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Sandy’s Dolan beats odds, is re-elected

SHARE Sandy’s Dolan beats odds, is re-elected

Tom Dolan did it.

The low-key Sandy mayor set a record Tuesday night when he won a second consecutive term as mayor in this town that, historically, has loved to vote out its mayors.Dolan coasted to a victory over political newcomer John Locke, a retired steel fabricator who moved to Sandy seven years ago from California.

Councilman George McNeill wasn't as lucky. His campaign was hampered by an embarrassing guilty plea earlier this year in a theft charge that came after McNeill mistakenly, he says, cashed a $1,300 check made out to someone else. McNeill said he believed the check, delivered to his post office box, was a campaign contribution.

McNeill sent out a six-page campaign flier attempting to explain the issue, but it apparently wasn't enough to salvage his re-election effort.

Former Councilman John Winder got a bit of revenge Tuesday, beating McNeill in the at-large seat that McNeill took from Winder four years ago.

Winder said his victory came "because we had a lot of great people working very hard for us." Winder guesses that McNeill's flier may have backfired, just drawing attention to his legal problems.

"I plan to work hard to make the city more pedestrian friendly. I want more bicycle paths, more recreational opportunities, more participation in the arts."

Winder said he'll keep his campaign promise of donating some of his council salary to local schools to improve their arts programs.

In the other contested council seat, Councilman Scott Cowdell easily defeated challenger John Goldhardt in District 1.

Cowdell fought hard to stop Jazz owner/car dealer Larry Miller's project on the old Jordan High School site. Cowdell said the 10-story, commercial high rise didn't fit the neighborhood character of the area.

Goldhardt, a former South Salt Lake councilman, sat on the city planning and zoning commission that approved the project; al

though Goldhardt points out that height restrictions weren't part of the area's master plan when the project was approved.

Upset residents apparently didn't like that explanation - Cowdell got 71 percent of the vote.

"I don't think (Miller's project) was the main reason" for the victory, Cowdell said early Wednesday. "I've worked hard representing the people here for eight years. This win shows telling the truth, working hard and dealing with the issues is better than throwing money at a race." Cowdell said he was outspent four-to-one. "But money didn't make this race."

Council District 1 runs roughly from 11400 South north to East Greenwood Avenue and from 700 East west to the city limits, which jog from Main Street to 300 West.

Councilman Bryant Anderson was unopposed, so easily won re-election to District 3. Council District 3 runs from about 10400 South north to the city limits and from about 1700 East east to the city limits.

Dolan said he was pleased with his showing of 73 percent of the vote.

Normally, that's an impressive win. But Locke was greatly under-funded compared to Dolan, who also had some impressive political endorsements. "I'd be happy with 50 percent-plus-one; just a win," said Dolan.

"People are pleased with the direction the city is taking," the mayor said from his campaign party in a newly opened hotel in the city - a symbol of the economic revitalization of Sandy.

"We're going to move ahead with expansion of parks, with our transportation developments and with increasing basic services in the city."

Dolan said the recent economic developments in the city are bringing in more tax revenues, giving city fathers the chance to spend money on "quality of life" concerns.

"We will hire more firefighters, more police officers."

The City Council and mayor gave a 3 percent property tax cut last year, not a large amount but it was the only property tax reduction given by a major city in the state, says the mayor.

Dolan added that he met with city department directors several months ago and said if he won re-election he planned to keep all of them on the job. He won't be asking for any resignations at the start of his second term.



Mayor's re-election is 1st since 1969

It has been 28 years since a Sandy municipal election did not change the city's mayor:

Mayoral winner Losing candidate Incumbent

1997 Tom Dolan political newcomer Dolan

1993 Tom Dolan city councilman Larry Smith (lost primary)

1989 Larry Smith Steve Newton Newton

1985 Steve Newton city councilman Larry Smith (lost primary)

1981 Larry Smith Paul Thompson Thompson

1977 Paul Thompson 3 city councilmen Dewey Bluth (did not run)

1973 Dewey Bluth city councilman Frank Mumford (did not run)

1969 Frank Mumford unopposed Mumford

(The last Sandy mayor to stay in place through an election). Mumford had been appointed by the City Council to fill a vacancy in the mayoral post.