ON Kilter: Remember, remember the 5th of November

OPINION – The City of St. George municipal elections are behind us now and a hearty congratulations to the mayor-elect and City Council members-elect is warranted.

This was perhaps the most spirited and controversial election this city has ever seen.

The results may, in large part, reflect the courage and tenacity of an informed and involved citizenry who in large part said, “enough is enough.”

It is fair to assert that this holds especially true in the mayoral portion of this election because although Jon Pike was a fine candidate, it is generally conceded that longtime incumbent Dan McArthur was voted out based on a sense that his tenure as mayor had been long enough.

Although the statistical data is not solidified yet, the voter turnout was paltry once again, and while this is a point of contention to be dissected for sure, it might be indicative of genuine mindset of the community as a whole.

Pike won by a hefty margin. It is fair to consider that it was largely the same voter base from previous years that favored McArthur – who now contributed to his replacement.

Of course, this is speculation. But when one couples that speculation with the events that preceded November 5, it becomes reasonable.

The first major setback for the McArthur campaign was the animal shelter debacle. Time and time again we are reminded in politics that it is rarely the misgiving for which a politician is crucified but rather the ensuing coverup that gets them in political trouble.

In spite of a stellar acceptance of responsibility by the St. George Police and City Councilman Jon Pike, the mayor and his longtime friend and colleague, City Manager Gary Esplin, refused to be implicated in any way and went to great lengths to quash the story by allegedly intimidating citizens and reporters. What they failed to understand was that ultimately, the buck stopped with them. In their counter-accusations, blame shifting, and overall shifty antics they brought an already somewhat-critical eye of the community to fix itself upon them in a broader scope.

Then came the code enforcement lawsuit.

At present, the code enforcement division of the City of St. George is under some quite serious fire. It is being alleged that not only did they consistently violate Fourth Amendment rights in the enforcement of the codes, not only did they selectively enforce the code by citing citizens while elected officials were blatantly violating the codes, but perhaps most egregious of all, they ran a kangaroo court where defendants had an ice cube’s chance in Hades of ever prevailing – innocent or not.

Ultimately, as the executive branch of government, the mayor’s office is responsible for this and in light of these things, McArthur became the face of them whether he wanted to accept full responsibility or not.

It cost him the election.

But let’s turn now to the task at hand.

The election is over. Breathe a sigh of relief. Then roll up your sleeves St. George, there is more work to do.

What has effectively been dealt here is a crack in the dam of good ole boy politics in this town. Nonetheless, in order for nature to take its course, the pressure must be maintained.

Let’s clear something up.

There are two types of good ole boys:

The first is the type that has lineage dating back to pioneers who settled this great city with the blood and sweat of true American grit.

In the face of aridity and disenchantment they have stood fast and built a place to live that exemplifies the finest attributes of greatness in a community. Clean air. Abundant water. Good schools. Safe streets.

The second however is an aberration of the first, those who have convoluted pride in heritage into entitlement for a select and established few.

This second type must go. Period.

That is the message that was sent in this election.

See you out there.


Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.



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  • elliemae100 November 8, 2013 at 9:04 am

    It seems that the writer isn’t an “opinion” columnist as much as an “opinionated” columnist. The “hefty” margin was negligible considering the population of the city versus the number of voters. We’re all so sick of this junk, we stayed home. Hence the new mayor, election of a city councilwoman who wasn’t able to run a company that operated according to state law (and who removed all of the profits year after year while the employees worked several jobs just to put food on their table), etc.

    We’re all apathetic. These people who promise to be different aren’t. The only difference is that the hospital corporation that runs our state now runs our city.

  • DoubleTap November 8, 2013 at 10:19 am


    The corporation that really “runs our state”….is the LDS church.
    In the words of the worst president of this country ever…..”get over it. we won”.

  • Ken November 8, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Elliemae100 what a truly pathetic comment! You said that “we’re” so sick that you stayed home and didn’t vote. You have no right to complain now. Then you have the gull to try and slam Ms. Randall, I think your the one who needs help with deep seated issues. Next time get off your butt and vote. Them sour grapes are tasty!

    • skippy November 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Ken means “gall,” I believe. If he did mean “gull,” then perhaps he intended to suggests that Elliemae was acting like a relatively intelligent bird. In that case, his point is diminished.

  • Kris November 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    God love ya Dallas. Thank you for reminding them we have not forgotten. Jon Pike has a tough road a head of him with the council he will work with. One man under fire, 2 rookies and one that doesn’t say much. Can Jon guide this City through the new era of accountability with this group? Without serious pressure, I doubt the council will have the guts to fill the vacancy with a diverse, strong and smart person that will bring balance to a “all the same” council! The pressure is on!

  • McMurphy November 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    The head that wears the crown may have changed, but the real power behind the throne — city manager Gary Esplin — remains. Depending on who you talk to he has been either the hand maiden of the good old boy power establishment or one of its crown princes. Is he ready, willing and able for a brave new world ??

  • Jace November 9, 2013 at 9:05 am

    The real question is can Pike control Esplin. He surely can’t depend on this council for help

  • Jeckyll November 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

    If the natives don’t like the direction the city is taking, they can always take their own advice and move.

  • Maggie November 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Look at this town! It is beautiful! People are not perfect ,but someone has done a …* good job for a lot of years in St George. I moved here because of that ,and I love this town and most of the people I meet here. There are some pretty petty folks who complain constantly about “the good old boy’s”,yet I am betting I meet few out there working in the community.
    I am only hoping that the newly elected can continue the tradition set by the “good old boys” and keep this a beautiful town with all the charm, beauty financial stability and relative safety that we have enjoyed in the past. They have some pretty big shoes to fill.

    It would be well worth knowing if Elliemae has ever run a city or a business. She is pretty tough on those that have . Yet not one word about the good things . Also wish folks would tell us what they have done to improve St George . I mean besides whine on the internet or the local newspaper. Did you ever go to a council meeting or educate yourself about the city codes? Did you ever volunteer or make suggestions re the Animal Shelter. Do you work to support having pets neutered?
    Ellie might like to be aware that under our new President ,many folks will be working more than one part time job to survive. Unless we get some “good old boy’s ” running this country, our children will have two choices available to them …welfare or several jobs.
    *Ed. ellipsis.

  • Tyler March 6, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Don’t be mistaken, Pike was and still is a good ol’ boy, people! He has said that he will carry on McArthur’s ways in his new mayoral position. Puke!

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