'Bright future ahead' as Draper swears in elected officials
Feb 01, 2018 10:10AM ● Published by Travis Barton
Councilman Mike Green stands between Councilwoman Tasha Lowery and Mayor Troy Walker after all three were sworn in to their elected positions. (Maridene Alexander/Draper City)
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It was about a month after Tasha Lowery had filed her candidacy for city council when she received a phone call from her son’s preschool.
He had told various kids on the playground that his mom was “running for mayor in this town and they needed to give him $10. Bring it to school tomorrow.”
“We believe he has a bright future in either the mafia or New Jersey politics,” Lowery joked.
She was speaking to an overflowing city council chambers on Jan. 8 as she, Councilman Mike Green and Mayor Troy Walker were sworn into their elected positions. Friends, families and neighbors were in attendance to congratulate the new officials in addition to current Draper City councilmembers, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and Speaker of the House Greg Hughes.
Lowery and Green were the respective winners of the two at-large seats on the city council, beating out incumbent William Rappleye and Jeff Stenquist, who chose not to run.
For Green, it was during his drive to city hall for the inauguration that the significance started to sink in.
“I kinda felt that pressure that these people are relying on you,” he said.
Walker said the new council members will learn that the enjoyment is short lived.
“Our two new council members are going to learn quickly that that swearing in is fun, the swearing at will not stop. It’ll start up in about four hours,” he joked.
With a full house and parking stretched around the block, Walker noted the only time the chamber is that full is when they raise taxes.
Equating Draper City to a mantra his grandmother always told him, Walker spoke to those in attendance about being with “the right people, doing the right things in the right place at the right time.”
Draper is the right place, he said, with its diverse economy, while the right people are its residents and city staff.
“As elected officials, our job is to look to the future and be serious about it and be honest about it and be prudent about it and to have the courage to do things that we gotta do,” Walker said.
All three elected officials point out the unique nature of Draper with, as Lowery put, “some of the greatest natural beauty I’ve ever seen,” referring to the open space, trail systems, mountains and canyons.
She added how excited she is for the future of the city.
“We know we have a truly good thing going on here in our beautiful town,” Lowery said. “I am so honored to work and protect what we love so ferociously about our town while also working strategically and thoughtfully into our very bright future.”
Green, a veteran having served in Afghanistan, plans to bring a leadership philosophy with him he learned while serving in Special Forces: place mission first and people always.
He said the city’s mission is obvious — keep taxes low, maintain roads, police, fire, etc. — but the people means to surround yourself with the best humans possible.
“You find people that are willing to go the extra mile and do things they wouldn’t normally do and you treat those people well,” Green said. “My philosophy is to make sure you bring the right people. Draper’s got fabulous people.”
The newly elected councilman told a story from Christmas Eve when he witnessed the work of the city’s first responders as they attempted to resuscitate a man found in his car on the side of the road.
“While we’re all sleeping, getting ready for Santa to come, these guys were there and they were ready,” Green told the audience. “I’ve never been more proud … these are the people we need to keep.”
Green later told the Journal his first concern is getting an ambulance for the firefighters.
“We need to get them taken care of, that’s going to be a top priority. We want to make sure they get the right equipment,” he said.
Walker called for unity saying the challenges that come can be surmounted if the city does it together.
“We can face any problem we have if we’re willing to reach across the aisle and look at ways to solve problems that are not just ideological, but ways to make a difference in the human condition,” he said.