SNOWFLAKE — With Stuart Hensley’s resignation last month, the last order of business on the Feb. 21 agenda for the Snowflake-Taylor Town Council was to fill that vacant seat.
Mayor Lynn Johnson told the council there were no set procedures for the situation, and as was discussed, they had looked at citizens who had run for office and pondered the possibility of considering one of them.
“Hunter Lewis is a willing candidate to fill the position, and we asked, and he accepted,” Johnson said.
Invited to respond, Lewis said, “ I would accept and I appreciate the vote of confidence.”
Councilman Cory Johnson inquired as to whether or not there were others considered.
Mayor Johnson responded that there were two individuals who ran and their interest level was low to none.
“He does have a love for the town and wants to be involved in some of the things that some of us do not want to be involved in,” Vice Mayor Kelly Ballard said.
Ballard made a motion for Lewis to fill the remainder of Hensley’s term, Councilman Byron Lewis seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.
Hensley was elected in 2013 to a four-year term and re-elected last November to another four year term. Lewis will serve out the remainder of that term, which will end in 2020.
Lewis is a deputy county attorney with the Navajo County Attorney’s Office in Holbrook. He is a Snowflake native who, except for school and a mission, has spent his entire life in Snowflake. His great-grandfather is William Jordan Flake, one of the pioneers for whom the town of Snowflake is named. His grandfather is pictured in a painting that hangs above the council seats in the Snowflake Council Chambers where Lewis will be seated. The council building itself was once a schoolhouse built by another ancestor of Lewis’ — Allen Frost, whose portrait is currently located in the back of the council chambers.
During the mayoral campaign, Lewis told The Independent that it was his opinion that economic development was the biggest issue facing Snowflake.
“Looking at Snowflake, we have some really valuable assets — land, water, no natural disasters, excepts for flooding, maybe, but good assets,” he said. “We have utilities, a railroad. The biggest thing holding us back is our infrastructure. We need to have that in place to attract large corporations.”
Lewis is also a proponent of Snowflake and Taylor working together for the good of both towns, but each maintaining their unique identities.
“We cannot just sit idly by and have Snowflake a nice clean town. If you build it, they will come,” he said.
Lewis lost his bid for mayor against Lynn Johnson in the last election and now they will be working together.
Lewis will be sworn in at the March 21 council meeting. It is not the usual council meeting date, but rather a substitute date for the regular meeting because of spring break.