(KCPW News) Salt Lake City’s new council chair, Soren Simonsen, says he’ll be guiding the city council this year with a new focus. Simonsen, who was first elected in 2005 and is taking on the position for the first time, says he plans to give much greater autonomy to council members.
“In the past,” he says, “the policy of the council has been that they work on priorities as a group, often to the exclusion of individual priorities, and I know that there are council members that have individual ideas and interests and things that they want to focus on. I would really like to see that come much more into the forefront.”
Earlier this week, the council elected Simonsen as chair in a 4-to-3 split vote.
The councilman, who notes the council has been divided before, wasn’t surprised.
“As I was contacted by new council members and old council members who really wanted to see me take this idea of greater autonomy and individual council initiatives,” he says, “I think that was really intriguing to some council members and they really encouraged me.”
The council picked newly elected Charlie Luke as the new vice-chair in Tuesday’s vote.
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Thanks for covering this story, Whittney. I’ll keep you posted on upcoming legislative activities. – Soren.