Sara Fawson values community participation in community decisions.
Fawson said she saw the effects of community participation when a new public works facility in North Ogden was initially going to be funded with a $10 million bond. She said the council at the time gave them different plans but “all three plans involved a lot of debt that the people of North Ogden would have to pay in the future.” She said a petition went around and eventually the city changed the plan. “They built it for about $2 million and paid cash as they went.” She said it ended up being a better outcome because we had a discussion, even though there was a lot of disagreement. She said the initiation of any city-funded project should be heavily weighed with input from the community.
Her path to the City council
I decided to run for city council because a fellow North Ogden resident encouraged me. Fawson said she hopes more good people will be willing to participate and show up. “I can’t really say that and then not show up when I have the opportunity.”
Fawson is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Nurse Midwife and she has opened her own clinic locally. She does primary care for women and prenatal care. “I have a perspective of a small business owner that I bring with me to the city council.” She said there are many regulations and challenges for businesses and the city can help the community by being business friendly. “Businesses contribute a ton to communities. They provide services we need and generate tax revenue.”
Fawson moved to North Ogden in 2002 to be closer to family when her husband was deployed. At that time, she had two young boys at home and made the decision to go back to school to become a Registered Nurse. She has since received a doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Utah. She now lives in North Ogden with her husband and four children.
Blake Cevering maintains his interest in community development
“At one time I was interested in going into City Management,” said Blake Cevering, one of the newly elected city council members. “I always thought it would be cool to be involved in development and commercial development.” Cevering graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from BYU. He said he envisioned being involved in City Management and administration where he could influence policy and procedure. After graduation, he channeled his interest in development to real estate. He currently works with Besst Realty Group in North Ogden where he has worked for three years.
His path to the City Council
Cevering said he became involved with the city committees partially because of his involvement on the Mayor’s facebook page. “I commented on a facebook picture… I was impressed with how the Mayor was handling the beautification of the city.” He said the mayor reached out to him after he saw Cevering’s comment and asked him if he wanted to be a part of the Economic Development Committee. That led to an appointment on the planning commission. He said this helped him become familiar with city ordinances, codes, and protocol. He was trained on subdivision codes and development which gave him a good foundation to where he felt comfortable running for city council.
“I am committed to government transparency, fiscal responsibility, honesty and public safety.” Cevering said he wants to be transparent with citizens to help them understand the challenges the city faces. Cevering has an idea of predetermining what types of businesses are wanted in North Ogden and soliciting them to come to the city. “Our population can only sustain a limited amount of commercial establishments. We need the right businesses in North Ogden.”
Blake Cevering has ancestors who have been a part of North Ogden from its early years. He said in 1851 his ancestors William Bailey and Sarah Lake settled in North Ogden after they crossed the plains as pioneers. Born and raised in North Ogden, Cevering lives with his wife Melanie and their four children. He said he values the aquatic center, parks, and events available in North Ogden that help build family and community relationships. “If families are strong, our communities will be strong.”