Say goodbye to ‘I voted’ stickers for the Monticello municipal elections.
Ballots will be distributed by mail for the 2013 municipal election after a May 28 decision by the Monticello City Council.
When the concept of vote by mail was first presented, the council was skeptical of the possible cost. Before long, however, they were optimistic that there will be more voter participation.
Ballots will not be available on Election Day but will be mailed to all registered voters several days before the election. Voters can mail the ballot or turn it in at the city office.
“Pretty soon you’ll need your iPad,” said Monticello Mayor Doug Allen.
City Recorder Cindi Holyoak said the cost of mailing a printed ballot is approximately $2 each. With 1,100 registered voters, Holyoak said the $2,200 cost to mail ballots is similar to the cost of opening the polls on election day when you consider the cost of training, feeding and paying the election judges.
The hope is that the convenience of mailing in ballots will significantly increase voter participation. If the mailed-ballot experience in county elections is any indication, voter participation will increase.
Utah law has allowed counties to have mailed-ballot voting in some precincts, and it is used in approximately half of the 21 precincts in San Juan County. County Clerk Norman Johnson says it has been a success.
A new Utah law allows municipalities to adopt voting by mail and Monticello is one of the first to adopt the standard.
The Mayor position and two council positions will be on the ballot in November. The sign up period for candidates opens this week and will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 7.
Positions are currently held by Mayor Allan, Councilman Craig Leavitt and Councilman Brad Randall are up for reelection.
In other business, City Councilmen Scott Frost told the council that he is staying at a home site outside of city limits during the summer. His primary residence continues to be in city limits.
Frost owns property outside of city limits but within the city expansion zone. He said he may build a home in the coming years. Holyoak reassured the council that Frost’s residence is still in city limits.
Paul Krauth, of the Utah Division of Water Quality, addressed the council on the requirements for safe sewer discharge.
Krauth said that high levels of nitrogen phosphorous in a reservoir discharge in the Uintah Mountains killed eight cows. “If it can kill a cow, you can imagine what it can do to us,” said Krauth.
The City of Monticello has an efficient lagoon system that rarely discharges. Krauth pointed out that lagoons are slowly fading away and mechanical plants are becoming more efficient to meet discharge expectations.
Summer time is finally here and the city recreation softball season is ready to start. The council encourages players to be aware of power usage when using the field lights to practice. The council mentioned eventually implementing a small fee for use each time the lights are used.