Courtesy of Utah National Guard
Maj. Brent Taylor

NORTH OGDEN — The North Ogden City Council interviewed five hopefuls and selected one to replace its fallen mayor on Tuesday evening.

During a solemn meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to select interim Mayor Brent Chugg, who was then sworn in.

Chugg will continue to serve in the position through 2019, after which the mayor's seat will be up for election for the final two years of Maj. Brent Taylor's term, which would have run through 2021.

During the meeting, the City Council asked Chugg and his opponents — Sean Casey, Julie Anderson, Steven Huntsman and Janis Christensen — how they would handle criticism, what their vision for development in the city is and other questions regarding city issues.

During his interview, Chugg told the city council and community members in the crowd that when Taylor asked him to fill in for him during his deployment, "I found out real quick how big (his) shoes are to fill, and (I'm) still trying to fill them."

Taylor was killed Nov. 3 in an insider attack at a training base in Kabul, Afghanistan. He had taken an unprecedented one-year leave of absence from his post as mayor for the deployment. Taylor left behind his wife, Jennie Taylor, and their seven children.

After Taylor was killed, Chugg said his family and friends encouraged him to continue filling the office. During the interview, he said he would like to continue leading the city in the direction that Taylor did.

"North Ogden has become a very progressive city under the direction of Mayor Taylor, and I've been really inspired by the things that he accomplished in that regard, getting new business located and so forth, and I recognize that we need to have additional business in North Ogden in order to help us with our tax base," Chugg said.

"So I would think that we need to work on getting new business and keep it confined to the areas at which we have commercial zoning," he said.

After Chugg was sworn in and took his seat on the stand along with members of the City Council, the meeting was opened to residents' comments.

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One resident asked the council and mayor to do what they can to limit growth in the area and keep it a "bedroom community."

Chugg responded, "Thank you for your comment. Somebody mentioned to me the other day about, 'We need to limit the growth here in North Ogden City.' And I looked at him and I says, 'How many generations of your family are here?' And he said, 'Four.'

"And I said, 'Our kids like to come back. So that's where the growth will occur,'" the interim mayor explained.