White seeks county seat, extols communication, compromise, return to Vision Dixie

Chris White is running for County Commission Seat A out of the Democratic Party.

ST. GEORGE – What does Chris White have to offer the residents of the county if elected to the Washington County Commission? In his words, a better communicator who knows how to organize people and get things moving.

“I am a very effective communicator,” White said. “I have experience reaching out to people, making organizations function together, and getting a group of people together to make things happen.”

The county also needs a commissioner who is open, accessible, reliable, and promotes citizen involvement, he said.

And I am very good about getting out a message,” White said. “I think that experience is what will benefit Washington County the most.”

White is running for County Commission Seat A on the Democratic ticket against Republican Zachary Renstrom. This is White’s second run at the commission. In 2012 he ran against incumbent Commissioner Alan Gardner and spoke to his belief that the Lake Powell Pipeline should be voted on by an educated citizenry, and that the county should outsource services where possible.

The pipeline: Educate the people, then put it to a vote

“I would like more citizen involvement,” White said concerning the contested Lake Powell Pipeline. “I would like the Washington County Water Conservancy District to reach out and give (the public) more information.”

White said a citizenry that is more aware and knowledgeable concerning the pros and cons of the pipeline can cast an educated vote on the matter. This is particularly important when considering the potential final cost of the pipeline, he said.

Water district officials have said the pipeline will cost nearly $1 billion. Others, like White, are not so optimistic, as other estimates place the price at $4 billion to $5 billion.

County government outsourcing

White also believes that what services the county can outsource to the private sector, it should. The county can also do a better job of catching up with technology in order to innovate and streamline services.

Why employ someone with the county when you can have the private sector do things more efficiently and effectively, White said.

“I’m not against county government,” he said. “What I’m against having is wasteful government.”

Renstrom, White’s opponent, said the county government already outsources to some degree. Overall, though, Utah law mandates what services a county is to provide and can’t be outsourced easily, he said

Vision Dixie, public transportation

White spoke generally about growth, touching more on some of the issues it encompasses in relation to the county.

Washington County will continue to grow because it’s a beautiful place, White said. In order to best accommodate that growth, he pointed to the Vision Dixie plan, an organization of the county’s municipalities formed in 2006 aspiring for collaborative direction for the growth of Southern Utah.

Vision Dixie talked a lot about (there) being a planned out, organized growth,” he said, “and making sure we build in an effective way rather than just do a master plan and throw houses all over.”

As the county grows, the infrastructure will need to be in place to help accommodate it. White supports a potential, countywide mass transit system as a part of that. He praised the work the City of St. George has done with SunTran, which will soon include a route into Ivins and is being discussed in Washington City.

Thus far public transit has been handled between the cities. “I would like to see the county take more of a leadership role in this,” White said.

Touching on other facets of infrastructure, like his opponent, White also supports the creation of the so-called Northern Corridor between Interstate 15 and state Route 18, despite it going though the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.

“I think we should push forward with it,” he said, adding there is always room for compromise between those who support the road and those who do not due to its going though desert tortoise habitat. Most often you hear people say it has to be ‘either-or,’ I don’t think so,” he said.

To learn more about Chris White and his position on the issues, visit his website.

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Twitter: @MoriKessler

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  • el jefe October 15, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Chris White….sounds like another “community organizer”. How did that one work out?

    • Bender October 15, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Yeah, right! Community organizer. Constitutional law professor. Pffft. That’s like expecting someone with a background as an actor, union activist and corporate spokesman to be an effective leader. This country needs more presidents who are wealthy, and electable, because of their daddy’s connections.

    • Ron October 15, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Wow! How quickly some people react to the “D” label! So I’m understanding you actually WANT the pipeline and DON’T want people to have a vote on it (which is what White advocates) and you want us all to have to rely on our automobiles rather than develop public transportation and you DON’T want to implement Vision Dixie even though a MAJORITY of Washington County’s citizens planned it and approved it. I’ll bet you DO want a Northern Corridor, but you’re going to ignore Chris White’s support for that simply because he doesn’t have the right label. Are there any voters out there still willing to listen and think?

  • JOSH DALTON (INCOGNEGRO) October 15, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Chris is a good guy in my experience! I worked and then quit on him at The Home Depot. If anyone in Utah has an once of integrity it is Chris White. I would even say assuming that he is LDS, he is one of the cool ones. I might even vote for the guy. I have never voted before because everybody in politics is full of bull, does not matter what race or creed they are, if you are in politics you are a certified liar. Obama, Bush, etc. It does not matter. Of course Hilary is going to be our next President so the Chinese will invade. GO FALCONS!

  • Cole October 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Vision Dixie looks like it fits right in with Agenda 21.

  • Vietnamvet October 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Mr. White does not say anything about his qualifications other than he is a good communicator , and a manager at Home Depot according to josh . I like what he says but . The engineer Renstom could filter out the Powell pipeline bull crap and make a better decision on it worthiness .
    As for a public vote this year could be a no next year could be a yes . The public becomes bipartisan the thirster they get. The remedy comes to late.

    • Teacher October 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Just because one is an engineer and the other is a manager does not mean one will be a better leader. County Commissioners don’t have a technical job–it’s to lead. Chris White will do well in that role.

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