In November 2019, Tooele City Councilman Dave McCall fell four votes shy of holding on to his seat on the Tooele City Council after a string of three successful elections led to 12 years on the City Council.
In 1980, McCall joined the Marine Corps and spent most of his adult life in the military. He traveled to Japan and Europe, and served in Operation Desert Storm before coming to Tooele in 1993.
When he arrived in Tooele it was just another posting. McCall wasn’t planning on staying in town after his tour of duty.
McCall retired from the Marine Corps in 2000 and he is still in town, with his wife, Lezlie.
“Tooele grows on you,” McCall told the Transcript Bulletin back in 2007 after winning his first election to the Tooele City Council. “I was told that when I got here.”
Growing up in Dunn, North Carolina, McCall, 63, the thought of holding an elected office in a small city in Utah never crossed his mind.
As a kid, McCall played sports — basketball, football and track. He said he had a fairly normal childhood.
In 2007, McCall downplayed the fact that he had become the first African-American elected to the Tooele City Council.
“I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreaking,” McCall said. “I’ve met a lot of really good people here and the fact that I am who I am hasn’t played a part [in how I’ve been treated].”
Tooele voters went on to re-elect McCall to the City Council twice.
His attempt for a fourth term on the City Council ended in 2019 after a recount with McCall four votes shy of keeping his seat.
However, Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn didn’t let McCall get too far away. She appointed McCall to the Tooele City Planning Commission.
McCall has always been involved with the community.
He has found time to work with the Together with Youth Program, Tooele Veterans’ Square project, Toys for Tots, ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Children’s Justice Center Advisory Board and other community projects.
McCall, with a background in human resources, spends his days working as an administrative support assistant at the Tooele Army Depot and fighting for manageable growth in Tooele at night.
“I feel like I have something to give,” McCall said when asked why he chose the Council again.
McCall understands that Tooele is growing, but he said growth must be managed properly.
“I want to make sure that we grow the way we should grow,” he said. “I know for our children to work and live in Tooele, we have to do something about growth and housing. Like most cities, you run out of room growing out, so you eventually have to grow up. That equates to high density. No one really loves it but sometimes it’s a necessity.”
McCall wants to work to create better roads that can accommodate the growth for the city.
“Our forefathers did not envision the growth we would experience when they built the narrow roads we have now,” McCall explained. “With our growth we are going to have to work with the state and the county to ensure that the bottleneck on the north end of town — which it’s almost impossible at this point to completely fix — is something that we need to look at. I would rather start fixing it now instead of five or ten years down the road when it is entirely too late.”
McCall went on to say that the intersections by Walmart and Mountain West Medical Center need to be improved, but in order to do so, local officials must work with the State of Utah, because the intersections belong to them.
Making sure the city has sufficient water for all residents and businesses is also on McCall’s agenda.
Spending time as an ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce sparked McCall’s interest in local government.
“I just wanted to do a little bit more,” he said.
The City of Tooele has a special place in McCall’s heart.
“When I moved here in ’93, there were only 12,000 or 13,000 people…Everyone knew everyone,” he said. “It was a nice, peaceful town. Obviously, that isn’t the case now.”
One of the things that kept McCall in Tooele was the landscape.
Between work and the city, McCall finds time to recreate and he enjoys not having to travel far.
Tooele’s landscape, McCall said, is very different from the North Carolina town he grew up in. Dunn is green, covered in trees and not very hilly, he said.
“The scenery here is unreal,” he said. “Within 15 to 20 minutes of anywhere in the valley you can be up in the mountains.”
McCall likes to camp, fish, shoot trap, and golf locally. He also likes to watch football and basketball, when he has time.
“My intent is to do the best I can for the betterment of the city and for the people in the city,” McCall said.