On election night in November, disgruntled voters in Central flocked to the polls on a mission to clean house, and that’s precisely what they did.
The small but vocal electorate delivered a massive shakeup to city government, ousting the current mayor, police chief and four council members running for re-election. Remarkably, most of the prevailing candidates were relative newcomers to public office, winning by wide margins in some cases.
As Business Report details in a recent feature, what makes the political upheaval all the more interesting is where it happened. By most accounts, Central has set the standard for what a successful incorporation effort looks like. In the 13 years since its inception, the city has boasted a multimillion-dollar budget surplus and one of the top school districts in the state, attracting families and new development to the area.
So how does a city like Central wind up with a near rebellion on its hands? And what might that mean for other incorporation efforts, like St. George, that have often looked to the young city as a model to emulate?
In short, the trouble in Central stemmed from tensions over the pace of growth in the city, leading to a discord between residents who don’t want to see Central change and those, like the former leadership, who wanted to move the city forward. As a result, divisions and discontent festered, coming to a head on election night.
Local leaders, both old and new, point to a few key issues that pushed residents to the tipping point. Read the full story about what pushed Central to the shakeup, and catch Business Report’s latest cover package about St. George.