ENOCH – Municipal elections for 2015 will bring big chances for Enoch City who is losing three City Council members and with primaries just around the corner it is more important than ever to introduce the candidates to the public.
Since the Enoch City Council incumbents whose terms end this year, Destry Griffiths, J. Kirk Lovell and Mike Olenslager, will not be running for reelection, all of the candidates will bring fresh perspective to the coveted vacant seat.
There are nine hopeful candidates running for Enoch City Council; Cassie Easley, Wayne Grimshaw, David D Harris, Debra Andrejcik Ley, Rich Lile, David F. Owens, William (Bill) Roach, Shawn Stoor and Brent Taylor.
With primary elections right around the corner, St. George News asked City Council hopefuls three questions:
- What is your purpose or goal in running for Enoch City Council and what qualifies you?
- Where do you see Enoch in the next 5 years? As in, what is your vision?
- What ideas do you have to help build new sources of revenue, and how would you manage the current budget restraints?
Here are their responses (in alphabetical order):
1. My main concerns are the ordinances, because I feel that I was affected greatly … last year the Second Amendment Foundation let them know that they were in violation of the second amendment with their firearms ordinances, and they did nothing about it, until they were pushed into doing something about it.The reason I pushed them into doing something about it is, because I have the conceal carry permit and by the ordinances in Enoch, it said that I legally could not carry it in Enoch, and that’s where I live.
Then I started looking at the other ordinances that they have and a lot of them I just don’t think they’re for Enoch. They’re obscure, they are things that can’t be followed, (and) they are things that are not enforceable … because they are so ill-written.
My main concern is getting these ordinances fixed, because I don’t want to live someplace that has city laws that are not enforceable.
As far as being qualified to run for city council, in the United States our government is of the people and as an American citizen it is my responsibility to stand up and take part in our government – and as a citizen that would qualify me to be able to run for council.
2. I would like to see Enoch be a thriving city, that we don’t have to be so dependent on Cedar City like we are currently, because we don’t have a lot of business there.
I don’t think that we need it for the tax base so much, because, overall it’s all property taxes that they get it from, not actually the business, just only as a sales tax, but for Enoch to thrive we have to have something there so that the people that live in Enoch would be able to buy stuff in their own hometown and they don’t have to go into Cedar to do everything.
I think that we need to keep our small-town values, but I think that we need to grow enough that we can thrive within our own community, and that’s where I’d like to see Enoch in the next five years and on.
3. I guess I am a little bit different on that, because I don’t necessarily think that Enoch needs more revenue to do what we need to have done. Because we are doing what we need to have done, and if there are things the city wants, or the people of the city want, that we don’t currently have, there are other ways to do it then by taxing the rest of the citizens to get what a certain group wants.
For instance, people were complaining about the fourth of July, ‘We’re not going to have a fourth of July, because the city’s not paying for it.’ Well that’s not true. I personally took that upon myself to say, you know what, (because) we were talking in a group one night, and it was like, ‘Well somebody should do something about it.’ You know what? I will be that somebody.
People need to stand up and if there is something that they want to do, then they can go and do it. People are more than willing to volunteer in our town – we have a great group of people that live there.
1. My goal is to represent the citizens of Enoch, which I don’t think has been done too well in the past. I am a pretty good listener.
2. I understand that people think in order to be an up and coming city you’ve got to change things and I don’t agree with that.
I want the city to provide a safe, clean environment for their citizens and to do that as efficiently as they can and as economically as they can. And as far as building, you know, ice palaces and all that kind of stuff, you know I don’t believe in that.
3. (The budget restraints) are only so serious, because we have let them get that way. Historically, our city is a kind of a bedroom community and they’ve been making their money on impact fees and building permits and stuff like that and of course when the building things collapsed.That was what brought on their problem, because their money source stopped. I recently sold some property to the Family Dollar, which is basically now like our grocery store, (but) as far as bringing in new business, it depends on what the business is. If it costs the city more than the revenue it brings in then it’s not worth it. If it’s something that they can bring in jobs and taxes, then, yeah.
