The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board offered endorsements on two non-incumbent contenders for Salt Lake City Council Districts—District 2 and District 6 – in the Sunday, October 23 edition.
First, the Board endorsed Charlie Luke over incumbent JT Martin for the District 6 Council seat. District Six encompasses a portion of Sugar House as well as several areas to the north (see map), including the embattled Yalecrest area, whose residents have drawn sides, one favoring severe restrictions on structural changes to existing houses and the other favoring a more laissez-faire approach. The Board cites JT Martin’s much publicized ‘volatility,’ a trait well known to District 6 constituents, particularly in the Yalecrest dispute, as its major reason for not supporting Martin, while praising Luke, and rightfully so, for his many accomplishments and qualifications.
Initially the board does much the same to justify its endorsement of Kyle LaMalfa, avowing his many endeavors throughout the community, especially his role in founding the People’s Market, noting the statement posted on its home page: ‘We support farmers and gardeners, community diversity and entrepreneurship in Utah.’ The Board goes on to opine the latter as ‘an apt summation of LaMalfa’s platform . . . and part of the reason we endorse him for City Council,’ but also asserts ‘District 2 is ready for a younger, more energetic leader, more accessible . . .’
Not only does the term ‘younger’ smack of age discrimination, but ‘less energetic’ fails to recognize Turner as a ‘hands on’ small business owner, on-site at his businesses every day and interacting with the surrounding community, always willing to provide advice to others seeking to start their own businesses.
Turner, who states he hasn’t and probably won’t read the article, is not worried, revealing he has been before the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board four times now, but has received only one Board endorsement while continuing to be re-elected to represent District 2. Turner is, however, endorsed by Mayor Ralph Becker and values that endorsement more.
The Tribune Editorial Board also errors in its assessment of Turner’s accessibility, citing lack of a website, email, cell phone, and social media options, derisively noting a landline as Turner’s only means of communication. Over and above Turner’s ‘hands-on accessibility via his businesses’ as noted above, Turner has email access through Salt Lake City – [email protected] as well as a Salt Lake City District 2 website.
Turner also maintains that both his personal email and phone numbers (including cell) are included on his campaign brochure recently distributed throughout District 2.
Turner good-naturedly shrugs off the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board statements, and remains optimistic about the November election, noting his decade-long City Council tenure and his victories in the previous three elections, despite the Trib Board’s failure to endorse his candidacy in most.