ST. GEORGE — This is the second time Chris White has run for Washington County Commission, and he has three issues that he feels are most important as a Democratic Party candidate for County Commission Seat A.
White said he wants to focus on the Lake Powell Pipeline, outsourcing county business to the private sector and updating Purgatory Correctional Facility.
White has worked in real estate for the last 13 years, including the last eight years in St. George when he moved his family to the area. He’s also currently involved with little league baseball with his four sons, ranging from age 11 down to 5.
“Chris isn’t obligated to any interests or parties,” said Jason Smith, who White met through a communication cohort. “He’s more open to listening to both sides and across all demographics. Chris has always been a person that you can have a conversation with and think about both sides of the issue instead of sticking to the points of a party platform.”
White said he’s not for or against the Lake Powell Pipeline. There’s more research that needs to be done, he said, and the public needs to be better educated.
“We need to engage the public more,” he said. “We still need a comprehensive solution, and hopefully a referendum will start comprehensive research.”
A referendum would force the Water Conservancy District to educate the public better, he said. It would also give a chance for the citizens of Washington County to become educated and vote whether or not they would even like to have the pipeline.
“All you hear is: ‘Are you for or against the Lake Powell Pipeline?’” he said, “but it’s so much deeper than that.”
Outsourcing of county business
White used the example of the county’s garbage trucks and how those could be rented to local businesses, if needed.
It’s certain ventures such as that where White said money can be made for the county while not competing against the private sector, but rather working with it.
Other examples he used were creating a website that local businesses can use to pay taxes rather than the county hiring an individual to input all of that information for them.
“They’re operating in an antiquated system,” White said.
He said there are plenty of Internet companies in the county that would be happy to get the business of creating that website, and the county wouldn’t need to hire someone from the outside to do work that could be going to local businesses.
So White’s idea of outsourcing would be intended to work both ways. He said he would want to raise and save money for the county, while also generating income for local businesses.
Updating Purgatory Correctional Facility
The systems at Purgatory Correctional Facility are outdated, White said, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.
He said the inmates at Purgatory are not receiving the services they need to improve their own lives, so the best option may be to address two problems with one solution.
The option is to combine the animal shelter with the prison, an idea not unique to White; Sheriff Cory Pulsipher discussed his idea on a county shelter served by inmate labor with St. George News prior to receiving the Republican Party’s nomination for Sheriff earlier this month.
With the high number of shelter animals in Washington County, White said this provides an opportunity to help Purgatory inmates develop skills while also having an additional place to shelter stray animals.
The animal shelter at the prison would be operated by volunteers, and inmates would have the opportunity to help care for the animals.
“You’re offering (the inmates) an opportunity to better themselves,” White said, “and it would help with our animal control problem.”
Washington County does not currently address animal control; it’s left up to the individual cities within the county.
“Not only can it add some much needed updating to Purgatory,” White said, “but it also offers something for those inmates.”
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