CEDAR CITY – There are three Cedar City Council seats up for grabs in November, and St. George News asked each of the six candidates three questions.
- What do you feel is unique about your role in the community/or your role in City Council that will be/has been beneficial to the city as a whole?
- Should you win a seat on the council, what are some goals you have for while you are in office?
- What qualities and qualifications do you believe you possess that make you the perfect person for this particular role in the community?
The three seats coming open this election currently belong to John Black, Paul Cozzens and Don Marchant; all three are running for reelection. Running against them are: Kip C. Hansen, Terri Hartley and Craig E. Isom.
This is what each candidate had to say about themselves:
- I’m from Cedar City, this is home. I had to leave for 30 years to make a living, but I chose to come here. A uniqueness about me: I don’t know that there is one other than I (who has) 30 years municipal background … so, I think I am uniquely experienced through my background to handle whatever comes.
First and foremost, we have gone to expense and time to put together a salary study, which has been long overdue, and this one was done the best that I have ever seen one done. With the efforts that we have put into it, we owe it to the employees to see it through to fruition, and it’s going to take three to four years to get everything addressed.
Another thing that I would like to do is make sure that we get our lighting done on South Main Street. There is one little section going in, but there’s a section in the middle that hasn’t been addressed yet … from an aesthetic standpoint, and from a safety standpoint, we need to get our south end better lit.
A third one would be to continue our economic diversity. I think we are doing a good job with that. I think the temple is going to be a catalyst in bringing much needed retail (into the area).
- I have an intuitive mind. I am able to look at things pretty objectively. Probably the strongest is, I want to serve. I want to be a part of making Cedar City better.
- Some of the goals that I feel I have accomplished in office (have) been to safeguard the sacred funds of the taxpayer. We were successful in opting out of the Lake Powell Pipeline. My goal was to become a board member of the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District … I feel like I have played an active role in securing water for our future and more specifically, the west desert.
One of the things I want to focus on immediately is where we go from here with the ice rink. I want it to remain a public-private partnership, but I want to explore some options that would be a win-win for both parties. And maybe make it so they can extend their season – open earlier in the year and go further in the year. Those winter months are critical to bring visitors to our community, and that’s a perfect venue and a lot of people still haven’t discovered it.
Other than that, to continue to deal with the week-to-week issues that pop up in a City Council meeting that we need to address.
- I have had a lot of real-world experience. I have been self-employed and in business for 29 years. I have 15 employees right now … and we bring a lot of out-of-state tax dollars into the Cedar City area. I just believe that my business experience in the private sector brings a perspective to the City Council of someone who has to meet payroll, (pay) taxes and gives a different perspective on why we need to be careful with taxpayer money.
Kip C. Hansen
- The thing that’s unique about me is the varied work history that I’ve had and my prior public service. I have previously served on City Council two other times: once in Washington City and once in Cedar City about 15 years ago.
I would like to see a much greater emphasis on repairs and upgrades on our public utility infrastructure – water lines, sewer lines and those types of things. It’s not this pretty stuff that we get to enjoy for recreational pursuits or whatever, and so they have a tendency to get neglected to a point where we’re always fixing problems instead of preventing them. I would like to see us (make) those upgrades on underground utilities.
- I am willing to change my position based on research. I am always happy to take on somebody else’s idea once I understand that it’s better than my own position. I am very flexible that way. (I am able) to look at all sides, and even though it may not be my opinion initially, I do have the ability to readily adapt someone else’s better ideas
- The first thing that comes to mind is that 38 years in banking has given me a set of skills that I believe would be useful to the city. I feel like I have a good understanding of city budgets and managing the finances, along with negotiating skills.
First, I would like to develop a good rapport with city employees and be a listening ear for them, (and) I would make sure that we make sound financial decisions.
- I have been very involved and active in the community – in events and activities. I am probably the most involved with the Chamber of Commerce. I have been on their board several different times.
I am also a lifelong resident, so I feel like I know the area. I feel like I am a very honest and straightforward person, (and) I am not afraid to make tough decisions.
Craig E. Isom
- It’s my professional background and my current position as the executive director of the (Southern Utah University) Business Resource Center. I come with 40 years of business experience. I am a (certified public accountant), and I work for a large international CPA firm, and so I have watched businesses grow and go in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
I think I understand what makes business tick … (and) I think the city is poised for some dramatic economic growth. I think my experience helps to prepare me to help lead the way on that.
I want to continue to develop an environment that is business friendly. We don’t need to be growing to the point (that) we lose the identity of our neat little city, but we need to grow enough to ensure that it all does rise, right? That the economy continues to flourish and it’s a great place to live, because it’s a great place to do business.
I have a goal of creating a strategic plan that will be a long-term plan for the city and have us looking forward, not five, but 10 and 20 years, and making sure that we can get there.
- I have, I think, the requisite interpersonal skills. I will listen and understand and try and do what’s best for people. At the end of the day, that’s what a city councilor is all about; and we have just an incredible community, with incredible people, and I am here to preserve and enhance that — take it to the next level.
- I have a feeling about this community that probably runs deeper than most I would suppose. With exception to a couple of years living out of town, I have been here my whole life, and I have been interested in the progress of my community from a very early age.
My ancestors were very intimately involved with the progress of town, and my parents always encouraged us to become very actively involved and become knowledgeable about what was going on around in business here.
I feel strongly about the development of the airport. I think we have an asset there that is not being utilized to its fullest. A lot if it has to do with funding. I think we need to believe in ourselves more than we do. I think we need to build our confidence levels of: We can do this; we can bring the businesses in; we can do these other things …
An integral part of development economically and with business and industry, at least nonpolluting industry, is to make sure they have their transportation needs met. More and more, we are seeing jet aircraft coming in, private aircraft from various corporations that have an interest in Cedar or that are maybe just stopping by to refuel.
- I would start by saying that everybody’s definition of perfect is different, and I would never consider myself to be perfect in any way. But I have an intense interest in my town. I go back to the play “Our Town,” and the interaction that took place, and we’ve lost the – what was the show with Andy Griffith – “Mayberry”; we’ve grown up.
I think my feelings and my commitment to this community is what makes me a good fit. I am not afraid to get my feet wet. I am not afraid to study the issues.
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