Editor’s note: In addition to the story below about the North Tooele County Fire District’s election on Nov. 5, the candidates responded to three questions posed by the Transcript-Bulletin regarding their candidacy. Their answers can be found inside on Page 6.
One year ago voters in the North Tooele County Fire District went to the polls and elected a five-member board to oversee the district.
In order to stagger the terms of the board members, two of those board members selected a year ago—Harold Betts and Russell Yates—were elected to a one-year term.
Betts and Yates are now seeking a new four-year term on the NTCFD board. Mike Frieden, Faye Hall, and Scott Bissegger are also running for the same two seats on the board.
The two top vote-getters will be the winners.
The NTCFD covers a 1,700 square-mile area that includes Pine Canyon, Erda, Stansbury Park and Lake Point, along with part of the I-80 corridor through Tooele County.
The NTCFD board of directors appoints a fire chief to run the day-to-day operations of the district. The fire chief reports back to the board in monthly meetings.
First established in 1987, for 24 years an appointed board had complete independence to run the fire district and approve their budget, including setting the tax rate for the district.
Legislative action in 2011, however, necessitated the switch to an elected board so the local board could maintain control over the district and its budget.
But after the Tooele County Commission changed the NTCFD board from an appointed board to an elected board in 2012, the Utah State Tax Commission discovered that the NTCFD also needed to be changed from a special district to a local district to remain autonomous.
The county commission is in the process of changing the NTCFD to a local district and will vote on the change in an upcoming commission meeting. The board election on Nov. 5 will not affect the proposed change.
State law requires there be one polling location within the district, according to Tooele County Clerk Marilyn Gillette. That polling location will be at Stansbury High School in the athletic commons.
The precincts included in the NTCFD are Erda and Grantsville: precincts that are outside of the city limits include Lake Point, Lincoln, Stansbury Park and Tooele precincts that are outside of the city limits.
Lake Point precincts voters, who usually vote by mail, will not automatically receive their ballots in the mail. Lake Point voters will need go to SHS to vote, unless they have applied for an absentee ballot.