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Newton dumps trunk-or-treating; Halloween ghosts and goblins will beg door-to-door

October 2nd, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Kelly Greenwood

NEWTON — The Newton Town Council recently decided to “bring back Halloween” with traditional trick-or-treating—which means doing away with the trunk-or-treat event that has been held in the town in past years.

The council met Oct. 1 to discuss many agenda items, but the trunk-or-treat issue invited a lot of conversation. Town Treasurer Susan NewMyer-Jeppson brought up the issue, saying that the town’s two LDS wards, which had previously conducted the event, “want out this year.” She said that the wards are hoping the town will take it on. “I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s necessary,” she said.

Jason Goodsell, Newton Planning Committee member, agreed, saying he would like to “bring back Halloween.”

Mayor Clair Christiansen agreed and said that he had tried to abolish it in the past. He said he still supports doing away with the event. No one has ever really been in charge of trunk-or-treat except for a few mothers who like the event, Christiansen said. No one knows how it
gets planned, he said.

Amy Goodsell, Newton court clerk and mother, said that she doesn’t like the trunk-or-treat event. It’s not nearly as fun as regular trick-or-treating, she said.

“I would love to get rid of it,” NewMyer-Jeppson said.

NewMyer-Jeppson proposed putting an announcement in the town newsletter that says the trunk or treat won’t be happening this year and that the town instead supports traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating. Mayor Christiansen agreed and approved doing away
with trunk-or-treat this year.

The council addressed other town matters as well. A public hearing was held for the new 3-lot subdivision at 226 West and 200 South.

Newton Planning Committee Chairperson Helen Rigby and Ben Maughan presented the plans for the subdivision to the council, and they discussed drainage and spacing issues.

The mayor’s main concern, he said, is “doing the right thing about the water.”

Councilman Jed Woodward also voiced concerns about the water pipeline.

The mayor told Maughan that he would run the plans past Town Clerk Karla Ferguson and an attorney.

Rigby also proposed the idea of having a workshop for the planning committee to design more specific guidelines for animal ownership. The present rules are too vague, she said. Christiansen agreed, saying it would be a great idea.

Rigby agreed to work toward scheduling the workshops on the last Thursday of every month.

Rigby also proposed a request on behalf of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. She said the DUP wants to start collecting information on Newton’s historic homes. She said they decided an affordable way to do this would be to form a historical society. Rigby presented a proposal for a historical society to the council.

The mayor said the council will look into the proposal and will put it on the agenda for the next council meeting.

Town resident Zack Larsen presented plans he is currently developing for a town war memorial. He said he has been looking at pricing and wants to fund the memorial with private donations through a 501C plan. Larsen said he is still forming a fund-raising committee.

Larsen said he has been speaking with Devin Taylor, a representative from American Memorial, who accompanied Larsen to the meeting. Taylor presented examples of monuments to the council members and estimated that the memorial would cost about $6,000.

The mayor said that the council is still interested in the matter and told Larsen to keep him up-to-date on the progress of the project.

The council also addressed the town celebration, which was held July 24-25. The mayor thanked Mike and LeAnn Peterson, who headed up the celebration, for a “great celebration.”
Mike said they did a really good job with the health department and that it was a good idea to have the food catered.

It was a successful celebration, the mayor said. He also mentioned that he liked the band they hired and how they “worked the crowd.” “I got a kick out of them,” he said.

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