ST. GEORGE – Zachary Renstrom is a civil engineer and patent attorney who hopes to add another title to his name in November – that of County Commissioner. Renstrom is running for Washington County Commission Seat A and has said his background will benefit the county and its people.
“I have a unique set of abilities I can bring in,” Renstrom said.
With his dual background, Renstrom said he understands issues of infrastructure, water, transportation, economic development, and public lands. Each of these is a topic connected to an overarching theme of growth, he said, and the challenges that prospect presents.
As to why Renstrom is running for the seat, he has a great love for the area and wants it to continue to be a place his children can grow up and raise their families. “That is my motivation for taking on this endeavor,” he said.
Renstorm said he understands the changing economy. As a patent attorney one of the primary things he does is work with companies on research and development projects.
“I’m of the belief that our economy will change radically in the next 20 years,” Renstrom said. “As a community we can either be in front of that wave or behind it.”
He points to ever-improving technology and innovation as being causes of the change. It’s something the county needs to be prepared for, he said.
“Our county right now is in a prime time and prime location to start looking at developing – expanding our economic base and getting in those high-paying jobs everyone talks about,” he said.
Water: key to growth and economy
Water is one of many things civil engineers come to understand in their line of work as they deal with infrastructure, Renstrom said.
“If you don’t have water, you don’t have life,” Renstrom said. “And water is directly connected to our standard of living and our economy.”
It is important to address the county’s water issues and continually improve its water system, he said, adding that the Lake Powell Pipeline needs to be a part of that discussion.
Renstrom’s opponent, Democratic challenger Chris White, has said the county should focus more on educating the public about the pipeline and ultimately put it up to a vote.
“I’m not in favor of a referendum,” Renstrom said, though he said he could see the necessity for it if final costs of the pipeline project are so high they will significantly impact the county.
Renstrom supports keeping access to the public lands in Washington County open so residents and visitors can continue to enjoy them.
“Public land is one of our best assets in this area,” he said. “It’s going to be one of those things that if we don’t have a good, strong defense, we’re going to lose it. And once we lose it, it’s gone.”
On the subject of the prospective Northern Corridor in the county that could pass through the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Renstrom supports the creation of the roadway. The road will connect Interstate 15 and state Route 18. Once built, it is anticipated to help lessen traffic on St. George Boulevard.
“It’s essential to the county to get that road,” he said.
Building the road could also be an advantage to the tortoise reserve, he said, adding that it would allow additional access to the trails that crisscross the area. The whole endeavor could be a win-win for everyone, Renstrom said.
“It can be where we’re protecting the tortoise and relieving traffic on the Boulevard,” he said.
For additional information on Renstrom and his position on the issues, visit his website.
- All St. George News reports related to Election 2014
- Iverson aims to continue as county commissioner, prioritizes economic development
- Van Dam calls for return to Vision Dixie principles, uniform infrastructure
- Renstrom says background as civil engineer, patent attorney will benefit county
- White aims for County Commission Seat A
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