Murray begins 2020 with two new city councilors
Jan 21, 2020 10:56AM
● By Shaun Delliskave
Murray City’s new city council (l-r) Dale Cox, Rosalba Dominguez, Kat Martinez, Diane Turner, Brett Hales. (Photo courtesy Murray City)
Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
At the Jan. 7 Oath of Office ceremony, Murray City Council welcomed two new members who also represent many new firsts for Murray. The 2019 election brought in a wave of elected women throughout Utah, which seismically shifted the gender balance of not only Murray but Bountiful, South Salt Lake, Millcreek, and Sandy city councils.
“People move to Murray for our exceptional services, and they stay in Murray because of our exceptional community,” newly elected City Councilor Kat Martinez said after she took the oath of office. “A hundred years ago, women earned the right to vote across the United States, and now for the first time, I am so honored to be part of Murray’s first female majority on the city council.”
Martinez, a mother of three young children, will retain her position as a trainer for the State of Utah Health Department. She has given up her seat on the boards of Murray City Arts Advisory Board and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Martinez will be in the minority of the council of holding a full-time job, as Dale Cox, Diane Turner, and Brett Hales are all retirees.
The first Latino member of the city council, Rosalba Dominguez, said in her inaugural remarks, “I have always said that my parents and family were some of the first brown people in the state of Utah. In the ’80s, everyone knew everyone in the Mexican community; it was that small.” Local Latin-American folk guitarist Anastasio Castillo performed a musical number in Spanish during the oath of office ceremonies.
No less significant was the re-election of Brett Hales to the council for a third term. Hales becomes the longest-serving member of the council but is one of the longest-serving officials in the state who has multiple sclerosis (MS). Hales has made headlines for his support of medicinal marijuana and has openly discussed how the use of that drug has helped him control the effects of the neuromuscular disease.
“My wife, Cindy, is amazing. We have been married 37 years,” Hales said after he took his oath. “I was diagnosed with MS in 2005 and spent some time in a wheelchair and on a feeding tube. We didn’t know if this was even possible, and Cindy said that we can do this, and she was my legs for a lot of a part of it. She ran all of the flyers… I want to show my appreciation to Cindy because she has been by my side the entire time, and I am so grateful to her.”
Hales conducted the city council meeting later that same evening. Knowing that there were new city council members, Hales took the opportunity during the meeting to explain in more detail the topics on the city council agenda. While the meeting ran longer than the typical city council meeting, Hales allowed city administrators to clarify in-depth items such as zoning designations.
As is customary with the start of a new calendar year, the council voted on leadership assignments, with Dale Cox being voted as council chair and Dominguez as vice-chair. Diane Turner was elected as budget chair with Martinez as vice-chair.
The council also voted and unanimously approved the mayor’s appointments to boards of interlocal entities. Appointed to represent Murray, were Mayor Blair Camp to Central Valley Water Reclamation Facility, Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, and Jordan River Commission; Murray Power Director Blaine Haacke to the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems and Intermountain Power Agency Board; Finance Director Brenda Moore to the Utah Infrastructure Board; Chief Administrative Officer Doug Hill to Metro Fire Agency Board; City Recorder Jennifer Kennedy to the Community Action Board; Development Services Manager Jim McNulty to NeighborWorks Salt Lake Board, and City Councilor Diane Turner to the Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District Board.