The Tooele City Council interviewed sixteen candidates to fill a vacancy on the council, but in the end a deck of cards picked the winner.
The Tooele City Council conducted interviews on Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m. for individuals that wanted to fill the council seat vacated by Scott Wardle when he became a member of the Tooele County Council.
A total of 31 people applied for the open seat on the council, 16 of those showed up for interviews on Wednesday night.
“This is an exciting evening and an exciting time for our city,” said Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn, speaking about the interviews. “I am thrilled to see so many candidates that have applied for the position to fill this seat. It is an exciting way to serve our community.”
The four remaining members of the City Council interviewed the sixteen applicants during an open public meeting.
During the interviews, each candidate had 30 seconds to introduce themselves.
Following their introduction, the candidates answered a series of questions that City Council members asked them. Each candidate was asked the same questions.
The questions included: “What is the greatest challenge for Tooele City and how will your appointment help address this challenge?” “How does your background, professional or other, qualify you to serve on the City Council?” and “What is your top priority that you would like to see happen or change in Tooele City?”
The hot topic seemed to be growth, with every candidate mentioning growth as a challenge for Tooele City.
“Thank you to all of you candidates for being here with us tonight and participating,” said Ed Hansen, Tooele City council chairman at the end of the interviews.
The City Council members took a 10-minute break to look over their notes on their own.
At the end of the ten minutes, Hansen asked each member of the City Council to vote for two candidates they would like to see on the City Council.
This vote reduced the field of candidates down to two; Maresa Manzione and Matt Robinson.
The council members then voted for one of the remaining candidates.
This vote was a tie.
Council members Melodi Gochis and Justin Brady voted for Manzione. Council members Tony Graf and Ed Hansen voted for Robinson.
Manzione and Robinson drew cards to break the tie and decide which one of them would replace Wardle.
At the end, Manzione won the city council seat because she drew a Queen of Spades card from the deck, which was higher than Robinson’s nine.
This story was updated on Jan. 8 to indicate that 16 candidates were interviewed, to clarify that the first vote narrowed the list down to two candidates, to correct the reported final vote of city council members, and to correct the spelling of council member Tony Graf’s name.