HURRICANE — Six Hurricane City Council candidates are hoping to fill three open council seats come election day this year. Current council members Darin Thomas and Ethelyn Humphries are stepping down from their seats. Current Councilwoman Pam Humphries is the only incumbent in the field, seeking her third term.
All of the candidates were asked what the main goal they would want to accomplish is if elected, how would they accomplish that goal if not elected, what is something unique about them and what is something about themselves they really want the public to know. The following short bios are based on their answers.
“I don’t have an agenda about why I decided to run,” Hall said. “A couple of friends asked me to consider it, and I am at a stage in my life I feel I have the time and interest to dedicate to the position.”
Hall said that she loves the community and would like to contribute to it by serving on the City Council. She wants to ensure Hurricane remains a safe place to live and raise a family, she said, and hopes there will be sufficient jobs for her 10 grandchildren so they will have the opportunity to remain in the area when they reach adulthood.
“This is my first run at a political office,” Hall said. “I look forward to meeting more people in our community and learning about what’s important to them.”
Hall described herself by saying, “I’m pretty simple and conservative.”
When asked what was unique about her, she said jokingly that she is the only Ginger Hall on the ballot.
Hall grew up in Hurricane and has been married to her husband, JR, for 41 years, raising all four of their children in Hurricane.
“As a family, we enjoy riding horses, shooting guns, four-wheeling, camping and going out to dinner together,” she said.
She worked as a paraprofessional assisting special needs children at Hurricane Elementary and has been administrative assistant to the executive director at the Washington County Regional Park since 2005.
Hoyt said one of his goals, if elected, is to improve the city’s streets.
“Hurricane’s streets are pretty substandard compared to other cities,” he said.
One specific street he mentioned that he feels needs a facelift is 400 South between 100 East and 700 West. Another that he mentioned is Main Street north of 600 North.
Another thing he said he’d like to see done in the community is upgrades to its parks. He said the city doesn’t need any new parks, just the current ones need to be enhanced.
“I have a passion for making this a great place to live,” Hoyt said in his candidate bio on the city website, “and I will listen to the concerns of the people and will do my best as we work together to ensure a safe and happy environment for all of us to enjoy.”
If not elected, Hoyt said he would continue to attend city meetings, let his voice be heard and be involved with the city in some way.
When asked what makes him unique, Hoyt said, “I like to work.”
Hoyt and his wife, Donna, have owned Durango’s in Hurricane for the last five years. Before that, he worked in construction, specifically building houses, for 24 years.
Hoyt said he enjoys spending time with his family, which consists of his five children and three grandchildren. He also loves reading about history and riding and working on motorcycles.
The only incumbent candidate in the race, Pam Humphries said she is running again without an agenda but is well aware that growth needs to be addressed.
“We need to make sure that all the infrastructure (roads and utilities) are in place and that our public safety departments (police, ambulance and fire) will be able to serve these areas before construction of new projects are allowed to begin,” she explained.
She said she feels like even though the city is growing, it needs to preserve its “traditional hometown feel.”
“I enjoy being on City Council, working with the members of council, the city staff and serving the citizens of Hurricane,” she said.
However, if she is not reelected, she said there are plenty of volunteer positions throughout the city on which she could use her creativity. For instance, currently, she sits on the Power Board, Water Board and is a member of the Peach Days Committee.
“I believe I am my very own person,” she said. “I don’t always agree with everyone else. I like to think that I investigate all points of view then decide or vote how I think it will benefit the Citizens of Hurricane the best.”
She has been married to her husband, Jim, for 47 years. They have four children and 13 grandchildren. She has been the owner and operator of a family property management business since 1994.
Something interesting about Humphries is that she was an Air Force brat growing up, moving every two years.
“I lived in four different countries and five different states before I was 16,” she said.
Cheryl Reeve said that one of her goals if elected to the Hurricane City Council would be to keep a tight budget. For instance, Reeve said, the City Council could do a better job at budgeting the city’s RAP tax funds; she has a hard time believing it approved giving $10,000 to Tuacahn Center for the Arts, and said it should have committed to smaller increments over less time. The council must make a list of what are most important for the community, she said, and spend the RAP tax funds on those things.
