Dark horse council candidate reacts to Daines’ endorsement

Logan City Council candidate Keegan Garrity (third from left) shares a laugh with supporters (from left) state Sen. Chris Wilson, Cache County Executive David Zook and Cache County Council Member Paul Borup.

LOGAN – While Mayor Holly Daines is defending her endorsement of incumbent city council candidates Amy Z. Anderson and Ernesto López as business as usual, dark horse candidate Keegan Garrity acknowledges that the mayor’s statement lengthens the odds against him in the upcoming municipal election.

“With multiple members of the (city) council and the mayor joining forces to influence the outcome of this election,” Garrity explains, “I certainty feel like David going up against Goliath.

“That’s no easy task, but the overwhelming support that I’ve received throughout my campaign is keeping me going.

“(Daines’ endorsement) also serves as an indicator that not all perspectives are being represented by the current (city) administration.”

Daines endorsed Anderson and López in a Facebook post dated Oct. 4 and simultaneously invited city residents to a meet and greet event for those candidates Thursday at her home in the Cliffside neighborhood.

The mayor says that endorsing candidates is a time honored political tradition in elections ranging from national to local levels. She also points out that Garrity has garnered public support from state Rep. Dan Johnson (R-District 4), Cache County Executive David Zook and “other current and former elected officials.”

But Cache County clerk Jess Bradfield – a former member of the Logan City Council — explains that incumbent mayors had previously maintained neutrality in city council campaigns in order to avoid the possibility of strained relationships with successful challengers for at-large seats on the municipal panel.

Daines sees no ethical issues, however, with throwing her support to Amy Anderson and López.

“I have a mailer going out soon with an endorsement from Mark Anderson, the chair of the City Council,” she explains. “In my first run for mayor four years ago, I had endorsements from former Mayor Randy Watts and former council member Dean Quayle.

I have a good working relationship with all of the city council members and that will be important to getting things done if the voters choose me for a second term,” Daines admits. “That’s why I support Amy and Ernesto for reelection.”

Garrity acknowledges that he has a history of crossing swords with city officials and council members, most recently over the issue of district representation replacing at-large membership on the municipal panel.

“My intent has always been to promote a marketplace of ideas, encourage healthy debate and ensure that all voices are heard from across the city,” he explains. “I recognize that sharing these perspectives has sometimes resulted in disagreements.

“It would probably be easier to keep the peace – and maybe even earn myself an endorsement — by being agreeable. While that might be what’s best for my own self-interest, I don’t think it would be best for the long-term interests of the city or its residents.”

Amy Anderson was elected to the city council in 2017, emerging successfully from a crowded field of 10 candidates.

López joined the Logan City Council in October 2020, after being selected to serve out the unexpired term of former council member Bradfield.

Garrity is a community activist whose public service experience includes co-chairing the Woodruff council and representing that neighborhood on the city’s ad hoc Voter District Subcommittee.

Daines, who is now completing her first four-year term as mayor of Logan, is facing off against political newcomer Dee Jones in the November municipal election.

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10 Comments

  • Agnes October 7, 2021 at 7:35 am Reply

    All four men of same race, party and religion ….but Mr. Garrity touts his diversity. The other candidates better represent the differences in our community. Thank you Mayor Daines

    • Lou Ann Exum Sakaki October 7, 2021 at 4:27 pm Reply

      I can’t tell exactly which four men you mean, since Lopez is not white, and I don’t even know which religions they may espouse. But diversity also exists in ideas. I’m sure that’s the kind of diversity Garrity represents.

      • Herman October 7, 2021 at 6:50 pm Reply

        Look at the picture in the article.

    • Maryanna October 7, 2021 at 5:31 pm Reply

      Agnes, the problem I have is that the other candidates don’t seem to properly represent the voice of the public. I want a council member who isn’t afraid to have a different opinion and actually listens and acts on the voices of the public. Keegan is willing to put his money where his mouth is, quite literally. He won’t be taking a salary for the first 3 months in office, and then he’ll take a poll to see how he’s doing to decide if he’s earned his salary. Keegan knows his stuff and he’s already worked hard to improve Logan. I believe he would truly represent the voices of our community.

    • Maria October 7, 2021 at 6:40 pm Reply

      You don’t wear diversity. Mr. Garrity’s actions voice the concerns of the community and he makes sure that all voices are heard and represented. Let’s focus on helping our representatives instead of stereotyping; it’s not helpful for anyone or our community.

