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Granite Shoals has two new councilors

Frank Reilly, Michael Pfister, Brian Edwards

Granite Shoals Municipal Judge Frank Reilly swears in Michael Pfister (left) and Brian Edwards to the City Council. Pfister and Edwards were appointed to places 1 and 2, respectively, during the Oct. 24 meeting. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Granite Shoals City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 24, appointed two new councilors to fill the Place 1 and Place 2 seats left open after recent resignations. Members also selected Place 4 Councilor Steve Hougen as the new mayor pro-tem.

The sitting council picked Michael Pfister (Place 1) and Brian Edwards (Place 2) following public interviews of six Granite Shoals residents who applied for the two seats. 

The appointments came after Mayor Kiel Arnone and Place 2 Councilor Kevin Flack both resigned on Oct. 10 after disagreeing with the council’s decision not to fire City Manager Peggy Smith for alleged mismanagement of city finances. 

After Pfister and Edwards were sworn in, the council unanimously voted to appoint Hougen as mayor pro-tem, making him next in line if the current mayor, Ron Munos, were to leave his seat prematurely. Munos was mayor pro-tem when Arnone resigned. 

Pfister and Edwards will hold their seats until the May 5 election, when they could choose to run to continue serving on the council. Pfister would be vying for a two-year term at Place 1 in May if he ran. Edwards would finish out the remaining year on the current Place 2 term if he ran and won. Flack was one year into his term when he resigned. 

The other four applicants for the appointments were Roman Archer, Lawrence Crochet, Scott Morgan, and Nicole Renteria. Each was given three minutes to introduce themselves and then each asked the same set of questions by the council during open interviews in Council Chambers. Applicants stayed in a separate room until interviewed to keep the process fair.

Questions asked were:

  • Why do you want to serve on council?
  • Do you understand the time commitment required to serve on council?
  • What do you think is the biggest need of the city?
  • What is your understanding of the role of a councilor in the economic development of the city?
  • Do you have a personal agenda?
  • Do you hold any animosity toward any current members of the council or city administration?
  • What do you perceive as the highest priorities in the city? 
  • What do you think are the highest priorities of residents in Granite Shoals?

After interviewing all six applicants, the council anonymously ranked each on a scale of 1-6, with one being the highest and six being the lowest. City Secretary Dawn Wright and City Attorney Joshua Katz then tallied the rankings, and the two candidates with the collectively lowest numbers were selected.

Edwards served on the Granite Shoals Ethics Review Commission but had to relinquish his position with his appointment. He is married to former Councilor Libby Edwards

“We’ve got wonderful natural assets, we’ve got a great community, I think we have great infrastructure, and I want to be a part of that,” he said in his introduction.

Pfister cited his experience in the business world as a benefit to the city.

“I think the compelling part of my interest in this has to do with the city being more interested in assistance from the council in running the city as a business,” he said in his introduction. “I would take incredible joy in working with the citizens of this community as well as the city’s service organizations.”