Four councilmembers sworn in for Sandy CityFeb 09, 2024 02:39PM ● By Travis Barton
Four of Sandy’s councilmembers were sworn into office in January having won their elections last November. (File photo Sandy City)
Four councilmembers took their oaths of office in January having won their respective elections in November.
“It’s very humbling to win an election,” Councilmember Cyndi Sharkey said.
Sharkey spoke after being sworn in as she retained her seat as an at-large councilmember while Aaron Dekeyzer took the other at-large seat alongside Sharkey and Councilmember at-large Brooke D’Sousa who was elected in 2021.
Alison Stroud enters her second term representing District 2, running unopposed in the November election.
“I’m excited to see what the future will bring,” Stroud said.
District 4 saw another change to the position as Marci Houseman, who previously served as an at-large councilmember, takes over. She defeated Scott Earl 51-49 winning by 124 votes. Earl previously served in the position since January 2022, appointed by the council after Mayor Monica Zoltanski vacated the seat when she won the mayoral position. Houseman will be district’s third different councilmember since 2021.
After all four were sworn in, each councilmember spoke to those in attendance in the following order.
Sharkey, a former member of the planning commission and corporate executive, joked she weighed using her acceptance speech from four years ago thinking no one would remember it. But in rereading that speech, it reminded her she is the same person with the same principles as when she started.
“My aspirations for this city, the challenges that we face, the need to work together to achieve best outcomes for Sandy” are the same as four years ago, she said.
Hitting the campaign trail for the second time, meant she knocked some of the same doors she did in 2019. But this time around, she came across several who had passed away in the intervening years. She said the experience reminded her “these people were people first.”
“Friends, neighbors, loved ones,” Sharkey said. “We serve people in Sandy that depend on us. We must serve them to the best of our ability and with the greatest consideration possible because they are also friends, neighbors and loved ones.”
While it humbles her to be elected, she said it surprises her too.
“It means that thousands of people put their trust in you and that’s both a responsibility and a clear road map moving forward.”
Stroud, a former small business owner and teacher in the Canyons School District, said people often asked her why she runs for elected office.
She answered the question during her speech by referencing several pieces from Sandy history stored underneath her stairs. Newspaper articles about the Cairns development or a performing arts center. Signposts of the city’s growth through the years.
“Even as a teen and my early 20’s, I valued my city,” she recalled.
Stroud was born and raised in Sandy, continues to call it home.
“Sandy is an amazing place to be,” she said.
Stroud thanked her family, residents, businesses, city staff and councilmembers past, present and future.
Dekeyzer, a Hillcrest High grad who holds a master’s in psychology, is in his first term as an at-large councilmember.
“It is with a deep sense of purpose and clear vision that I step into this role,” Dekeyzer said, noting his experience working with numerous nonprofits, various campaigns and even running for county council.
From public safety to his opposition to the gondola used much of his speech touching on the future and his priorities as he represents the city. Public safety, he said, extended to road redesign, lower speed limits, crosswalks, safe walking routes, street signage and technology.
“By adopting this multidisciplinary approach, we will ensure that Sandy embraces the safest, healthiest, and most equitable transportation planning framework to date,” he said.
Describing Little Cottonwood Canyon as the city’s “most treasured natural resource,” he promised to do “everything in my power to protect” it.
He identified transparency, accountability and inclusivity as the cornerstones of his tenure, indicating his plan to be accessible to everyone and pledging to serve the community “without bias toward political affiliation or background and is a commitment I take seriously.
“I am filled with optimism for Sandy’s future.”
Houseman, with her extensive background in education as both a teacher and a principal, enters her first term representing District 4 having previously served as an at-large councilmember.
Growing up in a family that moved a lot due to her father’s career in the army, Houseman thanked the women of her “Oklahoma heritage”—her mom, grandma and great grandma.
“I inherited grit and grace from those incredible women,” she said, adding they will be guiding lights, along with Abraham Lincoln, in her leadership role.
Besides thanking family, donors, friends, colleagues, she zeroed in on unity as she prepared her speech.
“On top of gratitude, I want to express an invitation to build even greater unity in the four years ahead,” she said.
She referenced the book, and recently released movie about the U.S. crew team who won gold in 1936, “Boys in the Boat” as a metaphor for what she hopes the city’s unity will be with residents representing the boat and elected officials the rowers.
Unity isn’t about “looking the same, sounding the same, voting the same. It is about the swing and the harmony that exists despite any differences,” she said, highlighting that everyone must row in the same direction and each has a role to play.
She said each elected official was chosen by the people of Sandy to work together and learn from each other, to lean into their strengths and weaknesses and find the “swing.”
“That is harmony, that is how you move the boat and that is what our residents deserve.” λ