David D. Harris
1. My goal is to help people to maintain the family-friendly, clean environment that has always been since I’ve lived there, and as we grow to try to develop the community into an even better place to live with commercial (enterprises) and good maintenance of the parks and safety of the police force and just to maintain a good quality of life – make it a good city to be proud of.
I have an MBA and I work as a financial advisor. I feel like I can help Enoch City with a lot of their fiscal management and plan for the future. I make decisions based on numbers and I think I could help them evaluate those numbers and what they mean to Enoch City both now and in the future and help them make good, smart decisions.
2. I think Enoch will continue to grow. It’s a great place to live and a great place for a family. As it grows, I would like to see more commercial, and I would like to see that as it changes it maintains the safe and clean environment that it is now.I would like to see them maintain the police force, maintain the parks and the infrastructure in a way that that continues to maintain the track that makes it a great place to live.
3. Budget constraints are serious and I feel like that’s one of the things we need to be careful about. We are sacrificing by cutting from the budget now, I fear that we are seeking problems down the road and these will be problems for our children forcing them to go into debt later just to maintain infrastructure issues that will come in the next several decades.
As far as revenue goes, my opinion is, that the city of Enoch is ultimately responsible for carrying out certain responsibilities in terms of maintenance and infrastructure. We need to give the city the means by which to carry out that responsibility.
That may mean an adjustment in taxes. No one likes that, but that might have to be something to consider. I would rather manage it correctly now, than create bigger problems for our children in the future.
Ley was out of the country when this story was compiled. The information below is an excerpt from an introduction to her platform that was read aloud to the audience at Three Peaks Elementary by neighbor Mike O’Rourke at the July 29 Meet the Candidates Night.
Now is the time to get rid of partisan politics and start concentrating on common sense. We do need changes on our city, but not a 113 percent city property tax increase that won’t provide a single improvement – That, my friends is not using common sense. When more money is given to the government rarely is there any gain in efficiency.
As a resident of Enoch City for better than 13 years, I have been involved in many civic activities. Serving as Tree Committee chair for two terms has been one of the highlights and I am honored to have been one of the original five citizens who sponsored the referendum against higher taxes.
I have canvased the community rallying support and explaining my position on wasteful spending, on unspecified tax increases and lack of vision for the city’s future.
I will work to establish more efficiency in government and be responsible to resident’s ideas and concerns.”
1. My purpose is to give, kind of a unbiased opinion to the council with an open mind and no agenda. What qualifies me is, I feel like I am a pretty open-minded, reasonable sort of person.
2. I think that Enoch needs to encourage some retail development to help with the tax base so that the homeowners won’t bear the brunt of the tax burden.
3. The last attempt to pass the coffers of the tremendous tax hike on the homeowners was obviously doomed for failure. So, I think what we need to do, is that we need to raise taxes, but at reasonable levels.We also need to, as I said before, encourage some retail development … otherwise we just need to tighten our belts a little bit.
I am really not sure (about how I would manage the current budget restraints), because I am not totally familiar with the restraints at this point.
David F. Owens
1. My goals and purposes are these: We as a city have a lack of communication. The communication gap is not only between the community and the City Council, but also between the City Council and the staff, and these need to be brought back into the proper order. When citizens have a concern or complaint they need to be able to have an opportunity to be heard, and unfortunately the City Council is not available to hear their concerns.
Some of the other concerns of course are the fiscal responsibilities … it’s one thing to balance the budget and it’s another thing to manage it. We definitely need some people in there that have a fresh view and can look with new eyes, if you will, and find the weak links and be able to bring it back up to the current times so that we can go forward and not move backwards.
Some of my qualifications (are) I have worked with other cities in the past with emergency preparedness and operation, volunteering as a communication director and a ham radio operator in a lot of these areas.
I am currently on the Economic Development Committee and that has really led me to see some of these concerns and given me a certain drive to run for city council.
Then, being a business owner I have had the opportunity to learn from my past mistakes about how to run an organization that is profitable and productive.
2. My vision is to raise my family and my children and have a community that has an attractive appearance, that is safe through community policing, that has the burden of the taxes pushed upon the local businesses that will be coming in, which in turn helps us with maintaining streets and parks, resources and the overall quality of life in Enoch. These, again, are the things that have to be looked at and in order to have a future in five or 10 years we have to invest in our community.
