New Enoch City council member decided by coin toss

Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut tosses a coin to decide the fate of two candidates Scott Leavitt and Jolene Lee for Enoch City Council. Enoch City, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY – The luck of the draw and the flip of a coin decided the fate of two city council candidates who had tied in their bid for an open seat on the Enoch City Council Wednesday night.

The coin used by Enoch City Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut in a coin toss to decide the fate of two candidates Scott Leavitt and Jolene Lee for Enoch City Council. Enoch City, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News

Scott Leavitt and Jolene Lee went up against six other applicants that same night in interviews with the City Council for the seat vacated by the recent resignation of Councilman Gary Wilcken.

After two hours of interviews, the four remaining council members tied in their vote for Lee and Leavitt. As a result the mayor would decide who would win by the rare toss of a coin, an action mandated by Utah code in these types of cases.

For the tiebreaker, Mayor Geoffrey Chesnut used a solid copper coin similar in size to that of a traditional 50-cent piece. As luck would have it, the coin landed on heads – not a choice Lee made for herself but one Chesnut decided for her right before throwing the coin in the air.

Lee said after the meeting she was surprised the decision came down to a coin toss.

“I had no idea that (the coin toss) would happen,” she said. “I’m so surprised. I just didn’t think it would be decided like that. I thought the City Council would make a decision and that would be it.”

Additional candidates included Andrew Losee, Richard Topham, Katherine Ross, Debra Ley, Rich Lile, Cassie Easley and Minnie Lee Pittman. Lile was not available for interview with the council Wednesday.

New Enoch City Councilwoman Jolene Lee is sworn in Wednesday night after the mayor tossed a coin to determine the winner in a tie vote between her and Scott Lee. Enoch City, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News
New Enoch City Councilwoman Jolene Lee is sworn in Wednesday night after the mayor tossed a coin to determine the winner in a tie vote between her and Scott Leavitt. Enoch City, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News

The interviews were comprised of 30-second time slots for candidate introductions followed by four questions asked by council members. The questions were the same for all applicants and ranged from what their vision for the city is to how they would handle finding out from a neighbor a city employee had stolen.

In other business, the council held a public hearing on a proposal to abandon portions of Ravine Road and Pomeroy Green Road. The council voted to approve the proposal following the hearing.

The council moved to postpone a discussion on a planning commission recommendation for a controversial zone change from regional commercial to multiple residential. Instead, the discussion will be held the same day as the public hearing scheduled for March 16.

New Enoch City Councilwoman Jolene Lee hugs her husband after winning the coin toss Wednesday night in a tie between her and Scott Leel. Enoch City, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News
New Enoch City Councilwoman Jolene Lee hugs her husband after winning the coin toss Wednesday night in a tie between her and Scott Leavitt. Enoch City, Utah, March 2, 2016 | Photo by Tracie Sullivan, Cedar City News

City Recorder Julie Watson told St George News after the meeting the proposed zone change has brought some outcry from nearby residents who don’t want to see high density housing next to their subdivision. Watson said however, that isn’t what’s planned for the area.

“They just don’t understand. That’s not what’s going to go in there,” she said. “Right now it’s zoned commercial and they don’t want that but they don’t want this either.”

Email: tsullivan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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