Reeve also mentioned her opposition to mandatory recycling. Citizens should want to do it, she said, not have to do it.
If elected, Reeve said she would want to be a liaison to the county commissioners to help manage growth. Hurricane has the opportunity of being the biggest city in the county in the future, she said.
“I’m not out to change Hurricane, just to help take good care of our people and lands.”
If not elected, Reeve said she would still attend City Council meetings, voice her concerns and serve the community or county on some level.
Reeve said the fact that she used to babysit two of the other candidates, Ginger Hall and Tony Hoyt, makes her unique.
“I really like all the candidates,” she said.
Reeve and her husband, Charles, have six children and 22 grandchildren. They started the Hurricane Electronics Lab, the second tenant in the Hurricane Industrial Park, in 1980. She and her grandchildren raise goats together, she said.
She loves to RV and has a concealed carry permit, she said.
“I am a card shark,” she said. “I would challenge anyone to a round of Hand and Foot.”
When asked what the main goal he would want to accomplish if elected to the Hurricane City Council, Jason Smith, said, “I’d just like to leave you alone.”
If elected, he said, he would not come in to try to fix everything and restoring lost rights and privileges would be on the top of his priority list. In his mind, the city government is not there to promote business but to protect the rights of citizens.
For instance, Smith said, he is a proponent of recycling but residents should not be forced to do it, citing the council’s recent decision to implement mandatory curbside recycling. He also mentioned the council’s approval of supporting the Tuacahn Center for the Arts with $10,000 a year from its RAP tax funds. He said that money would be better spent for something that would have a direct impact on Hurricane residents.
“I just want to safeguard residents’ liberties,” he said. “The City Council should ask themselves, ‘Is it constitutional?’ but don’t. I’m the guy that’s not going to promise you something I can’t deliver on.”
To Smith, a government that governs least, governs best.
If not elected, Smith said he would continue to be a strong voice in the community by doing things like writing op-eds and putting together a group of concerned citizens to make their voice heard — a citizen action team.
Currently, he serves on the city’s Tourism Board, has run for mayor in the past and is a frequent co-host on local talk radio. He currently works in media marketing and has started and managed several private businesses. Married for 22 years, Smith has four children.
Smith said that something unique about him is that he spent three weeks sleeping in the Sahara Desert in Morocco while in the U.S. Air Force on a humanitarian mission. Participating in such an event changes one’s paradigm, he said, making one realize how lucky he or she is to be an American.
A huge history buff, Smith grew up on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia; he was surrounded by history there, he said. He found Colonial artifacts, Civil War bullets and other Americana.
“If I could only accomplish one goal on the City Council it would be to be fully informed and understand the issues and be wise and brave enough to speak my voice against popular opinion, if necessary, and stand up for freedom and what is right regardless of the flack I may receive for it,” Thomas said of his vision for himself as a councilman. “I want to truly defend the principles of the Constitution and the rights of the people in all respects.”
Thomas said he would like to see the city save up money for a rainy day, as well as save up funds received from the RAP tax first, then decide how to use it rather than “committing its use as fast as we get it.”
He would like to see the city spend RAP tax revenue on something everyone in the city can enjoy. He is also in favor of improving the swimming pool by enclosing it for year-round use.
“I think it’s crazy to have a pool that is only being used three months out of the year,” he said.
Additional recreation options Thomas would like to see within Hurricane are some racquetball courts and some bike trails.
If not elected, Thomas said he will stay active in the political process, do what he can to be informed on the issues and defend “freedoms and liberties wherever I can have an influence.”
A Hurricane resident since 1985, Thomas has owned and operated Draw Works Quality Home Design since 1993. He and his wife, Daphne, have six children and six grandchildren.
Thomas said his interest in politics partly stems from his mother’s influence. His mother wrote many letters to senators, congressmen and presidents, he said.
“She was able to help me understand really what was going on in the world,” Thomas said of his mother, “and I attribute many of my qualities to her.”
He enjoys being creative.
“My career as a home designer gives me lots of opportunity to use my creativity,” Thomas said. “I am also a photographer and a writer. I love to be with my wife and children, and I enjoy playing games and having fun together doing anything besides watching TV.”
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