ENTERPRISE—Three candidates will contend for two open city council seats in the City of Enterprise’s municipal elections in November. Newcomer Barry L. Jones is challenging incumbents Ronald Lehm and Shalyn Nelson for a seat at the table. The incumbent mayor, Lee Bracken, runs for reelection unopposed.
Nelson, Lehm, and Jones are capable and will serve the community well however the election turns out, Bracken said.
Enterprise is in good shape, the mayor said, there are several issues that have already been dealt with such as revamping the sewage system, improving infrastructure for the next decade with minimal investment, and there are no large city projects on the horizon. Enterprise is stable and well positioned for modest growth, he said.
The only current issue Bracken identified is the Intermountain Power Project contract renewals which fall upon his shoulders, he said, and then the council will have to approve or deny within 90 days as Enterprise seeks a greener source of power with IPP.
“No one else filed for mayor this time,” Bracken said. “I think I would have stepped down if someone had, but I’m willing to serve.”
Bracken’s current term ends December 2014.
“I have good confidence and rely heavily on our incumbents,” Bracken said. “They both serve well, and Jones is also a well-liked and capable contender.”
Nelson is mayor pro-tempore, and youth city council, sewer, sanitation and animal control fall upon his shoulders.
“We’re in good shape with our sewer system,” Nelson said. “That may be our strongest infrastructure right now.”
Nelson is on the Washington County Solid Waste Board. He said he believes the greatest challenge that Enterprise faces is its power system, and said that the transmission line is 40 years old. There are some challenges with the streets which are in good shape now, he said, but funding used to build them has been used and a perpetual care system for them needs to be positioned.
“The council historically has been farsighted and made wise decisions,” Nelson said. “We are in good shape financially because of the vision of the past council.”
Nelson had only praise for his contender, Jones. “A number of kids owe him their diploma,” Nelson said of Jones who has helped many students graduate over the years. “He’s only been here a few years, but he’s part of the community and loves Enterprise.”
Nelson has served Enterprise since January 2010.
Lehm has also served Enterprise since January 2010 and glues the town together with his many volunteer projects that range from EMT, ambulance, fire fighting, maintaining physical facilities within the community and working as liaison between the Enterprise Health Clinic and the Washington County Senior Center.
“We’ve upgraded our water system,” Lehm said, “and refurbished water tanks to increase their life expectancy.”
The sanitation system has been upgraded and their eyes are set on a new city park, Lehm said, and trying to gather funding for a new fire station that will be positioned within the new community park while keeping taxes down and “providing residents the services they expect and deserve.”
The city’s philosophy has been not to overspend or go into debt, Lehm said. They build as they go.
“We have a tremendous volunteer firefighter department,” Lehm said. “We run EMTs and our ambulance runs 24/7. It’s volunteer and we go as far down as Brookside, all of Central, Pine Valley, and up into Iron County when needed.”
Jones is a physical education teacher and part-time guidance counselor at Enterprise High School. He has lived in Enterprise for seven years with his wife, Linda Jones, and their six children.
“My emphasis is to continue doing what they’re doing,” Jones, who ran in 2011, said. “I’m going against great men with less experience than others, but I’m a hard worker.”
He has a vision for Enterprise, Jones said, and perhaps his perspective can add new angles to the town. Jones said there isn’t a lot of entertainment for the youth in Enterprise and he wants to help keep youth busy doing the right things. He referred to a meeting a couple of years back where projects for youth were put on the table. “I’m not sure if they grabbed a hold of that vision, but I did,” Jones said. “It takes a village to raise a kid.”
Jones said he wants to look for more creative ways to bring entertainment and productivity into Enterprise without raising taxes. He said he praises Mayor Bracken and just wants to be of service to Enterprise.
Enterprise locals comment
Many locals weren’t eager to respond with commentary on the candidates; not because of indifference, however, but due to the fact all is well in Enterprise.
“I’ve never voted,” Joe David Clanton said. “To me it’s just another day in paradise.”
“It’s been good,” Ann Marie Robinson said with a shrug. She also had no complaints.
“I love them all,” Adrianne Dougherty, who has worked with each man in different capacities, said. “Barry is a hard worker and he’ll get things done. Shayln is good in the classroom, and I’ve worked with Ron who is full of community service and is interested in people. Barry’s gotten up at 6 a.m. to help my kids train. He’s a strong motivator.”
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