This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The outcome of the Community Preservation election for unincorporated Salt Lake County area residents won't be known for more than two weeks, but Salt Lake County officials already are gearing up for the 2016 elections this vote will spawn.
They have to.
The accelerated schedule laid out in legislation allowing the county to pursue Community Preservation Mayor Ben McAdams' approach to resolving decades of local government disputes over unincorporated-area boundaries doesn't give them time to waste.
By Nov. 4, the day after the election, it should be clear which of the county's six existing townships have voted to become a metro township and which want to become a city.
Either way, county officials have to subdivide the emerging form of government into districts so that a council can be elected in November of 2016 to govern each area thereafter.
A metro township would have five districts, with the five elected council members internally selecting a chairperson to represent the township on the county's new Municipal Services District.
A city would have four districts, with the mayor elected at large and serving as the city's representative on the service district board.
Since 2016 is a general election year, candidates for a township or city council seat must file for office by March. That means council-district boundaries for Millcreek, Emigration Canyon, White City, Copperton, Kearns and Magna should be set by Feb. 1, said deputy county attorney Gavin Anderson.
That's not much time, he emphasized, securing County Council approval last week to set up a clear-cut process for establishing these new district boundaries.
Council members agreed that laying out their process up front will help preclude accusations of gerrymandering when people in these different communities decide whether to seek council seats and see who their competition might be.
The county's plan is to have Surveyor Reid Demman and Clerk Sherrie Swensen take the lead in creating maps of equally populated districts, approaching the task much like they have previous redistricting assignments.
Demman and Swensen will be part of a steering committee that would look over the initial work and suggest revisions. This committee will include the three council members whose districts include most of the unincorporated area (Michael Jensen, Sam Granato and Max Burdick) and one of the three at-large council members, Anderson and council attorney Jason Rose, and a representative of the mayor's staff.
After that tweaking, the proposed district boundaries will be taken to the community councils in each township for their input before a final plan comes back to the full County Council for approval.
"It's the communities that are affected and we need to get their input," said Jensen, a Magna resident, expecting greater acceptance if "we go to those community councils and make it more local, say 'this will be your [future], how do you want it set up?' "
In the meantime, county officials also must finish all the legal steps and paperwork needed to create the Municipal Services District, which will provide numerous public works services, from snowplowing to street lighting, as well as planning and zoning staff work.
The people elected in the future metro townships and cities won't take their seats on the municipal services district's governing board until January of 2017, so in the next year it will be administered by McAdams and the County Council.
Their first meeting as a service district board is tentatively set for Tuesday. At that time, they are expected to appoint a chairperson, vice chairperson and clerk and to get the procedural wheels rolling to have the Municipal Services District formally come into existence on Jan. 1, 2016.