WASHINGTON COUNTY — When incumbent Washington County Commissioner James “Jim” Eardley found out that his fellow commissioner Denny Drake would be bowing out in June, Eardley changed his plan not to seek re-election and decided to run one more time for continuity’s sake. Knowing that the other commissioner Alan Gardner would be finishing his term in two years, Eardley thought it would be a disadvantage to the County if all three of the long-time commissioners retired within a two year span.
“I don’t mean that in the way I’m indispensible, I don’t think I’m indispensible,” Eardley said.
In fact, he’s come to the conclusion that his multiple terms have become an issue, he said. That’s one of the reasons he was planning on ending his term this year. However, after many people told him that he had a responsibility to the county – for continuity’s sake – to hang around a bit longer, Eardley decided to run one more time.
Eardley hopes that with he and Gardner around for a few more years, they can help the new commissioner filling Drake’s seat make vital community relationships, connections with other elected officials, and gain experience on the complexities of the position.
Commissioners spend a lot of time fostering relationships and lobbying with legislatures, Eardley said. “We have to work together on issues that are mutually beneficial…I feel like that I have those associations and that working experience with those individuals that can be very helpful as we deal with the variety of issues around the county.”
Eardley, who’s served on the commission for over 15 years is known politically as being super frugal with the county budget, while tenaciously doing everything in his power to keep property taxes low and also lobbying hard for the states rights.
“He is about as tight with money as anybody I’ve ever known,” Commissioner Gardner said of Eardley.
He has been curcial in keeping the county’s budget in check through the ups and downs of the economy the last 15 years, Commissioner Denny Drake said. “He’s very astute when it comes to business acumen … he’s a real thinker. He looks at the options studies them out…and then makes good choices.”
“Frankly that’s been my charge since I’ve been on the commission,” Eardley said. “To keep things running on the business end of the county.”
Eardley said he spends a lot of time looking at county revenues, and trying to keep taxes down. “We’re one of the lowest taxed counties in the state and we intend to stay there.”
Besides being a fiscal conservative, Eardley believes the federal government should have less power across the board. “Frankly, get the federal government out of the way a bit, I think they’re becoming more and more of a problem and the commission has, I think, done some good work. We’re in the process of doing a number of things to try to make that a better situation for everyone.”
Some of the things that Eardley said he hopes for in the future is keeping road access open to our lands, the possibility of having some mineral development in the future and continuing to keep county taxes low.
“I think we need to be able to choose our own destinies, and live our own lives,” he said.
“I love my county and the people in it, “ Eardley said. “I just want to continue to do what I consider a good job. If the folks don’t agree with that, why then I’ll do something else, if they do then I’m pleased and happy and delighted to serve.”
Eardley said this would be his last time running for county commission.
Republican delegates and party members can learn more about each of the candidates by attending the Washington County Republican Convention on Saturday, at the Gardner Center Ballroom at Dixie State University, 225 South 700 East, in St. George. Registration and electioneering begin at 7 a.m., with the convention officially starting at 8 a.m.
Candidates for Commission Seat A
- Greg Aldred – Commission Seat A: Greg Aldred draws inspiration from father, from youth
- Mark Boyer – Commission Seat A: Mark Boyer, conserving for future
- James Eardley (Incumbent) – Commission Seat A: Eardley seeks to retain spot for continuity, help new commissioner
- Slade Hughes – Commission Seat A: Slade Hughes of Veyo seeks to represent county’s future
- Zachery Renstrom – Commission Seat A: Renstrom says background as civil engineer, patent attorney will benefit county
Candidates for Commission Seat B
- Chet Hughes – Commission Seat B: Sheriff’s Sgt. Chet Hughes seeks to serve community he’s protected
- Victor Iverson – Commission Seat B: Victor Iverson seeks county commission nomination
- Daniel McArthur – Commission Seat B: Dan McArthur, ‘Dixie’s biggest cheerleader’ seeks county victory
- Washington County Republican, Democratic convention details
- Candidates for county attorney tout expertise, focus on constitutional preparedness
- County Assessor needs numbers skills, people management; 3 want the job
- Republican caucus attendees tout value of caucus system – gives an overview of the caucus-convention system
- County Democratic caucus focuses on issues, involvement; Republican caucus details
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