With a new county clerk now in office, things should be back to normal in Davis County, but now the county needs a new commissioner.
Commissioner Glen E. Saunders resigned Wednesday to accept appointment to the clerk's office, leaving his former post vacant.Commission Chairman Harold J. Tippetts said he hopes to see a new commissioner installed by July 21.
"We'll send a letter today (Wednesday) along with a phone call to the Republican Party chairman to get things moving immediately," Tippetts said. "We don't want another delay like this one (to fill the clerk's post)."
Under state law, the party to which the resigning officer belongs, in this case the Republicans, is required to call a convention of the county central committee and to select three names for submission to the County Commission to be considered for appointment. Filling of the clerk's post was delayed because party officials did not have the central committee certify the three names originally submitted because only three people applied. When the committee finally met last week, two of the three applicants were certified, but a different person was selected for the final spot on the list.
In the interim, Tippetts and Commissioner William Peters will be a bit busier as they take on some of the Saunder's former responsibilities. Saunders' resignation will also affect other areas of government because he was a voting member of the county Library Board, the county Council of Governments, the Wasatch Front Regional Council's transportation committee and was secretary-treasurer for the Davis County Solid Waste Management and Energy Recovery Special Service District board.
Tippetts said he will meet with Peters over the next few days to make temporary assignments until the new commissioner is selected.
The leading candidate for the commission will likely be Gayle A. Stevenson, the Republican nominee for the four-year post on this fall's ballot. Stevenson said he will apply for the appointment because he is the party's choice to fill the post by election.
"I really hadn't planned to end my retirement this soon," Stevenson joked.
Stevenson retired in January as associate superintendent for the Davis Schoool District. Stevenson filed for the four-year post against Saunders, who subsequently withdrew from the commission race and filed for the clerk's post following the resignation of Michael Allphin, who took a post with the state court system. During the county convention in May, Stevenson won the nomination outright with 81 percent of the delegate vote, ousting challenger Merle Hildreth.
Tippetts said some of Saunders' former duties might follow him to the clerk's post. He said that since some of the responsibilities were administrative, Saunders may well be the best-qualified official to continue those responsibilities. The clerk will become an administrative assistant to the commissioners because responsibilities for the district court are being shifted to the state beginning Jan. 1.
Saunders wasted little time settling into his new role, removing the sign from his commission office door immediately following Wednesday's commission meeting and meeting informally with members of the clerk's office staff later that morning.