    • Herman October 7, 2021 at 6:48 pm Reply

      +1

  • Amy Z Anderson October 7, 2021 at 2:42 pm Reply

    Over the past four years, there have been many challenges and issues before Logan’s City Council. Different opinions voiced during our meetings from both the public and members of the Council are heard. Focusing on an agreed resolution – the fact that final decisions are reached via compromise and discussion – rather than acknowledging the process seems to lead candidate Garrity to state that there is not a marketplace of ideas or healthy debate. One only has to look at the recent discussions over Accessory Dwelling Units to recognize that Council members come from a variety of viewpoints, listen to community input and arrive at a decision that all can support. We went from multiple maps, some supported by one member and some by others, received emails and calls from citizens, heard public comments and arrived at a decision that was not originally on the table. That is a healthy debate. And it is not uncommon.

    Our current Council comes from Adams, Ellis, Hillcrest and the Island neighborhoods. It has two women, a small business owner, an architect, a non-profit employee, a retiree, the first Hispanic member, a USU employee, lifelong Logan resident, long term transplants, a renter, homeowners, a diversity of faiths – each of us brings our own unique background and each of us has proven an ability to connect with our community. We are all independent voices that strive to come to the decision that is the best for our community at large.

    Mayor Daines has chosen to endorse me based on our shared history over the past four years and, I would presume, on her perspective on my ability to capably fill the role of City Council member.

    • Jacob Anawalt October 8, 2021 at 8:47 am Reply

      With all due respect, not all share your perception of the ADU discussion. It seemed to me and others I’ve talked with to be an example of the point that Keegan is making.

      The understanding before the first September meeting was that there would be two public hearings on the topic. During the meeting one council member acknowledged, twice, that two public hearings were noted but they moved to table the matter and have the continued discussion not be a hearing The rest of the council unanimously passed the motion. There was no discussion on the value of having or not having it be a hearing, no differing opinions, no compromise other than perhaps the compromise of voting without first speaking against it due to some prearranged decision.

      In what felt like a conciliatory statement we were welcomed to send emails if we had further comment. Those emails, and prior meeting discussion both felt off the record and behind closed doors. There was no sense of what percent of people from what areas were for or against. Yes, another map was looked at and discussed, but ultimately it seemed like the original plan is what passed.

      The council may well be talking and compromising behind the scenes, and a full consensus vote has value, but the in-public discussions can come off as mostly lock-step agreement sprinkled with a few conciliatory statements instead of speaking for and defending the pro and con arguments of each neighborhood’s constituents. Sometimes it sounds like council members are speaking more for the city than for it’s citizens. (I don’t doubt city workers can point to cases where they feel the opposite is true.)

      The neighborhood councils are a good idea, as are assignments of council members to attend different ones, but the water isn’t getting to the end of the row. Part of that is on the citizens, but it could also be helped by more proactive council members who are assigned to, engage with, and speak for a given neighborhood instead of for agreement or for the city.

      I believe Keegan has a desire to do this and I agree with many of his campaign goals. I am of a different mind than him on some non-campaign issues, but I respect and appreciate his effort to seek to understand others viewpoints. I also appreciate his willingness to bring up issues that may go against the consensus.

  • Joseph Smith October 7, 2021 at 2:58 pm Reply

    Agnes, I understand your comment, and I cheer for minorities, be it race, gender, religion, etc. But we have a real problem right now in our country trying to toe the line between being inclusive versus choosing the best person for the job. By no means do I feel like a persons’ race, sexual orientation or gender should ever limit them from ANY opportunity. But shouldn’t we always be looking for the very most qualified person for a job with so much impact? I voted for Joe Biden and I’m extremely disappointed in the performance thus far, both from he and his cabinet. He has surrounded himself with people from almost every background, it’s like a happy Norman Rockwell painting. And at first glance, this makes me happy. BUT, were his picks to our ultimate detriment?

  • Rebecca Martinez October 7, 2021 at 9:33 pm Reply

    One of the reasons I am supporting Keegan is because of what he stands for – I do not discriminate candidates because of gender, ethnicity or religion. Keegan has a unique grasp on all issues and actively seeks out differing opinions to ensure that he is not missing any perspective or voice. He truly wants what is best for this community. He doesn’t let his ego get in the way of what is best.

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