3. Again, with our budget constraints, the majority of it is a lack of communication between the City Council, staff and the residents and also we have councilors that they have their personal agendas and these need to be eradicated before we can even help our city, as a whole, to grow.
Personal agendas keep coming up and so when we do have resources that are put in place to help us maintain another revenue source, whether that be through a Community Impact Board grant or through the Construction & Demolition Recycling Association, it gets shut down immediately, because of these personal agendas and people that say that’s not the proper role of government.
William (Bill) Roach
1. I just want to help. I look at it more as a community service. I come from Nevada and I just wanted to help on the school board in Nevada and I ended up spending nine years. I always ran unopposed and there was one time I went in to pay my filing fee and someone had already paid it so I’m thinking that when I was in Lincoln County Nevada, the people like the job that I did.
2. Enoch needs to grow, and I don’t know that Enoch is doing enough right now to market themselves, as far as, I don’t know, Cedar City and Brian Head have a Chamber of Commerce, why don’t we tag on to them?To be honest with you, I had never even heard of Enoch until I moved there.
3. My personal philosophy is if you want to increase tax revenue, increase the value of my property. You can enhance the value of my property with more street lights, with curb and gutter, with sidewalks, with streets that are paved and not chip-sealed.If you enhance the value of my property then you are going to increase the tax revenue associated with my property. Would be in favor of a modest tax increase or an incremental tax increase, but it has to be justified.
A good example (of a justified tax increase) was when I first moved to Enoch I got a letter in the mail saying that, “It’s costing more in electricity to move the water than we could afford, so your water bill is going up $5 a month.” Perfectly reasonable explanation, happy to pay it.
1. The biggest reason I am running for city council is I would like to put a fresh coat of paint on the city so-to-speak. What I mean when I say that is – do some work on the infrastructure with some of our drainage problems and streets that need some repair – do some things that might take care of the weeds, and give our city a little bit more curb appeal.
What qualifies me, I guess, for that is that I have a passion to do so. I work in the construction industry now and some of that knowledge lends itself to some of the things I am talking about I feel.
2. My vision would be – if I were to be in that City Council seat and working with my counterparts in that regard – would be that we could accomplish some of those things.If I weren’t able to get in, and some other people got in there, I’m not saying they couldn’t do the same things, but it seems to me like we’re grid locked a little bit on some of those items for the lack of funding.
We had a referendum a couple of years ago on a tax increase. The citizens voted it down, and I think there was some misconceptions about what that was and what it would pay for and how it wouldn’t maybe benefit the community. I understand that, but I think what we need to do is to have some commonality in our objectives.
I think the citizens, as a whole, feel similar, but they want to see our budget being taken care of and (council) being fiscally responsible.
3. Our sources of revenue are limited. You can get revenue based upon a tax base of property taxes, that’s one way. The other way is doing things that would invite a commercial business to come to town.Whether that’s retail store fronts or manufacturing, in order to do that I feel like we’ve got to, sort of, dangle a big enough carrot out there and show them we have what they would need to help facilitate their business.
In my research of looking at the budget I understand the city runs as lean if not leaner than other cities in the state, if not one of the leanest. So, where we are at right now is, if we would have incrementally improved our tax situation throughout the years, because we’ve never had a tax increase, ever in our history … we didn’t pass the referendum, but I think that’s going to be facing us years down the road if we have the courage to address it sooner versus later.
1. I think just to serve the people of Enoch, do the best I can to help them out and help solve some problems.
I have been on the City Council before. I’ve also worked with the Tree Committee, the Water Board, the 4th of July (committee) and, you know, things like that, so I feel like I’ve got some experience to help the city out.
2. In the next five to 10 years I think we need to get some businesses in, but we’ve got to keep our rural atmosphere.To get the businesses in I think we need some beautification so we can draw some businesses and some people in. We’ve got to have something to help our tax base out with.
3. They’ve got to raise taxes. I think that that’s a real possibility. They are going to have to do some thinking about raising some taxes, but other than that I just think they need to, like I say, beautify the community and go after some businesses that the people want, and bring them in and see what we can’t do that way.
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