A Logan woman has lodged a formal protest against the secret-ballot election of Dennis Funk to replace Jay Monson as chairman of the Cache County Council.
"The public is entitled to know who each council member votes for, just like we are allowed to know how they vote on other issues," Carol Clay, a former member of the Logan Municipal Council, said Wednesday.Monson, who has served as chairman since the new council-executive form of government was implemented two years ago, brought ballots with him to the Tuesday night meeting, saying he believes a secret ballot is "a more democratic process."
"On too many boards one person gets nominated and then no one wants to hurt that person's feelings by nominating someone else. And I think everyone should have the opportunity of serving in these positions," Monson said.
Excluding himself, Monson asked each council member to write down a preferred choice for chairman. That vote brought a tie between Funk and Ann Skanchy, who has served as vice chair for the past few years.
Funk emerged the winner in a second vote, but it was not announced how many votes each of the candidates received. In yet another vote, Randy Weston was elected vice chairman.
Clay said she does not believe a person serving on a city or county council has the luxury of a secret vote. She also questioned the legality of Monson's turning the gavel over to County Executive Bruce King to conduct the election.
"As executive, he is not a member of the council and it does not bode well for the new form of government which was approved by voters mainly because of its separation of powers. If that procedure were a proper one, we would have seen the Legislature hand the gavel over to the governor at times or Congress turn it over to the president, " she said.
Deputy Cache County Attorney Gary McKean said he plans to research not only the legality of the secret vote, but also the legality of King's conducting the election.
He said if there are problems, another vote will be taken at the next meeting.