City Council or Writing?

I wanted to write this post last night, but it was already late, and post-midnight musings can sometimes spell trouble.

I’d been thinking about running for re-election for several months now, clear back in December. I was looking ahead in my publishing schedule but wasn’t entirely sure yet if I was going to run for re-election. Just in case though, I kept my publishing calendar fairly open from June on, when I knew I would have to hit the campaign trail again.

Well, here we are in June, and I did it. I went to City Hall yesterday and filed my candidacy.

It must be filing week for many around my state because I saw posts from friends announcing similar things. I also read one from a friend who’d ran and won the same time as I did in 2015, announcing she wasn’t running to make more time for work and family.

I would be lying if I said that my throat didn’t constrict with longing to have such freedom. To step off the public life of a government official and just focus on work and family.

And then I think of this.

In 2015, I vacillated between wide-eyed idealism (Let’s fix all the things!) and newbie terror that has mellowed somewhat with experience. Serving on City Council has been some of the most educational and growth-inducing years of my life, apart from college and motherhood.

City Council is my passion. I’m an all-in kind of person. Even vacationing, I think of how Grantsville could learn from other communities.

For example, as I traveled through Korea these past two weeks with my family to visit places my husband and son had served missions in, I’ve marveled at how a city of millions like Seoul could have possibly planned high-rise apartments and corporate buildings amidst crumbling neighborhoods that are being systematically overhauled.

I’ve already thought how nice it would be to have gardens in pockets of Grantsville, with pagodas where people could take off their shoes and nap, read, or visit with friends. In Seoul, there are sturdy umbrella shades for people waiting at crosswalks. Really. Their culture seems to put a lot of thought into making people comfortable.

A pagoda at the Bamboo Garden Forest

Anyway, whether or not those kinds of amenities translate into Grantsville is beside the point. I just mean that I am always curious to see how other cities do things.

Serving on City Council is certainly not a cakewalk. Maybe for some people. But for me, it’s constantly getting out of my comfort zone to question, learn, compromise, and make decisions that affect generations for years to come. I’ve also had to learn to not take criticism personally.

That’s why several times as I’ve thought about running again, I considered giving myself an out due to my publishing business.

I publish a novel a month—that includes writing, editing, revising and marketing in roughly three and a half weeks. I have maybe four days of downtime, when I am waiting for my newest book to go from pre-order to live on Amazon.

If I were to walk away from City Council to make more time for my writing, I don’t think anyone would fault me for it. If I had to choose between one or the other, writing would always win. Not writing to me would be like cutting off a limb.

I also have thought, you know what, someone else can step up. New blood is good for organizations. I am not indispensable.

Plus, I made campaign promises (general plan revamp, historic preservation commission, citizen engagement) and I have fulfilled them. Why not end on a good note?

Thing is, I have more work to do, if my constituents would allow me four more years.

For example, we are finishing up the general plan revamp, which is just the starting point on strategizing smart growth for Grantsville. I would love to see a Water Task Force look into our future water needs and resources. It would be nice to study how other communities acquire and maintain open space (Park City), revitalize their Main Street (Provo Center Street) and segue from an agricultural town to a more urban place (Heber). Another term, God willing, would give me the chance to roll up my sleeves and work on these and whatever else voters are interested in.

So…here I am, throwing my hat in the ring. I couldn’t do it without my supportive spouse, kids and my Heavenly Father. And those of you whose kind words, brilliant ideas and energy keep me going.

Thanks for going on this journey with me once again. It’s gonna be epic.