BOUNTIFUL — Three-term mayor Joe Johnson is stepping down at the end of this year, leaving his seat up for election in November.
Plans were to have a new city hall building under construction by now, but a vote to table the project means the issue is likely to be decided just in time for the new leader to take office.
For mayoral candidate Randy Lewis, that’s just what should happen.
“I purposefully feel this is the responsibility of the mayor and council to settle the matter,” he said in a phone interview.
Lewis missed the meeting where that vote was taken due to being on a business trip in Alaska, he said, but added that he didn’t skip it for lack of interest.
He hedged on the question of which plan is best for the city hall.
“I certainly don’t have as much information as those council people, but I really don’t think it’s wrong to ever get more input,” he said. “I believe in wise spending.”
Lewis, like city council candidate John Pitt, said that if elected he would carry on with whatever direction the sitting council chooses.
Beth Holbrook, the city councilwoman opposing Lewis in the mayoral race, also hopes the issue will be settled soon. She voted against the vote to table the issue and afterward, was disappointed it passed. She believes the cost to repair and renovate the existing city hall is great enough that in the long run, the city will save money be building new.
Although it never held a public hearing, the city has held dozens of meetings about the project and has considered everything from fluorescent lighting to single-pane windows and structural stability.
“Ultimately, I am disappointed because I think we have done a thorough analysis,” she said.
City Manager Gary Hill said the next likely step is a study session by city councilmembers.