wins county attorney nod, 4-3
February 11, 2009 | LOGAN -- "Experience" was the buzzword
of the night at the Cache County Council's regular meeting
Tuesday, where James Swink won the council's appointment
as county attorney by a vote of 4-3.
Swink's opponent, attorney Joe Chambers, touted in
a five-minute speech nearly 30 years of experience in
civil and criminal proceedings as his top qualification
for the job.
"Anyone who says experience does not matter or count
is just not being realistic," Chambers said. "Simply
stated, there is an 18-year experience difference between
In his own speech, Swink rebutted the implication
that he was less experienced by quoting something his
father told him as a teenager.
"He always said it's not how old the vehicle is, it's
the number of miles on the chassis," Swink said. "In
response to my experience, I've not had the number of
years of experience, but what I do have is a lot more
miles on the chassis, and the experience that counts."
After listening to the prepared speeches, the council
had a 20-minute question and answer period with the
candidates before voting unanimously to enter executive
During the question period, Chambers told the council
his administration would advise on legal issues, but
not interject opinion into matters of public policy.
Both men expressed similar feelings regarding plea
bargaining, saying there is simply not enough money
in the budget to take every charge to trial.
When asked if they would pursue the office again in
2010 when the current term expires, each candidate indicated
After emerging from a 40-minute executive session,
members of the council took a few moments to share their
feelings with the crowd regarding the upcoming vote.
Councilman Cory Yeates expressed dissatisfaction with
the process whereby the Republican Central Committee
voted to recommend Chambers last week.
"The charge of the party is not to recommend a particular
candidate," Yeates said. "They are to forward three
names on to the legislative body for consideration,
and then from those three an appointee would be chosen."
Councilman Gordon Zilles disagreed with Yeates on
the matter, saying he was happy to see the delegates
be able to express their opinion and have their voice
heard by voting on the matter.
"I don't care if you endorse anyone, but it's obvious
you can see how the vote went," Zilles said. "Then it
comes to the county council to do what we're supposed
to do and vote on the county attorney."
Councilman Jon White was the first to speak in favor
of a specific candidate, putting a plug in for Chambers'
Zilles spoke again, this time to endorse Chambers.
He told the council that with the resignation of George
Daines, the county attorney's office lacks experience
in civil law, a gap which would best be filled by Chambers.
Councilwoman Kathy Robison endorsed Swink for his
quality record of interaction with other government
agencies. She added that she had no problem with Swink's
"supposed lack of experience."
Councilman Brian Chambers went on record to say he
was pleased with the amount of public dialogue the contest
Council Chairman H. Craig Petersen said he was swayed
by the outstanding support from Swink's peers.
Councilman Craig "W" Buttars told the council he had
arrived at the meeting not knowing for whom he would
vote, but after hearing the dialogue with the candidates
he decided to vote for Chambers.
After discussion was ended, Councilman Chambers made
a motion to have Swink continue acting as county attorney.
Petersen, Robison, Yeates and Chambers voted yea, while
Zilles, White and Buttars voted nay.