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Salt Lake City Councilman James Rogers resigns after serving for 8 years

Salt Lake City councilman James Rogers speaks during a press conference on Dec. 13, 2016. Rogers has served on the council since 2013 but will resign from council duties on Monday, the city announced.

Salt Lake City councilman James Rogers speaks during a press conference on Dec. 13, 2016. Rogers has served on the council since 2013 but will resign from council duties on Monday, the city announced. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Councilman James Rogers will resign from the council to focus on his family, the council announced Friday.

Rogers, who represents District 1 on the city's northwest side, was not seeking reelection this fall. He will resign effective Monday, according to a news release.

"Last year, I made the decision not to run for a third term, but it was always my intention to complete my final term," Rogers said in the release. "However, life circumstances have changed, and it has become necessary for me to shift my focus and give my undivided attention to the people that matter the most to me, my children."

Rogers, who is a businessman and native of the Rose Park neighborhood, was first elected in 2013 and was reelected in 2017. He had been serving as the vice chair of the council, having been chosen earlier this year by other council members to serve in the role. He was also the vice chair of the council in 2015 and 2019, and was the chair of the council in 2016.

Rogers was also involved with the Utah Inland Port Authority board, where he served as the chairman from 2019-2020. He was involved with the city's efforts to combat homelessness, helping former Mayor Jackie Biskupski announce the location of four new homeless resource centers in 2016 in a process that would become highly controversial.

Recently, Rogers was the lone council member to vote against extending Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall's emergency proclamation requiring masks in K-12 schools. He also cast the only vote earlier this year against moving to a ranked-choice voting system for municipal elections in Salt Lake City, saying he believed the system would be too confusing for voters.

"I want to thank my fellow City Council colleagues who serve this great city faithfully and diligently. I would also like to thank the City Council staff who truly make this city run like clockwork, as well as give a special thank you to Mayor Erin Mendenhall and her administration," Rogers said in the release.

Current council chairwoman Amy Fowler said Rogers will be missed on the council.

"(Rogers) has single-handedly fought for the rights, protection, and preservation of his neighborhood and community," she said. "He is the most thoughtful, caring, and compassionate person I know. And one of my best friends."

Rogers thanked the members of his district for the opportunity to represent them on the council.

"For the past eight years, it has been both an honor and a privilege to represent the residents of District 1. I am sincerely grateful for the trust and confidence they placed in me to represent them on this council," he said.

There are three months left in Rogers's term, and city council members will choose a replacement for his seat in November. The replacement process will overlap with the election for District 1, which is set for Nov. 2. The council will interview applicants during a public meeting and then select one by majority vote.

Applications for the seat will be accepted from Oct. 11 to Oct. 29. Applicants must be registered to vote and must have lived in District 1 for at least 12 consecutive months before the date of the appointment. More information on how to apply for the council seat is available at slc.gov/attorney/recorder/elections.

Currently, there are three declared candidates for the Nov. 2 council election for District 1, according to the Salt Lake City attorney's office. They include Blake Perez, Victoria Petro-Eschler and Richard D.M. Barnes.

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