Iron County Commission candidates spar in debate

Candidates for two available Iron County Commissioner seats discuss issues and the future of the county, Cedar City, Utah, June 8, 2016 | Photo by Kaleigh Bronson, St. George News
Iron County Republican primary debates
Community members gather to listen to candidates present their stances on issues relevant to the future of Iron County, Cedar City, Utah, June 8, 2016 | Photo by Kaleigh Bronson, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — Five Republican candidates vying for two seats on the Iron County Commission faced each other in a debate Wednesday and tried to convince voters they were the right man for the job.

Over 150 engaged citizens attended the Iron County Commissioner Republican primary campaign debate hosted by the Micheal O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University.

Issues such as water and transportation, finances, and the relationship between the County Commission and Sheriff’s Office were hot topics.

Incumbent Casey Anderson, who was appointed to finish out former Commissioner Dave Miller’s term, and Mike Bleak are vying for Seat A, while incumbent County Commissioner Alma Adams, is facing Sam Brower and Jody Edwards for Seat C.  

Bleak, a Cedar City Police Department detective and president of the non-profit organization “Leaders for Life,” was out of town for a prior family commitment and participated in the debate via a live video link.

“For stable growth, we need to have input from taxpayers,” Bleak said, who repeatedly thanked the Leavitt Center and Southern Utah University for hosting the event.

Bleak shared his ideas for technology and future transportation, and often used the phrase “put it to a vote” in his answers.

Anderson, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, said everyone should try to be “better informed to ensure positive solutions for the future.”

When it came to spending and the budget, Anderson noted that “tax dollars should be prioritized” and “economic growth incentivized.” He also emphasized the need to “thoroughly examine issues before making a decision.”

Adams, a long time businessman and farmer, said his priorities for the next term would include better communication with the Sheriff’s Office, working to solve the dire lack of water resources, and championing business and private property rights.

Adams said during his nine years of service on the commission problems that are similar in nature kept cropping up, adding, “If re-elected, I would use that experience to make good decisions.”

Brower, a private investigator who moved to Iron County over 25 years ago, often referred to the need for a county commissioner to “identify the problems” and “collaborate with the agencies being governed.”

“With bright minds in Iron County, we can put our own people to work to ensure an enhanced quality of life,” Brower said.

Edwards, a former Iron County Sheriff’s deputy, highlighted the need to “think long term, far into the future,”  adding he believes there is a lack of diversity on appointed councils that makes proper representation impossible.

“Every tax dollar has to be measured” said Edwards, noting he sees an ongoing struggle with the balance of power on the Commission.

The Iron County Commission Republican primary will be held on June 28 and ballots were mailed out across the county Tuesday. Each seat winner will then move forward to the general election in November. For information regarding election day requirements, voter registration and early voting times and locations, visit the Iron County website. 

Email: kbronson@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Moderators from the Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service set up the event
Moderators from the Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service set up the event, Cedar City, Utah, June 8, 2016 | Photo by Kaleigh Bronson, St. George News
Iron County Republican primary debate
Candidates for Commissioner seat “C”, Alma Adams, Sam Brower and Jody Edwards, discuss topics relating to the future of Iron County, Cedar City, Utah, June 8, 2016 | Photo by Kaleigh Bronson, St. George News



Email: kbronson@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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