ST. GEORGE – The deadline to file for municipal candidacy in towns and cities across the state wrapped up Monday evening. There are three seats up for grabs on the St. Geroge City Council. Two seats are currently filled by council members seeking to retain their seats, while the third is not seeking reelection.
From the current council
Council member Jimmie Hughes has filed for reelection, and is currently serving his first term on the council. Councilwoman Bette Arial, who was appointed by the City Council to fill the vacancy left by then newly-elected Mayor Jon Pike, has also filed in a bid to retain her seat.
Not filing for reelection was Councilman Gil Almquist, who has served on the council since 2007. Before then, he served as a member of the Planning Commission starting in 1992.
After serving the city for 24 years, Almquist said Tuesday that he wants to devote more time to church service – he currently serves as the president of the Bloomington Hills Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and that he believes others in the community should have the chance to be on the City Council.
“There are a lot of good people out there who should be given the opportunity to serve,” Almquist said.
Once his term is up at the end of the year, Almquist said he will miss working with the City Council, city staff, and City Manager Gary Esplin.
With Almquist not seeking reelection, it guarantees at least one new face on the City Council next year.
Others who have filed their candidacy for City Council include:
- Gregg McArthur, son of former St. George Mayor Danial McArthur, and the current president/CEO of the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce
- Craig Hammer, executive director of physical facilities for the Washington County School District
- Eric Hovland, the owner of Urban Renewal
- Michelene Perez, an instructor at Dixie State University and member of the UltraViolet womens’ rights group
- Marc Stallings, a sales associate with Stephen Wade Auto Center
- Bryan Thiriot, executive director of the Five County Association of Governments
- Lane Ronnow, host of A Story To Tale, a program that highlights the lives of notable members of the community; the program is featured on Southern Utah Live.
- Kendall Clements, a real estate business owner
- Ed Baca, a retired police officer who is a regular attendee at St. George City Council meetings; Baca has run for City Council multiple times and for mayor once, challenging Mayor McArthur in 2009
The public is invited to attend a St. George City Council candidate meet-and-greet being held by the Dixie Republican Forum on June 19 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Washington County Commission Chambers in the Washington County Administration Building, located at 197 E. Tabernacle St. in St. George.
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