SPRINGDALE – Three candidates are seeking two available seats on Springdale’s Town Council and despite some differences in personality and focus, they all agree that the unique charm of the town is one best enjoyed on foot and one to be preserved.
The intimate character of Springdale, a town that serves as gateway to Zion National Park and its over 2.8 million visitors annually, is part of what drew each of this year’s council candidates Mark Chambers, Mike Alltucker and Lisa Zumpft to reside in the area some six, seven and 11 years ago.
Mark Chambers is finishing his first term on the council and is up for re-election. Mike Alltucker, who was appointed to his seat approximately a year ago, hopes to be elected in his own right. Lisa Zumpft aspires to land a council seat for the first time.
All of the candidates were asked what the main goal they would want to accomplish 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.
With a diverse base of just over 550 residents who share the many extraordinary natural features of their town with millions of visitors each year, Alltucker said, he would like to help shape Springdale’s future by protecting the town’s unique village atmosphere as visitor loads increase combined with the increasing pressures for development. The town’s general plan, he said, will give direction to what the community wants.
“Providing for the efficient delivery of basic town services will be a challenge and my priority,” he said.
Alltucker said he favors a pedestrian-friendly environment with strict zoning that defines commercial and residential areas.
If not elected, Alltucker said he would continue to offer his input at informal gatherings, through surveys and official meetings which is easy since Springdale “is a small town with direct access to its officials and meetings.”
Alltucker moved to Springdale from Oregon about seven years ago after retiring from a career owning a heavy highway construction business. He was attracted to the area because of the “magnificence of the canyon” after some photo trips. Even then, he said he was impressed at the planning of the town and its village atmosphere.
He was proud to talk about his hobby, reflected by the picture he submitted for this article.
“There aren’t many left in this digital world,” he said, “but I’m a large format, black and white, film photographer who spends his time hunting photons and capturing their magic on silver gelatin paper in a real darkroom.”
If he could only accomplish one goal if re-elected, Chambers echoed Alltucker’s sentiment, saying he would, “ensure, maintain and protect the small village atmosphere of Springdale using the general plan as a guideline.”
He would like it to feel different than anywhere else and wants to see its magnificent views protected. He said he wants to make sure Springdale is walkable, has small buildings and locally owned businesses.
Chambers, along with his partner, Joe Pitti, have owned and operated the Under the Eaves Bed and Breakfast since 2009.
If not re-elected, he said he would still participate in city government. In a town as small as Springdale, he said one individual can have a dramatic impact. He said he would review the Town Council and Planning Commission packets online before attending meetings and provide his feedback.
“As a council member, I know how important and valued letters and comments are at open meetings,” he said. “It matters. It is disheartening to see people believe they are disenfranchised because a vote did not go the way they had hoped based on their comments.”
Residents must realize that many factors go into decision making and that even though a vote does not go a person’s way, “their comments may have helped the decision from going further in the opposite direction,” Chambers said. “Many times, however, their voices are heard and it makes an impact on the council and their decisions.”
When asked what makes him unique, Chambers said, “I think many people would be surprised that I am an introvert at heart that can talk in front of a crowd.”
He said he loves to laugh and has been a professional actor, performing frequently with the Salt Lake Acting Company.
Chambers, who narrowly lost the mayoral race two years ago, said he does not see himself as a politician.
“I see myself as a public servant taking my turn doing my duty,” he said. “I think I am an open book and in a small town there is not much you can hide.”
Zumpft said there is a lot to accomplish in Springdale, which faces the issues of “too much traffic, limited parking, vulnerable pedestrian pathways, water quality and quantity, injudicious growth, worker housing and more.”
If she could just accomplish one thing if elected, it would be “to work with the residents and businesses through the Town Council and Planning Commission to beautify our main streetscape to make them more pedestrian-friendly including widening the sidewalks, reducing the amount of parking downtown, adding crosswalks and protecting the night sky.”
If not elected, she will continue to attend town meetings, as she has done for the last five years, where she will offer input to the town planners to consider how to make sure her vision of the streetscape could come to fruition.
“The residents’ quality of life need not be further diminished and this project would help improve what has been lost,” she said.
Zumpft has played an active role in Springdale since moving to the Town 11 years ago. She started the Zion Canyon Farmers Market and community garden, is a member of the town’s Historic Preservation Commission and is active in its arts council.
Zumpft said something unique about her is she has been a practitioner of Laughter Yoga for the last few years.
“The exercise of laughing spontaneously has helped me to be more relaxed,” she said, “and look at myself and situations in different positive ways.”
A self-proclaimed music lover, Zumpft enjoys “hearing it, playing it and helping others to do the same,” she said. “Exposing myself to different kinds of music opens up a creative path for me to listen better.”
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