission form.

"One of the things I like about this form of government is that two people cannot get together like you could in a county commission form of government and make policy," Lemon said. "I believe that it provides better representation and more open debate as far as what is happening."

A council proposal surfaced in Weber County in 1981, but never made it to a public vote. Commissioner Joe Ritchie predicts the same fate for Eddy's proposal if Eddy is elected.

Ritchie said elected officials, not format, have more to do with openness of government.

"If you elect seven councilors who don't want to be open, they won't be," Ritchie said.