Provo council honors Stephen Hales

Provo City Councilman Stephen Hales passed away on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy stephenhales.org)

Provo City Councilman Stephen Hales passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 21. (Photo courtesy stephenhales.org)

At the first meeting since his death, the Provo Municipal Council spent some time on Tuesday to honor Councilman Stephen Hales. Hales, 55, died Jan. 21.

“We’re a better council, a better community, a better people because of Stephen and his influence,” said Councilwoman Kim Santiago.

Hales, who had cancer, last attended a city council meeting on Jan. 6 — the meeting in which the council approved the new city flag. Hales served on a three-person committee that recommended the new design. He’d also designed the city’s previous flag.

Councilman Gary Garrett said Hales was excused from the Jan. 20 meeting, but the council knew he wanted to be there. And later they found out he even tried to go.

“The loss of Stephen is a great loss to our community,” Garrett said. … “His influence will continue to have a great impact on Provo’s direction and bright future.”

Santiago said there are several words to describe Hales — kind, thoughtful, gracious, sincere, soft-spoken. He was “filled with integrity” and “inspired trust immediately.”

Though Hales had only served a year on the council, he’d been a community leader for many years. He spent 16 years on the Provo Landmarks Commission, was on the board of directors for America’s Freedom Festival at Provo for more than 20 years, according to his website, stephenhales.org. He also was the vice president of the Utah National Parks Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

He owned the advertising agency Stephen Hales Creative since 1997 and has been a part-time faculty member at Brigham Young University since 1987. He recently became head of the graphic design department at Utah Valley University.

Garrett said that even though Hales had many other obligations, he always had time to meet with other council members or give support. “He was an advocate for all, including the underserved.”

After a moment of silence for Hales, the council gave his family a city flag and posed for a picture with them and the mayor.

Hales is survived by his wife Calli and six children. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, who died of brain cancer in 2012.

The council is now taking applications for Hales’s replacement on the council. The person will be appointed by the council to serve through Jan. 4, 2016. The seat will be on the ballot in November, for the remaining two years of Hales’s term.

Those interested must be a registered voter, have lived in Provo for at least 12 consecutive months, live in the District 5 area and can’t be mentally incompetent, a convicted felon or convicted of treason. The application is available here and must be submitted by 6 p.m. Feb. 19 in person or 11:59 p.m. Feb. 21 by email.

The council will be interviewed in a public meeting on Feb. 24. The council will then vote to determine the top two candidates, then again on the top two.

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