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New Salt Lake County Council members promise to focus on sustainable growth

Three new Republican council members were sworn in Monday, giving the party a 6-3 majority

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Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson stands with her husband Trell Rohovit as she takes the oath of office administered by Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen during an inauguration ceremony for newly elected and reelected county officials at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — As they took their oath of office on Monday, the newest members of the Salt Lake County Council focused on their goals for managing growth of the west side and promoting fiscal conservatism.

Three new Republican council members were sworn in at the Salt Lake County Government Center during a live-streamed meeting, giving the party a 6-3 majority on the council.

Councilman Dave Alvord, former South Jordan mayor, promised to “respond actively” to his constituents’ requests, as well as to fight for the west side.

“District 2 has most of the county’s undeveloped land. In the coming years, we will see tremendous growth and development. Sustainable growth will require thoughtful stewardship as we balance our housing needs with economic growth and recreation. We must get this right,” Alvord said.

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Salt Lake County Councilwoman Laurie Stringham takes the oath of office administered by Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen during an inauguration ceremony for newly elected and reelected county officials at the Salt Lake County Government Center on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Councilwoman Laurie Stringham, who claimed the seat formerly held by Shireen Ghorbani, a Democrat, during the November election, said she is “grateful to be the first at-large council member from the west side as Salt Lake County continues to grow. That growth will largely take place on the west side of the valley.”

She said she will focus on ensuring the county uses taxpayer money wisely “with a focus on public needs.”

“It’s not about spending money, it’s about bringing people and coalitions together to accomplish more with less,” Stringham said.

Councilwoman Dea Theodore, the first Native American elected to the council and a member of the Cherokee Nation, announced she plans to “lead by example” as she foregoes a personal assistant, and will instead share a policy adviser with other council members.

As well as focusing on “doing more with less,” Theodore said she plans to work to allow the town of Brighton to make its own planning decisions by removing it from the Mountainous Planning District and Commission.

Others sworn into office on Monday include Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, Assessor Chris Stavros, Recorder Rashelle Hobbs, Treasurer K. Wayne Cushing and Surveyor Reid Demman.

“This is the year we will return to health, vitality and a level of normalcy in our community. But COVID-19 is proving to be as tenacious as a president not wanting to leave office, it’s battling us at every turn. But we are battling back,” Wilson said after she took the oath.

“We at Salt Lake County are known for working across the aisle to make things happen. And I’m grateful for that,” Wilson said as she welcomed the new county council members.